UKWA has been working in partnership with the University of Cambridge on a project to investigate opportunities for small and medium businesses to embrace digitalisation without the challenges of huge investment cost or complex installation – essentially, how best to deliver ‘digital logistics on a shoestring’.
Peter Ward, UKWA CEO says, “We know from members’ feedback that smaller companies see digitalisation as inaccessible, due to cost and perceived complexity, so UKWA has been keen to co-operate in developing and testing digital solutions for which the total cost of deployment is kept low, by using accessible “of- the-shelf” components, including mobile phones, virtual assistant AI technology such as Amazon’s Alexa and the Cloud.”
He continues, “This project will help many members who perceive digitalisation as either too complex or too expensive, or both, and is aimed to identify low cost and easily adoptable solutions – providing new tools to drive efficiency and compete effectively.”
A typical ‘Digital Shoestring’ solution is simple and easy to deploy, pragmatic and affordable. It is not intended for core production control or safety critical operations, but rather for decision support, staff guidance and sensing.
The aim is to provide simple digital support for smaller businesses, offering a low risk ‘toe in the water’ for digitalisation, and a complementary fit to the ‘bigger picture’ of overall data sharing, management and usage.
To kick off the project, UKWA is inviting all members to attend an introductory webinar to find out more about this exciting development of ‘shoestring’ digital solutions. This will be followed by a series of free to attend workshops in May and June with UKWA partners at Cambridge University,
The first webinar, introducing the project, will take place on Weds 5th May at 11am.