Aston offers support to local manufacturing SMEs


Aston Business School is offering a programme of free support to manufacturing SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in the West Midlands to help them to understand how to strengthen their relationships with customers, create new and resilient revenue streams and set high barriers for competitors, through a process called servitization. 

Servitization is the process of changing a company’s business model, to offer advanced services coupled with products, rather than just the products alone. This means providing a holistic solution to customers, helping to improve their competitiveness, rather than just engaging in single transactions through the sale of a physical product.  

The programme takes the form of workshops which guide each company through a review of its competitive strategy and help the company to develop an action plan for servitization. Ongoing implementation support is also available. 

All of the support is available free of charge to eligible companies as it is part funded by the West Midlands European Regional Development Fund. Eligible companies are West Midlands based manufacturing SMEs (i.e. with fewer than 250 employees, turnover of less than £39m or a balance sheet of less than £34m). 

The first stage of the programme is an introductory event to introduce local manufacturing companies to servitization and explain the support on offer. This event will give attendees a chance to hear from large companies that have adopted servitization successfully, as well as the opportunity to network and meet with other SMEs, large companies and the project team. Attendees will then have the opportunity to sign up for the support workshops. 

Professor Tim Baines, academic lead for servitization at Aston University and Project Director of the ERDF support programme, said: ‘We hope that local manufacturing SMEs will join us for the introductory event to learn more about services-led competitive strategies, and the potential that these bring in terms of securing revenue streams and increasing profit. This programme, funded by West Midlands ERDF, offers support to manufacturers across the region, and we hope it will enable economic growth and further the region’s reputation as the national powerhouse for manufacturing innovation.’ 

The introductory event will take place on:  

Date: Tuesday 27th November

Time: 9.45am – 1:00pm

Venue: WMSNT Ltd Headquarters, 80 Park Road (Via Upper Thomas Street), Birmingham, B6 5PL (For Sat-Nav. please use B6 5DD).

To find out if your business is eligible for the programme and to register for the half day introductory event, please email servitization@aston.ac.uk. If you have any queries, please call Eleanor Musson on 0121 204 3580.


Excellent Different Distinctive