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Free Automation Consultancy

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If you are thinking about getting professional outside advice for your business, one of the key aspects is ‘how much will it cost?’ With ever tighter budgets and trying to get the very best from your time and money, consultancies might appear to be an expensive route… but that perception would be wrong on a number of counts. As outlined below, experienced automation consultants can provide you with free expert advice and answers to your biggest questions, often in a short period of time.

There are a number of options available from a variety of routes that can provide funding assistance for an automation consultant to help and advise your business. Most are Government funded and look to provide significant financial assistance to enable you to develop your business. Interestingly enough, in most cases this does not mean reams of paperwork and officials wanting to know what you are doing.

To name some schemes as examples:

Manufacturing Advisory Service [MAS] is a Government sponsored scheme which uses skilled, registered automation consultants to deliver assistance to companies at only 50% of the normal cost. There is no catch and it is simple to apply, either directly through MAS and find a local consultant with the right skills or you can use your local consultant to make the application for you. There will be a short visit by MAS to assess your needs and if successful (and most companies are), then agreement to working with your consultant is provided at 50% of the normal cost. It is quick and simple and the potential benefits are significant. www.mymas.org

Automation Advisory Service [AAS] is also a Government run scheme through BIS and operated by the PPMA. Application via their website can often mean a quick decision allowing a consultant to visit and undertake a free review of automation, scale-up or planning. There is no financial commitment or expectation to progress with the outcome of the report; but most companies find it useful to assess where they are in relation to their peers (bench-marking) and have independent advice which is fully confidential. In some cases additional support for up to 4 days can be provided. www.automationadvisoryservice.com

The Engineering Innovation Network South West is a regionally based scheme. It assists smaller businesses and start-ups to plan and develop how they can progress their products and business with discrete, direct assistance and funding for professional assistance. Once again, application is simple and quick, with knowledgeable experts within specific fields to talk things through without any commitment. www.einsw.org.uk

The Technology Strategy Board [TSB] is slightly different in terms of funding. It provides capital funding for larger projects and usually needs a group of companies in collaboration to apply for Government funding. These can be significant sums, from a few hundred thousand pounds to over a million pounds! There are some limitations on this one particularly; it is a lengthy and involved process and applications are detailed and complex. In addition, the collaborative companies involved will need to provide between 40% – 50% of the total amount required, so there is a significant investment and commitment. www.innovateuk.org

This is by no means an exhaustive list. New schemes and opportunities are being created all the time for specific business sectors and areas, along with European funding opportunities too. It takes time to investigate the options and follow them through, but most are reasonably simple and quick to arrange and free consultancy can’t be a bad thing!

You can circumvent some of the application process by discussing this with an automation consultant (provided he is a member of the schemes) and he can make the initial application for you.

Automa8’s automation consultants have worked with more than 50 companies over the last two years, many of whom have gone on to apply some or all of the options recommended to them – this information was provided FREE in nearly every case.

So take the opportunity and make contact to find out if what you have in mind can be funded in part or whole by the schemes available. Contact Automa8 directly for assistance and guidance in progressing your business. Free automation consultancy; why not? enquiries@automa8.co.uk