SMAS National Conference 2014

Manufacturing: Making a Difference

With over 350 delegates in attendance, representing every aspect of Scottish Manufacturing from Food & Drink and Textiles to Chemicals and Electronics this truly was, as organisers SMAS had predicted, “the highest profile manufacturing focused event in Scotland in 2014”.

smas-logoThe Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) billed this year’s national conference at Dunblane Hydro as an event that would “salute the contribution made to the economy by
Scotland’s manufacturers” whilst addressing “the pressing challenges faced by producers of all sizes and sectors”. An impressive programme packed with inspirational speakers and a series of interactive workshops with some of Scotland’s best manufacturers ensured they did not disappoint.

At Escape, we are proud to be part of this dynamic industry and were once again delighted to be a conference sponsor, supporting organisations such as SMAS in their efforts to continue to improve and develop the capability of Scottish manufacturers for the future.

ScottishMAS Conference: “the highest profile manufacturing focused event in Scotland in 2014”.

The event began at the Gala dinner with an address from sponsor Bank of Scotland, a look at “Future Manufacturing Challenges” from Keynote Speaker Julie Madigan, Chief Executive of The Manufacturing Institute and the ever-entertaining and thought provoking Colin Cloud as the after-dinner speaker for the evening.

Introductions and Welcome

The conference itself was opened by Nick Shields, Director of SMAS whose welcome message looked at the need for industry members to learn from peers, develop staff focus and embrace innovation and premium propositions as tools to drive value and prosperity.

The morning sessions continued with introductions from Bill Jamieson, conference chair, and a look aSMAS Conference 2014t the Vision for Scottish Manufacturing from three influential speakers: Adrian Gillespie (MD Operations – Company Growth, Innovation & Infrastructure, Scottish Enterprise) who spoke of the need to focus on deeper issues around embedding change, Donald MacRae (Chief Economist, Lloyds Banking Group Scotland) sharing news of an increase in manufacturing confidence with the need to continue recovery and increase export activity, and John Swinney MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth) who looked at the significant growth of capability in Scottish manufacturing and the need to increase innovation and invest in new manufacturing sectors including low carbon, renewables waste and energy management.

Keynote speakers

Jim McColl (Clyde Blowers Capital) spoke of his experience in Achieving Transformational Growth with two of the Clyde Blowers businesses. The approach taken by his business is to focus on four capabilities which underpin growth: product and engineering leadership, operational excellence customer intimacy and organisational capability, supported by a can-do culture with a high level of ambition.

Patrick Mroczak (Amia Foods) took an inside view on what it takes to achieve a ‘best in class factory’ by discussing the importance of alignment of supply chain and support functions, the role values and vision, behaviour and beliefs have in empowerment and development within an organisation and the need for leadership to be bold.

The final key note speech was delivered by William Butler-Adams from Brompton Bicycles. Will’s genuine passion for his product was clear throughout his talk as he shared his insights into the role investment and encouragement played in achieving international growth.


In addition to the main speakers, delegates had the opportunity to attend several workshops led by market leaders such as Guala Closures, Selex, Optos and Axon’ Cables, covering topics from Supply Chain & Collaboration to Making a Difference to your Culture.

You can access slides from each of these workshops via the SMAS Conference website.


1 thought on “SMAS National Conference 2014

  1. Pingback: 2014 that was the year that was…… | Escape: the blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s