SMEFocus celebrates landmark 100th programme

Saturday 20 August 2022, 5:04 AM

13 Minute Read

Two years ago, a number of British manufacturers approached MTD and Jefferson asking us to devise a programme specifically tailored for SMEs. We had a wide range of programming at the time and whilst we endeavoured to promote and celebrate British SMEs as part of this output, we readily agreed that the ‘community’ warranted its own programme.

The SMEFocus show was born and this weekend the 100th episode will air.

From the outset, we wanted the new show to be ‘for manufacturers, by manufacturers’ and as such approached Christopher Greenough, Chief Commercial Officer of Shrewsbury-based SDE Technology – one of the leading manufacturers of pressings and assemblies in the UK.

Chris has championed the British manufacturing sector for more than two decades, particularly SMEs, and we were delighted when he agreed to help devise, and ultimately present, the new show.

Over the last two years, Chris has made the show his own and is affectionately known as ‘Mr Saturday Morning’ as this is when SMEFocus is broadcast. The show has been a huge hit since it started and the audience has continually grown.

Commenting on the 100 episode milestone, Joe Reynolds. Managing Director of MTDCNC, said:

“The audience continues to grow every week and this is a credit to Chris and the guests that appear on the show.  The diversity of Chris’s guests every week provides the listener with completely new insight from different pockets of the industry, educating and engaging the audience week after week. The variety of guests on the show not only varies by company and industry sector but also by the guest speakers’ role within their business – bringing true diversity to the show. With the MTDMFG platform soon to be integrated into the main MTDCNC website, the audience for Chris’s show can only continue to grow. Congratulations Chris on reaching this landmark.”

Stuart Whitehead, founder of Jefferson and co-founder of the FactoryNOW initiative, added:

“Congratulations Chris! The vast majority of the 2.5 million people employed in the UK’s manufacturing sector work for smaller firms. Often unheralded, SMEs make a huge contribution to the economy and your great show certainly gives them an unrivalled platform.”

From the beginning, the show has attracted a wide range of prestigious names and influencers from the manufacturing and engineering sectors. The guests were eager to pay homage to both the SMEFocus programme and its venerable host, Chris Greenough:

Philippa Glover – MD at CNC Robotics: “What I love is the most is the variety of people and business you seem to capture. A true celebration of UK manufacturing. I have learned about so many wonderful businesses I didn’t even know existed. Now let’s add another 0 to that number.”

Tom Mongan – President at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce: “A truly fantastic way for people involved in manufacturing to showcase themselves and their companies. Chris presents in such a way that makes the guest feel comfortable and relaxed. And of course, his knowledge of all things manufacturing is extremely useful.”

Jason Aldridge – MO of Arrowsmith Engineering: “I think it is an excellent platform to promote local SME’s. It is an independent production and not promoting itself or earning from it – just promoting midlands industry – which I trust far more than some other forums with other motivations. Very professional but not too slick – so very watchable.”

Liam Conway – Energy Expert at Control Energy Costs: “SMEFocus was great, it gave us the opportunity to get in front of some of our key sectors. It’s a very ‘real’ production, as they say by manufacturers for manufacturers.”

Jeff Beecham – Recruiter: “I enjoyed being a guest on #SMEFocus. It’s a brilliant show that highlights UK manufacturing and the backbone of our economy – SMEs”.

Katy Davies – MD at CamdenBoss: “Chris is such an ardent supporter of the sector, and the SME Focus show is a perfect example of the amazing spotlight he places on manufacturers. I had the honour of being interviewed by Chris about a year ago, and I remember being so incredibly nervous, but what actually unfolded was a brilliantly engaging, genuine chat about all things manufacturing, what we’re doing at Camden and our general passion for the industry!

“We had such lovely feedback following the show, and it was such a great platform (especially during the pandemic) for us to give people an insight into who we are and what we believe – particularly as I was new in role and the feedback we received was that it was a great way to get to ‘meet’ the team! My most sincere and huge thanks to Chris for all he does to support the sector, and here’s to hundreds more engaging insights to come.”

Anita Davenport-Brooks – Group HR Manager at Lander Automotive: “I found both experiences of the recordings very relaxed yet focused on important topics.  Feedback from others that have listened to the recordings have been really good, positive and interested in learning more.”

Rowan Crozier –CEO, Brandauer: “Interview process was easy and well managed. Output was positive and supported #ukmfg, both a must in the current environment. Views and feedback from appearance were all positive and increased traffic to our website and/or social media accounts.”

Paola Dyboski – Founder, Dr Zigs: “Here at Dr Zigs we are a great fan of SME Focus.  How fantastic to have a program that talks to and about us!  It is easy to get lost in the day to day of running a Small Business, and SME focus really reminds us that we are part of a great community – inspiring best practice, innovation and entrepreneurship.  We’ve loved being a part of this!”

Andrea Wilson – Director, Hone All Precision: “The SME focus show is a fantastic series enabling brilliant people to speak about the businesses they love, and the industries they serve and helps raise awareness not just of the business who contribute, but also the Manufacturing sector as a whole.

“It was an honour to be invited on the show, and it was surprisingly easy to appear, as Chris ensures everything is so informal and relaxed. The feedback from appearing has always been positive and I love seeing others speak about what they love and are passionate about as it gives us all an insight into other SMEs and their joys, passions and challenges.”

Kevin Simpson – Co-founder, Meryl Fabrics – “I was super happy to be invited to be a guest on the SMEFocus show. To allow us to showcase our business and product to such an interested audience was tremendous, we had some terrific interest surrounding our episode both before and after broadcast.

“SMEs are such a large contributor to the country’s economic landscape and SMEFocus brings some of these businesses into the spotlight.  It’s a crowded and loud world and to offer such platforms for SMEs to use their voice is both commendable and useful.  We all work hard to bring new product innovations to market and the team at SMEFocus do a great job at promoting these businesses, supporting jobs, boosting the economy, and offering unique experiences. Keep up the good work.”

Les Gill – TaBA Associates: “This is a great forum for spotlighting some really interesting people. It has given me insight in to areas which I wouldn’t have come across in my day to day work. Just goes to show how important it is to keep going with showcasing our manufacturing industry.

“As we emerge from the difficulties of the impact of COVID we are now faced with the realities that buying from off shore companies can seriously and adversely affect our carbon footprint. Not only must we champion the great and the emerging technologies on our doorstep, but also highlight the provenience of the supply chain. This is educating us all as consumers to make wiser purchases.”

Gill Jakes – Director, Bosworth Plastics: “I thought you were a great interviewer and made me feel at ease.  I was worried if you were going to ask questions that were above my head leaving me unable to answer but fortunately that was not the case.  I do enjoy watching the show and you have some interesting guests, hope there are many more to come.”

Rebecca Galley – Managing Director, Hydroscand: “Congratulations on making 100 shows! I had feedback from a few people about the show and that they enjoyed it and found it insightful. Personally, I think your consistent enthusiasm for representing both the manufacturing sector and SMEs is outstanding.”

Sam Baynham – Managing Director, Conex Portal: “A brilliant show, digging deep and showcasing all that UK manufacturing has to offer, from all sizes of business. Pleasure to be a part of and Chris is a great host, knows the exact questions to ask to get the best out of the business in question. We need more open discussion shows like this for UK manufacturing!”

Kirsty Davies-Chinnock – Managing Director, Professional Polishing: “I admit I haven’t watched all of the shows but I have watched a fair few – I tend to see the tweet on a Saturday morning which is ideal to watch with a coffee, and it has been really interesting to see the variety of SME’s that you have featured. All too often we stay in our lanes within our industries and the ones I have enjoyed most have been the shows covering companies in areas I have little knowledge of – every day’s a school day!

“When you asked us to feature I was really pleased to be asked as although we are the market leader in the service we provide, we are very much an SME and the bigger more glamorous companies tend to take the spotlight rather than companies such as ourselves. I think it’s really important to foster a positive focus on the great strides UK SME’s are taking in the manufacturing industry and you have been instrumental in delivering a great series doing just this. We had some great feedback following our episode with various people contacting us to say how much the conversation between you and I resonated, as it was mid-covid at the time.“

Charlotte Horobin – Make UK: “It has been a pleasure to personally record a show for SMEFocus but also to enable so many Make UK members to take part and showcase their products, their people and what they’re passionate about. UK manufacturing deserves a spotlight to raise awareness of the world-class products being manufactured and the rewarding careers being fulfilled, SMEFocus does just that!”

With the amalgamation of the MTD channels, the SME Focus Show will soon be available on the main MTDCNC portal – further expanding the reach and audience.

Congratulations Chris from everyone at MTD and Jefferson. Here’s to the next 100!














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