Published On: Fri, Jun 9th, 2023

DAWS invests £50k in technology to boost productivity and growth

A window manufacturer has doubled its growth and created 15 new jobs after investing £50,000 in technology, with the help of Made Smarter. Door and Window Systems (DAWS), based in Knowsley, Liverpool City Region, makes aluminium products for trade suppliers.

Launched four years ago, the business has grown rapidly, but needed to improve infrastructure and introduce automation to achieve its scale-up ambitions. With the support of the Made Smarter North West adoption programme, a government-funded initiative to help SME manufacturers digitalise, decarbonise and grow through technology, DAWS has created create a digital roadmap and invested in a software solution to manage customer interactions and sales, and secondary software to integrate with production and dispatch.

The project had an instant impact, increasing back office productivity by 50% and freeing up staff to focus on more high value tasks and sales opportunities.  As a result the company is on track to double its turnover, contribute an extra £1M to the region’s GVA over the next three years and create 15 new jobs.

Julian Wetherall, Director of DAWS, hailed the partnership with Made Smarter as ‘transformational’. “We’ve had an amazing first four years, but now we are focussed on scaling the business and becoming a go-to supplier for our customers. This means hitting delivery targets and delivering an even more exceptional level of service.  Our move to new premises in Knowsley has overcome our storage and supply chain challenges, as well as giving us the space to grow and so now we have all the ingredients in place to go to the next level.

“Our experience of Made Smarter has been incredible. The team has guided us through a complex process to invest in technologies which are having a huge impact on our business.  The software we have chosen fits us like a glove and we have experienced an immediate improvement. The digital roadmapping exercise and grant funding has really accelerated and de-risked our investment. It has enabled us to see the reaching benefits of further technology investment. By removing the headaches and challenges of moving information around the business, we can start to look ahead at creating a modern, smart factory which embraces automation.”

Launched in the North West in 2019, Made Smarter has supported more than 2,500 businesses. This includes 250 manufacturers who have collectively invested £18M in technologies which enable them to integrate systems, capture and analyse data, and even create simulations of their plants and processes, others are now using 3D-printing, automation, and robotics to solve business challenges and meet increased demand.

By adopting cutting-edge technologies, these businesses are benefiting from improved productivity and revenue, increased exports and job creation, an upskilled workforce, lower energy bills, and a reduced carbon footprint. Donna Edwards, Director of Made Smarter’s North West Adoption programme, said: “We are delighted to be supporting DAWS to accelerate its digital transformation.  It is a fantastic example of a small business investing in technologies as a route to growth and new highly skilled jobs. DAWS is among hundreds of manufacturers in the region grasping the opportunities offered by Made Smarter which include expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops to help take that first step to transform a business, support with technology investment, and leadership and skills training. I would encourage other SME manufacturers to do the same.”