Achieving operational excellence in the best of times is a challenge. Be it difficult customers with outrageous demands on cost, quality, or delivery – perhaps all three simultaneously – or less-than-reliable suppliers, or internal battles across departments, the struggle is real. In harder times, that challenge is multiplied many times over.
This past year and a half has been far less than ideal for all manufacturers. COVID-19, extreme supply shortages and seriously depleted workforces have tested their mettle like never before. And the ground remains unsteady for many.
It is in this latter environment that IndustryWeek conducted its latest IW Best Plants Awards competition, our annual salute to manufacturing excellence across North America.
Here’s what we learned: Operational excellence endures. Extraordinary manufacturing facilities find ways to do extraordinary things, rise to the occasion and persevere in the midst of chaos. To achieve remarkable manufacturing performances, regardless.
Such manufacturers are peopled with strong leaders and smart employees. They value communication. They embrace teamwork and build tight-knit relationships up and down the value chain. They are problem-solvers and opportunity seekers. They hold tight to continuous improvement.
The IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards winners are such manufacturers, and we applaud them. Without further ado, the 2021 IW Best Plants Awards winners are (in alphabetical order):
Brose Tuscaloosa Inc.
Intertape Polymer Group Inc.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Greenville, North Carolina
“Manufacturing is a tough business, especially today. For many companies, success is measured simply by delivering their products on time and on budget. but that isn't good enough for the 2021 class of IW Best Plants winners,” says Travis Hessman, IndustryWeek editor in chief.
“These plants are driven to achieve excellence in all they do—streamlining production, improving processes, eliminating defects, and empowering their workers to achieve the impossible. They deliver their products on time and on budget, sure, but they do so with world-class metrics in operational efficiency, safety, and a sense of continuous improvement that permeates their entire culture.”
It has been IndustryWeek’s honor to tell the stories of the IW Best Plants Award winners since the awards program launched in 1990 to discover and share exceptional manufacturing performers and performances. The 2021 award winners show comprehensive levels of excellence across a broad range of categories, from employee engagement and leadership to quality and plant-floor operations. Moreover, they’ve demonstrated an ability to sustain and even improve on those achievements.
IndustryWeek will tell the stories of these 2021 IW Best Plants Award winners in our fall print issue, and we will post articles on each individual manufacturing plant online at www.industryweek.com beginning in mid-August.
Learn from them. Be inspired by them. Let their successes fuel your own passion to excel.
IndustryWeek also will celebrate the 2021 IW Best Plants Award winners during an awards ceremony at the 2021 Manufacturing & Technology Conference, which will be held November 9-11 in Cleveland.
We congratulate the 2021 IndustryWeek Best Plants Award winners.
2022 IW Best Plants Competition
The 2022 IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards competition will open soon. You can register to receive notification when the applications are available or to download a previous year’s application (for review purposes only). Registering and downloading an application does not obligate you to enter the competition, but it will show you the breadth of information we request from our IW Best Plants Award winners.