Future-proofing the Australian SMEs

The first series of FUTUREMAP workshops, a business diagnostic tool designed to help small and medium enterprises’ transition to Industry 4.0, was held in parallel with the National Manufacturing Week from May 9-11.

The three-day workshops were facilitated in collaboration between the Australian Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC) and the Commonwealth Entrepreneurs Program.

The interactive FUTUREMAP workshops provided Australian SME manufacturers with an opportunity to identify areas of focus and potential investment to transform and future-proof their business in a rapidly digitalised world.

As part of the workshops, IMCRC’s CEO, David Chuter, guided the participating manufacturers through an interactive session to map the current state of their business and identify where they can lift their awareness, competitiveness and build resilience against 13 key areas of industrial and advanced manufacturing competitiveness.

He noted that the objective of the FUTUREMAP is to help companies map their current state and also to understand where they aspire to be in two years’ time. The program also highlights areas for development and investment and introduces further support opportunities.

At the end of the 90-minute interactive session, wherein the business-owners answer to questionnaires designed specifically for the Australian SME manufacturing sector, the participants receive an assessment report, showing their current state in all of the 13 key areas. The report also connects participating Australian manufacturing SMEs with further educational materials and access to a broad ecosystem of supporting government organisations and programs.