The Black Country Chamber of Commerce is proud to launch a campaign for 2017 which has a focus on the manufacturing industry. Events will take place throughout the year that focus on the key areas manufacturers need support and guidance on, as well as sharing best practice. With this in mind, the Chamber is delighted to introduce Rachel Eade MBE as their new Manufacturing Ambassador. Rachel will work with the Chamber to raise the profile of manufacturing in the Black Country and support the growth of the industry.

Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, commented: “We are proud to be working with such an esteemed manufacturing expert, in Rachel Eade. She has helped us to develop a campaign of support over the next 12 months that will include informative manufacturing monthly email bulletins and events throughout the year. We believe that manufacturing really does matter, not only to the Black Country economy, but also the UK as a whole.”  

Rachel has over 20 years of experience working with manufacturers across the supply chain and has a wealth of knowledge and contacts that will add benefit to Chamber members. She was awarded an MBE for services to the automotive sector in 2013 and the Institute of Sheet Metal Engineers Gold Medal in 2014.

Rachel Eade MBE, Black Country Chamber Manufacturing Ambassador, commented: “We can expect 2017 to produce many challenges and opportunities for manufacturers as the full impact of Brexit is still unknown on trade, regulations, foreign exchange and pricing. For manufacturers, this uncertainty cascades into areas such as innovation, research and development, skills and people, and investment that is critical to growth and the winning of new business.”

2016 was the best year for car production since the mid-1970s, along with investment in rail, HS2 and other infrastructure projects offering manufacturing opportunities. Next generation vehicles, consumer demand and environmental concerns continue to drive demand for ever-increasing efficiency, use of alternative power sources along with greater use of electronics for safety, security and communication. To achieve this and to meet the ever increasing demands of consumers requires developments and redesigns.

Suppliers need to be able to demonstrate flexibility and innovation in their customer relationships, as products and processes change with regularity. Investment in technology and skills at all levels will be prerequisites for both maintaining and wining business.

As the campaign moves forward over the next year, it will cover a range of topic areas and issues to provide support and development opportunities for manufacturing businesses in the Black Country. The next event will be taking place on Thursday 2nd February at Walsall College Hub starting at 7:30am, where the areas covered will include the benefits of employing Armed Forces personnel and the legal requirements for protecting the health and safety of the workforce.