Commitment to quality and a spirit of co-operation with customers and suppliers - these are just two recurring themes among previous Best Factory winners. This year's are no exception but they have a few ingredients of their own.
What makes for excellence in a manufacturing plant? Every factory on this year's short list has its own ways of excelling, and it's to be hoped that different lessons will emerge from the profiles of the award-winners that appear in the following pages. Some of the winners seek excellence through empowerment or dedication to continuous improvement, others apply rigorous quality control and ruthlessly exploit their mastery over particular manufacturing technologies. But it's inevitable that many factors which contribute significantly to manufacturing excellence should recur from year to year: a first-rate management team, demanding customers, a commitment to quality, a spirit of co-operation with customers and suppliers, a willingness to benchmark, the avoidance of 'initiative overload'.