Have I mentioned the 2013 IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards competition? It's IndustryWeek's annual salute to North American manufacturing excellence, and I am the coordinator of the competition.
The 2013 entry forms have recently become available, which is why I mention it now.
I encourage you to participate if you have a manufacturing facility that is doing the right things right and which also has the performance metrics to prove it -- metrics like stellar on time delivery, high first pass yield, improvements to manufacturing cycle time, reductions in scrap and rework, improving safety, and more.
From just that short list of metrics, you can probably tell that the IW Best Plants competition looks for comprehensive excellence, not simply excellence in one area. A great first pass yield, for example, is no great shakes if employees are getting injured right and left. Paring down your inventory is laudable, but not if it means that your on-time delivery has taken a dive.
We look for manufacturing plants that are doing well in many areas and also show continuing improvement. That means they don't rest on their laurels. That means they have leaders who lead, a workforce who deliver and implement ideas that drive better outcomes, and a supply chain that works as partners to benefit the whole.
Is that you?
If you think it may be, then download an application and look it over. Even if you determine that now is not the time, a review of the entry form may prompt some improvement ideas. That's good for you and good for North American manufacturing.
I'd also urge you to look over the stories we wrote about the 2012 IW Best Plants winners in our January 2013 print issue and also here online. The 2012 IW Best Plants did not hesitate to share the practices that prompted their great performances. That sharing is a trait of all IW Best Plants winners going back to 1990, when the first awards competition was held.
Next month we will be presenting the 2012 IW Best Plants award winners with their trophies at the 2013 IW Best Plants conference. We call the award the "Pinnacle" award because it represents the highest levels of achievement in North American manufacturing.
It has been our pleasure and an honor to present these awards to manufacturers across North America -- and to share their stories with you.
We'd like the next story we share to be yours.