A number of different sectors such as construction and healthcare are interested to see how the Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring approach could benefit them.
For example, how using low–cost technology solutions could make life easier for them and their employees and inspire and develop their staff’s digital skills.
The past 10 years have seen a drive for digitalisation in construction with government, industry and industry bodies working together to support change. Led by the Construction Innovation Hub (The Hub), Shoestring brings the opportunity for small to medium sized enterprises and other construction organisations to work with academic experts from the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing, Centre for Digital Built Britain and Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction, to identify specific digital solution priorities according to organisational objectives. Organisations are helped to identify practical pathways for developing and deploying simple, low-cost digital solutions.
Whilst Shoestring was conceived as a programme to help small–to–medium sized companies, large corporates are also keen to adapt the programme to support employee efforts to improve their local digital environment. By adopting the Shoestring approach, teams of employees have a reliable framework in which to develop their own digital solutions, which they can add to incrementally and also share with colleagues across the company.
Since summer 2020, a team of researchers and students from the Institute for Manufacturing have been working with healthcare professionals in Cambridge University Hospitals, in particular Addenbrooke’s. By listening to practitioners needs, they realised that many non-critical support tools from the Shoestring project could be adapted to help collect and digitalise information scattered across the hospital which would make life easier for many hospital staff.
The advent of Brexit and impact of the COVID pandemic, as well as increasing consumer demand for ‘next-day’ delivery, has increased pressure on logistics companies. Shoestring’s low-cost, incremental approach to digitalisation is ideal for this sector which is dominated with small to medium sized companies who need affordable solutions they can implement quickly and realise efficiencies immediately. Shoestring is running a series of logistics requirements workshops from June 2021.