Lancaster University: Funded programme to help small businesses overturn supply chain pain

A new programme designed by Lancaster University Management School will help small businesses turn the tables on supply issues and transform broken supply chains into profit.

The Resilient Supply Chains programme, designed specifically for Lancashire and Cumbria SMEs, will help business leaders increase profits by creating more manageable and sustainable supply chains.

Designed by Lancaster University Management School and delivered by business expert Mark Prince, the programme will help SME leaders find advantages in their new – often fragile – supply circumstances, consider strategy in the context of elongated supply chains and redefine supply success in their business.

The programme is delivered online via three half-day workshops, and is designed to be short, practical and impactful. The very first programme starts on 12 May 2022, so SME leaders are encouraged to register now for their fully-funded place.

Alex Errington, Project Manager at Lancaster University Management School, said: “Our Resilient Supply Chains programme is highly interactive and will give managers the time to step away from the day-to-day running of their business and reflect on their strategy – moving away from fixing the unfixable supply chain and onto profiting from it.

“The sad fact is that the uncertain world we now live in doesn’t seem to be going away. Small businesses need to navigate this instability as if it is here to stay – and find a way to thrive rather than survive.

“Our new programme offers SMEs the tools they need to transform their thinking and marketing to make any product shortages an asset and to maximise profits by simplifying product lines and minimising supply chain pain.

“Through our workshops, participants will get the chance to review business models that thrive on uncertain supply and variable lead times and look at the management of price and mismatched supply and demand to broaden their perspective and show where opportunities may lie.”

‘Resilient Supply Chains’ forms part of the fully-funded Business Excellence programmes that are part of Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and the Cumbria Growth Hub, each designed to help the leaders of the region’s SMEs to tackle issues that often present barriers to business growth.

Mark Leather, Managing Director of Mark Leather Physiotherapy – a Lancashire-based firm that has clinics across Cumbria and the North West – attended a previous Business Excellence programme delivered by Mark Prince – ‘Pricing with Purpose’, with the next intake of this popular workshop starting in June. It was during a recent workshop Mark got his ‘lightbulb moment,’ which made him reconsider his business model:

“It became suddenly clear to me that our strategy – to price ourselves extremely competitively – was not serving our business and might even be devaluing it. I knew there and then that if we wanted the business to grow, we had to charge more,” he said.

“I would recommend all the excellent programmes offered by Lancaster University Management School. They were interactive, very informative with brilliant networking and peer-learning opportunities. I feel the fog has been lifted on many issues and has given me the confidence to make bold business decisions around cost, innovation, marketing and diversity.”

Owners or managers of small and medium-sized (SME) businesses from Lancashire and Cumbria are encouraged to apply for a place on the ‘Resilient Supply Chains’ programme, starting on 12 May. Places are fully funded for SMEs that employ less than 250 employees and turnover less than €50 million annually.

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