Each year IndustryWeek seeks out the best manufacturing plants across North America, facilities that are on the leading edge of efforts to increase competitiveness, enhance customer satisfaction, and create stimulating and rewarding work environments. Its further goal is to encourage other manufacturing managers and work teams to emulate the honorees by adopting world-class practices, technologies, and improvement strategies.
We call this annual search the IW Best Plants Awards competition, and our 2020 effort to locate and recognize such stellar facilities is underway. You can download an entry form here.
What do we look for in an IW Best Plants Award winner? Among the qualities we seek are:
- A comprehensive effort to achieve world-class manufacturing capability.
- Management practices geared to motivating achievement of breakthroughs in operating performance and customer satisfaction, as well as cultivating continuous improvement.
- Strong quality systems and results, including evidence of low defect rates and good process-control capability.
- Extensive employee involvement and empowerment programs, especially efforts to create and provide training for high-performance work teams.
- A strong customer focus, including formal customer-satisfaction programs, customer involvement in product design, employee contact with customers, and efforts to reduce customer leadtimes.
- Effective supplier-partnership programs, including efforts to solicit supplier evaluations of plant practices.
- Appropriate use of technology, as required by changing business needs.
- Flexible and/or agile production systems capable of responding quickly to customer needs and shifts in the marketplace.
Does your manufacturing plant have what it takes? Is now the time to participate? Get an entry form and review its requirements. (Downloading an application does not commit you to participating.)
Candidates for IndustryWeek's 2020 North American Best Plants competition must:
- Be a single manufacturing plant or a combination of related facilities within a specific geographic location (not to exceed a 25-mile distance from plant to plant) and under the direction of a single management team. To qualify as a manufacturing facility, the plant's output should be a physical product representing value-added.
- Have completed at least three years of operation as of January 1, 2020. Plant startup on or before January 1, 2017.
- Be located within the United States or its territories, Mexico, or Canada. Eligibility is not limited to plants owned by U.S.-based parent companies.
- Not have been honored as an IW Best Plants in the previous two years.
Due to challenges related to the coronavirus crisis, the deadline to return completed 2020 entry forms has been extended to August 15.