A Swindon-based firm is to take part in a national drive to help UK manufacturers prepare for the next, digitally-driven, industrial age.

The move will see Excalibur, a business communications and IT business based in Century Road, Swindon, joining forces with EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and Oracle, the American multinational computer technology corporation, to host a special South West Manufacturing Connect event on the 14th March (9.30am to 1pm).

It follows research showing that the UK is on the cusp of a global 4th industrial revolution (4IR), but UK firms are concerned about being left behind. Excalibur will be opening its doors to other South West firms as part of an industry-wide drive to combat such fears and ensure that manufacturers are successfully gearing up for the changes 4IR will bring.

The event will give South West manufacturers an opportunity to hear from industry experts, share best practice and ideas about harnessing new technologies and seek answers to their 4IR questions or concerns.

Speakers include Sophie Smith, Senior Business Development Manager at Excalibur, Vikram Singla, Supply Chain and Product Innovation Cloud Apps Leader for Oracle and Martin Strutt, Consultancy Director at EEF. The three will share the latest insights into the challenges and benefits of 4IR, explore business transformation programmes that will help South West firms get ‘future fit’ and provide opportunities for businesses to network and solve problems together.

Firms attending will enjoy a tour of Excalibur’s site and will also be able to get a free Lean benchmark report to help focus their future business improvements to achieve maximum value.

Martin Strutt, Consultancy Director at EEF, says: “4IR will lead to critical transformation both at a business and industry level. It’s vital that manufacturers feel fully equipped to adapt and take these huge changes in their stride.

“By working with Excalibur and Oracle in this way we aim to help South West firms get future fit and reap rewards, such as greater productivity and sustainable growth, from this next, vital, industrial age.”

Sophie Smith, Senior Business Development Manager at Excalibur, says: “Digital technologies are having a huge impact on the manufacturing landscape. For many firms the speed of change and the rapid advancement of new technologies are astonishing – it’s a struggle to keep up.

“This event is about pulling South West manufacturers together so that they can hear about these changes and learn from each other how best to implement them within their own business.  We think this type of support will be vital if our region’s manufacturers are to stay at the forefront of the next industrial wave.”  

Firms interested in taking part can book their place here and can listen to a range of free Be Business Ready podcasts here. To find out more about UK manufacturing and 4IR, visit: www.eef.org.uk/fourthindustrial.