How can we make manufacturing sustainable in the digital age?

The UK manufacturing industry is currently experiencing a huge shift in the way it runs its manufacturing processes – increasing competition is putting pressure on organisations to reduce costs, improve customer experience and increase profitability.

Digital transformation enables manufacturers to collect data in real time from each area of the business so that they implement a transparent workflow where data can be analysed for better decision making.

Manufacturing companies are constantly seeking ways to better understand who their customers are – manufacturers need to be thinking about how to improve productivity throughout their entire supply chain.

What is Digital Manufacturing?

Digital manufacturing is using technology and software to link systems and processes together to create an integrated workflow.

There are three main areas of digital manufacturing:

Product Lifecycle

The digital product lifecycle merges together all stages of the supply chain management and customer relationship management.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) refers to the management of data and processes used in the design, engineering, manufacturing, sales, and service of a product across its entire lifecycle and across the supply chain.

Smart Factory

Industry 4.0 has been driving manufacturing businesses towards a more responsive, adapted and connected manufacturing process.

The smart factory enables manufacturers to jump forward to a fully connected and flexible system, enabling them to adapt to new demands. Smart factories are flexible and have the scalability to grow to meet the changing needs of an organisation.

Upgrading to a smart factory requires input and support from every aspect of a business from board members to IT, so that an organisation can identify the main areas that need to be upgraded.

Value Chain Management

The purpose of value chain management is to increase product efficiency so that an organisation can deliver the highest value for the least possible cost – it focuses on reducing the product lifecycle time whilst maintaining quality and ensuring customer satisfaction.

What Are MRP Systems?

Material Requirements Planning systems (MRP) manage materials, inventory, plus other variables that impact production – they are computer based inventory management systems.

With the right MRP system in place, manufacturers can streamline their planning, production and inventory control, thus eliminating manual Excel spreadsheets and human error.


Manufacturers need to embrace the digital shift to remain successful and competitive.

Due to the Covid pandemic and Brexit, it is now even more imperative for manufacturing businesses to transform to digital processes, creating greater efficiency and better relationships between producers, suppliers and customers.

We have the expertise and knowledge to advise you on the right inventory software solution for your business. Please contact Lee Sugden or Mark Tooby on 0161 761 5231 or email