Home / Blog / Guest post: Industry 4.0 rests on the shoulders of giants. Let’s back them.

Guest post: Industry 4.0 rests on the shoulders of giants. Let’s back them.

by Tracy Grazioli

By Tracy Grazioli, Network Development Manager at the Smart Manufacturing Alliance and Chair of the Westminster Club.

It is mid-morning, before a coffee break beckons at 10.30, and I’m already touching 50 miles along the A1, A14 or M11, with barely a moment to breath and perhaps even, the very occasional amber light broken. With never-ending road works and a slog of holiday drivers this time of the year, heading up network development for the Smart Manufacturing Alliance isn’t easy. But I wouldn’t change it for the world – if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that people drive business, not the other way around – and for manufacturing in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region that means getting out to support our regional leaders.

I have been serving the manufacturing community since 1990 when I started a career in Corporate Banking with Bank of Ireland. For the past 20 years, I have focused on Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and I support large and small manufacturers, export and domestic orientated, high-value specialised and mass manufacturing. While our region is better known for Agriculture, Education and Logistics, the Manufacturing sector here is very much alive, buoyed by pioneers in additive manufacturing, robotics and other high-tech fields. This is in part thanks to strong heritage, where generations of families and closely-knit towns have backed manufacturing. Furthermore, the support and growth opportunities available here, are excellent compared to other regions in England.

We are fortunate to have such an exceptional talent pool. This is, of course, often attributed to the outstanding quality of our universities and technical colleges. But that’s not all! Our region’s rich history in agriculture and commercial sectors has played a significant role in nurturing a pool of experienced and skilled commercial managers.

At the Smart Manufacturing Alliance (SMA), we have been working tirelessly to support manufacturers month-to-month. Through numerous conversations with these incredible companies, we have identified common obstacles to growth. Job vacancies remain unfilled, the workforce is stretched thin, and there seems to be a lack of time and surplus cash. On top of that, there are cases where companies have large orders but not enough staff to fulfil them. All of this is delaying the adoption of Industry 4.0. We need to provide a comprehensive package of support – funding, knowledge and logistics so our giants, MDs of manufacturing businesses, can capture the opportunity of Industry 4.0.

Our goal is that manufacturers in our region embrace the exciting possibilities that Industry 4.0 brings. We want to see Cambridgeshire and Peterborough at the forefront of technological advancements, driving growth, and creating a sustainable future for all.

So, if you’re a manufacturer in our region, I encourage you to reach out to the SMA. Let’s join forces and explore the various avenues available to secure the financial support you need to propel your business forward. It’s upon all of us to back you.

Together, we can overcome any obstacle and unlock the full potential of Industry 4.0. The future is bright, and with the SMA by your side, success is within reach!

equipal has recently joined the Smart Manufacturing Alliance to support the Eastern region’s drive to roll-out Industry 4.0. The equipal online platform stands ready to drive fast, frictionless, fully digital asset finance with rates from just 7% APR.