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Strathclyde Business School

MBA industry visit provides useful learning

By Sumit Thakur - Posted on 23 May 2024

MBA student Sumit Thakur recently undertook a class visit to NMIS where he saw manufacturing and innovation come together.  

If anything in this world is constant, it is change. The world evolved from being isolated to globalized. We invented everything from the wheel to bread to sticky notes and now we are working on sending humans to Mars! Some seemingly impossible dreams are now a reality. One of the major players in this was the East, where labour was cheap. We generalised the world in three different parts: the East, for manufacturing and outsourcing; the West for innovation and revolution; meanwhile, Europe (apart from a few countries) grew on the financial side of things, being a catalyst to this evolution. But the inevitable change happened when the world was brought to a halt by the Coronavirus in 2020. The world realised its overdependence on the East for manufacturing had led them to slip away from manufacturing both culturally and capability wise.  

The University of Strathclyde focuses on 'useful learning' but there is only so much we can do cocooned within the four walls of a classroom. To walk the talk, we often visit various industries. The most recent one was a visit to the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) which is under the operation of University of Strathclyde.  

NMIS has a wide range of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. Supported by the government, they also run as a business, working with various companies of different sizes and domains. They aim to boost the economy by increasing productivity, creating jobs in manufacturing, attracting talents, and training them whilst supporting and working towards net-zero goals. Think of it as a research base for companies. If you have a product that you’d want to test and improve its efficiency, NMIS could do that.  

One of the core motivations behind this visit was for us to see where the next innovation is potentially coming from. We saw some red-hot projects being undertaken - sorry we weren’t allowed to take pictures for confidentiality reasons! We saw different machines and gadgets from titanium material being used to print parts of a ship and VR impacting a manufacturing line. We recently wrapped up Operations and Project Management as we saw how minute changes could have a direct impact on revenue. NMIS had systems in place for managers to optimise their operations.  

This was an epitome of a Centre of Excellence. A place where researcher, industry and public sector could work together. It is being seen as a massive step in Scotland’s economy of the future which also carries the tradition of manufacturing in the country. A place where major ships were built now embarks on a journey to lead the world towards the next change in manufacturing and with the intention to carry with them the present and the future pool of talent. 

Huge thanks go to the MBA team at Strathclyde Business School for arranging this visit. Just like in the other industry visits we have done, I hope everyone was able to co-relate things we saw and learnt, with the modules we have studied so far. Looking forward to more such trips! 

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