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Patrick Grant owned Cookson & Clegg factory to boost productivity by 40% with Made Smarter tech

Tom Bottomley
10 May 2021

Blackburn-based clothing manufacturer Cookson & Clegg, which was rescued from collapse in 2016 by tailor, designer and face of BBC TV’s The Great British Sewing Bee, Patrick Grant, and his sister Victoria, is expecting a 40% productivity boost through tech investment with the Made Smarter North West Adoption Programme.

Cookson & Clegg is now embarking on a major data and systems integration project which will capture real-time data from every part of the production process and enable the leadership team to make informed decisions to identify efficiencies, generate more accurate pricing, and increase profitability.

The new system also aims to stimulate a cultural revolution within the business, improving the pay and job satisfaction of its skilled team machinists, a key part of its 40-strong workforce.

A machinist at Cookson & Clegg

Patrick Grant, Managing Director of Cookson & Clegg, said: “With the support and advice of Made Smarter we have been able to pursue our ambitions of improving both productivity and cost control across our operations by adopting digital technology.

“At the heart of this new system is the introduction of well-informed decision making based on accurate and real-time data. By combining better production control and incentivising our workforce, we believe we could increase productivity by 40%, while maintaining the highest quality.”

Donna Edwards, Made Smarter Adoption Programme Director, North West, added: “Cookson & Clegg are the perfect example of a heritage business who are moving with the times while maintaining their identity as a traditional manufacturer.

“Data and systems integration is central to the 4th Industrial Revolution, so I am extremely pleased that Cookson & Clegg, like so many SME manufacturers, are putting data at the heart of their own digital journeys and recognising that using these tools can empower them to grow their business and increase efficiency.

Over its 160-year history, Cookson & Clegg has gone from producing leather products and manufacturing military apparel, to premium brand clothing and protective wear such as medical scrubs, gowns and reusable face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Made Smarter North West Adoption programme has worked with 1,200 makers in every corner of the region for the last two years, providing advice, expertise and financial support to help them grow their business, increase competitiveness and reduce inefficiencies through digital tools and technology.

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