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We’re shining the spotlight on our incredible Office Administrator, whose dedication and vibrant energy play a crucial role in the smooth operation of the Manufacturers’ Alliance (MA). From the moment she joined us in February 2022, she has brought an unparalleled level of enthusiasm and commitment to her role. Join us as we delve into her journey with MA, her daily responsibilities, and what makes her excited about the future.


How did you first start working with the Manufacturers’ Alliance?

I started working with the MA in February 2022. After meeting Gary and Trish, I felt we clicked straight away. Learning about the business values and culture, I knew it was a great fit with my personal values. The whole team and community have fantastic energy. I love working with the Manufacturers’ Alliance.


What is your role, and what does a day in your shoes look like?

As the Office Administrator, I’m involved in the administrative side of meeting preparations, communicating information about meetings, retreats, and events with our members, guests, and the MA team. I’ve always loved being in a supportive role. I participate in weekly head office updates and wider team meetings focused on personal development. We also have a ‘fun jar’ in the office with activities like nature walks and paper airplane competitions!


How do you help build and foster relationships with members?

I communicate personally with all our customers and am always happy to help with any information or queries. I’ve attended a peer group meeting with the HR group, making great connections, and I look forward to doing this across all our groups. I enjoyed welcoming members and guests to our annual conference and facilitating roundtable discussions.


What’s your favourite memory since starting with Manufacturers’ Alliance?

My favourite memory would be our team retreat. It was a perfect balance of deep introspection and fun activities. The experience, along with an action plan we created, has been incredibly beneficial, and I’ve seen such a positive change in myself.


What are you looking forward to in the next year?

I’m looking forward to so much! A trip to Italy with my son after his GCSEs, the MA annual conference in May, our team retreat, and becoming an auntie again for the 11th time!”


Interested in getting to know more about joining the Manufacturers’ Alliance? Join our peer groups.

I would like to take a moment to applaud and celebrate a remarkable group of individuals who exemplify resilience, determination, and sheer grit – members of the ‘Emerging Leaders’ peer group, who yesterday completed the Liverpool Half Marathon.

In a world where the demands of professional life often consume our time and energy, these extraordinary individuals dared to push their limits. They laced up their running shoes, embraced the miles ahead, and embarked on a journey that tested both their physical, mental and emotional endurance.

Despite facing blisters, muscle fatigue and injury – they refused to yield. With each stride, they embodied the spirit of resilience, pushing through discomfort and doubt with unwavering resolve. Their commitment to the finish line was a reflection of their unyielding determination to conquer challenges head-on.

Beyond the personal triumph of completing a half marathon, they have set an inspiring example for us all. Their willingness to step outside their comfort zones and embrace the unknown serves as a reminder that greatness lies not in the absence of obstacles but in the courage to overcome them.

Moreover, their journey highlights the invaluable lessons that can be gleaned from pushing one’s limits. Through perseverance and perseverance alone, they have not only strengthened their physical fitness but also cultivated a mindset of resilience that will undoubtedly serve them well in both their personal and professional lives.

Other members of the group also supported them by standing at the sidelines. Their presence not only bolstered the spirits of their peers but also serves as a powerful reminder of the strength found in unity and solidarity within the business community. In this simple act of support, these young managers exemplified the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, where success is celebrated collectively, and every achievement is met with applause and encouragement.

So I raise a virtual glass and toasts this exceptional group – may your resilience continue to fuel your journey to success.

If you are based in the North of England or Wales and have an Emerging Leader within your organisation that would benefit from being part of this incredible peer group – please get in touch.


This article was written by Victoria Hopkins, facilitator of the Emerging Leaders Peer Group. Victoria has a wealth of experience of running a manufacturing business, having run her own family business for many years. She is keen to share these insights with the up and coming talent in manufacturing and help them to achieve their full potential.

Ego is a complex force that can either fuel success or hinder progress. Understanding its nuances and managing it effectively is crucial, especially in the context of driving transformative change within organisations.

But what exactly is ego? At its core, ego represents an individual’s sense of self-esteem, self-importance, and identity. As leaders, it’s often natural to exude confidence and assertiveness, traits often associated with a healthy ego. However, the challenge arises when these traits tip into the realm of egotism – a state characterised by excessive pride, self-centredness, and a disregard for others’ perspectives.


In British English, the word “egotistic” carries negative connotations, highlighting the cultural aversion to egotistical behaviour. This serves as a reminder that while confidence and assertiveness are valued in leadership, ego-driven actions can breed toxicity and impede progress.

Russell Watkins, Co-founder of Sempai®, a company specialising in Lean transformation, brings a unique perspective to this discussion. With his extensive experience spanning various manufacturing sectors, Russell is well-versed in the intricacies of organisational change and the role ego plays in either facilitating or obstructing progress.

At the Future of Manufacturing annual conference 2024, Russell will delve into the dynamics of ego within the context of business transformation. Drawing from real-life examples and reflective sessions, he will explore the fine line between assertiveness and egotism, shedding light on when and why ego tends to obstruct rather than propel business goals forward.

One of the key takeaways from Russell’s insights is the importance of effectively managing ego for positive outcomes. By fostering self-awareness and humility, leaders can navigate the complexities of organisational change without succumbing to the pitfalls of egotistical behaviour.

Moreover, Russell will highlight the positive aspects of ego, emphasising its potential as a driving force for innovation, resilience, and visionary leadership. When harnessed effectively, ego can fuel ambition and determination, leading to transformative outcomes for businesses.

Ready to learn, share, and be inspired with ideas to fuel your business growth? Join our annual conference for manufacturing leaders.

Register here:


In a world increasingly focused on sustainability, businesses are recognising the need to prioritise eco-friendly practices not just for the planet’s sake, but for their own profitability as well.

87% of business leaders are planning to increase their organisation’s investment in sustainability over the next two years, according to a Gartner survey. But how exactly can sustainability be integrated into manufacturing processes in a way that is both environmentally friendly and financially beneficial?

Enter Hugo Spowers, founder of Riversimple, a company pioneering the way forward in sustainable transportation. At the upcoming Manufacturers’ Alliance annual conference, Spowers will share his insights gained from years of experience in the industry, shedding light on how to effectively prioritise sustainability and bottom-line success.

hydrogen cars the future of manufacturing

Founding a company with a difference

Spowers’ journey is a fascinating one, beginning with a background in designing racing cars and culminating in the establishment of Riversimple, a company dedicated to revolutionising the automotive industry through sustainable practices. His focus on hydrogen cars represents a cutting-edge approach to reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.

Bringing hydrogen cars to market when other businesses are focusing on electric vehicles

During his presentation, Spowers will delve into the strategic initiatives necessary to bring hydrogen cars to market. This includes not only technological advancements but also a shift in mindset towards what Riversimple terms the ‘usership’ model. This innovative approach challenges the traditional notion of car ownership, instead emphasising access to mobility as a service rather than the possession of a vehicle.

The usership model

By embracing the usership model, Riversimple has been able to turn sustainability into a source of profit. This model eliminates economic barriers to introducing zero-emission cars, making them more accessible to consumers while simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation.

The key takeaway from Spowers’ insights is clear: sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive. By adopting innovative approaches and rethinking traditional business models, companies can align their environmental goals with their bottom line. Through initiatives like the usership model pioneered by Riversimple, businesses can pave the way towards a more sustainable—and profitable—future.

Be inspired at the Manufacturers’ Alliance Annual conference

As manufacturing leaders navigate the complexities of sustainability in today’s business landscape, the lessons learned from pioneers like Hugo Spowers serve as a guiding light. Join over 150 manufacturers in Bolton 15th May as we explore how inspiring business leaders are planning their long term strategy.

Learn more about the conference and sign up here:

Events serve as invaluable opportunities to expand your network, stay abreast of industry trends, and gather insights applicable to your professional endeavours. However, justifying time away from the office necessitates careful selection of the events you attend.

To aid in this decision-making process, we’ve curated a list of the top events for 2024 and outlined who from your team should accompany you.


1. Future of Manufacturing conference: Manufacturers’ Alliance

Manufacturers' Alliance Logo

Date: 15th May, 2024

Location: Bolton

Ideal for you if: The event boasts an impressive line-up of speakers focusing on pivotal topics such as culture change in manufacturing businesses and emerging technologies. It’s an ideal fit for those seeking valuable insights and actionable plans. If you prefer genuine discussions over fluff and appreciate being surrounded by like-minded individuals with aligned intentions, this event is for you.

Might not be for you if: Note that a small fee is required for attendance to ensure quality participation. If you’re not fully committed to attending, this event may not be the best fit for you.

Learn more and sign up here


2. Smart manufacturing and engineering week

Institution of Engineering Designers partners with Manufacturing and ...

Date: 5-6th June, 2024

Location: NEC, Birmingham

Ideal for you if: You’re eager to explore different technological solutions and engage with providers. Spread over two days and completely free, it offers flexibility for casual attendance.

Might not be for you if: You prefer more personal interactions and aren’t looking to invest in new technology right now.

Learn more and sign up here



Siemens Logo - PNG and Vector - Logo Download

3. Siemens Transform

Date: 17-18 July

Location: Manchester Central

Ideal for you if: You want to hear from and collaborate with industry experts, experience transformative technology in the live marketplace, and work with an expert community to solve real-world challenges.

Covering topics from AI to the industrial metaverse and decarbonisation, co-create tangible solutions to make your organisation more competitive, resilient and sustainable, and become part of a community solving today’s most pressing challenges, together.

Might not be for you if: Technology isn’t a real priority for your business.

Learn more and sign up



NAtional Manufacturing Day

4. National Manufacturing Day 

Date: 26th September

Location: Various

Ideal for you if:  You’re seeking career opportunities and interested in exploring a wide range of highly skilled and well-paid jobs in the manufacturing sector.

Manufacturers across the UK will be opening their doors to showcase the diverse career opportunities available in the manufacturing industry. This event offers attendees the chance to gain firsthand insight into the innovative technologies, processes, and career paths within manufacturing.

Might not be for you if: You are not interested in exploring career opportunities in manufacturing.

Learn more



5. Manufacturing & Engineering North EastBIG EVENT: Manufacturing & Engineering North East, 8-9 July

Date: 28th November

Location: Motors Arena, Newcastle

Ideal for you if: You’re interested in discovering new design and manufacturing innovations from providers in the North East region. This event brings together industry leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts to showcase cutting-edge technologies and solutions shaping the future of manufacturing in the North East.

Might not be for you if: You prefer more intimate events.

Learn more and sign up