KEY manufacturers came face-to-face with representatives of smaller companies to debate local supply chains at the third Kirklees Summit.
Items on the agenda of the Q&A-based panel session included the recently announced Enterprise Zones and the role of the internet in modern manufacturing – leading the panel to explore whether social media and smartphones have a place in the manufacturing landscape.
Danny Matharu, of Summit organiser Mirfield-based Hillrich, said: “This was a unique opportunity for the audience to have their say publicly on the potential for a locally-centred supply chain.
“Key manufacturers mixed with their SME counterparts and discussed how to encourage each to trade together.”
He said: “In a format unlike any other business gathering currently taking place, Kirklees Summit creates a live forum where Kirklees businesses can openly debate how to make our district an even better place in which to run a business.
“It was fantastic to see social media being spoken about by what is seen as a traditional industry in manufacturing.”
The panel consisted of Ian Parker, chief executive of Liversedge-based Birkby’s Plastics; Gary Jones, chairman of Calderdale and Kirklees Manufacturers Alliance; Adrian Lythgo, chief executive of Kirklees Council and Ian Brierley, chief executive of Turnbridge-based JLB Group.
Audience member, Mick Fortune, managing director of Liversedge-based AS Fabrications, came armed with a list of all things his company bought on a monthly basis – and gave his fellow attendees the opportunity to contact him and supply him should they be able to.
Said Mr Lythgo: “Manufacturing is an integral part of the Kirklees economy in terms of well-paid jobs and high-grade skills, innovation and creativity, growing export activity in important markets, leading us out of the recession and all-round current and future wealth creation for the area.
“Kirklees Council is fully committed to helping its manufacturers make the best of local supply chain opportunities.”
Kirklees Summit is sponsored by Kirklees Council, Fantastic Media, Ramsdens Solicitors, Kirklees Grantmakers’ Alliance and CKMA.
Sinead Sopala, marketing manager of Ramsdens, said: “We are delighted that so many businesses took the opportunity to attend the summit and I’m confident that more will take the opportunity to talk directly to each other following the event.
“The importance of events such as the Business Summit in providing a forum for local businesses to meet, exchange information and experience and also learn of assistance which may be appropriate for their own circumstances, cannot be underestimated.”
Kirklees Business Summit is run quarterly throughout the year and works on an “invitation only” basis.
It runs as a panel question and answer session and is held in the Fantastic Media Suite at the Galpharm Stadium.
Go to www.kirklees-summit.co.uk