BUSINESS ACUMEN is getting right behind the Manufacturing Toolbox (see special report in the #86 print edition) because we understand that this platform can turn the tide in favour of an Australian manufacturing renaissance.
That’s a big call, but it is – amazingly – evidence-based.
Indeed, the digital Toolbox platform itself has evolved out of probably the most comprehensive research ever conducted on Australian business and its adoption of technology.
The evidential statistics: more than 50,000 deep surveys of businesses of all shapes and sizes across Australia over a 15-year period – all charting the specific technologies and services those businesses have utilised and how they rate them over time – combined with more than 300 detailed business case studies.
From all this a digital platform has been developed by a small Brisbane-based company, Digital Business insights (DBi), whose leaders John Sheridan and Geoff Grantham firmly believe the Manufacturing Toolbox can be the catalyst for Australian industry development and growth in ways that have only become available with the digital revolution.
Mr Sheridan is a former advertising industry creative director who has devoted the past 15 years of his life to researching and understanding the digital revolution with a view to ‘creating something’ which will help Australian businesses creatively build capability and resilience.
These digital platforms, starting with the Manufacturing Toolbox and planned to extend into other industries and specific regions – are all joined up.
Mr Grantham is a web sage and online learning systems expert who has been involved in computing hardware, software and web development for more than 35 years. His career has ranged from early PC and IBM clone development to developing global online multi-lingual training for the motor industry.
They are the antitheses of how industry support has occurred in the past ... mainly top-down government-driven financial incentive-based structures.
This Toolbox – and the many to come – have developed from the grass roots. Every step forward has been tested and augmented by key partnerships.
Those partnerships, as you will read in the special report, involve best-of-breed organisations which have not only the wherewithal to positively influence the industry, they have the passion and desire to see Australian manufacturing succeed and grow like it has never managed in our history.
DBi is the first company Business Acumen has ever reported upon which is approaching the problems facing Australian industry by harnessing the potential of digital technologies and methods in a truly joined-up way.
There are tools available and being developed now – including 3D printing, robotics and new material and biological sciences – which, if embraced and innovated by a multitude of agile Australian manufacturers will create superb new products and markets.
The key to how successful that drive is relies upon the capability of those businesses to adapt and grow. That is, they have to become better businesses, more agile, with access to appropriate knowledge, networks and – of course – growth capital.
They also have to be able to effectively seek new clients and showcase to potential new markets, both national and international. They have to be able to communicate and collaborate with others in their industry, plus those outside their industry who can help them.
These vital things are what the Manufacturing Toolbox does.
It is probably the most comprehensive and innovative platform for business development ever created.