Why is the 'Shoestring' project needed?
Focusing on challenges for SMEs in implementing ‘digitalisation’:
- Excessive risk and cost of large-scale solutions
- Time required to identify and develop solutions
- Skills shortage for developing solutions in-house
- Digital solutions are usually built to address needs of large manufacturers
Aiming to address key SME business needs:
- Need to improve productivity
- Need to keep up with competitors’ digital advances
- Need for compliance with regulations, security and safety requirements
- Need to implement solutions with minimal disruption to operations
How will the project help?
The research project aims to help SME manufacturers through:
- Reducing risk: Developing low-cost solutions based on existing, commercially-available technologies.
- Prioritising: Helping to identify operational priorities where SME manufacturers can gain the most from focusing their digitalisation efforts.
- Shared learning: Identifying common issues between SMEs to apply findings and customisable solutions across the industry.
- SME-focused digital solutions: Providing an alternative to large-scale, complex solutions developed for large companies, through low-cost commercially available components and technologies.
- Independence: The researchers are not tied to promoting any single technology or system.
- Industry compliance: Liaising with regulators and industry bodies to consider regulations and standards for solutions as they are developed.