The Best Factory Awards are now in their seventh year and it's time for companies to start thinking about entering.
The Best Factory awards are organised in conjunction with Cranfield School of Management at Cranfield University and aim to encourage world-class standards of manufacturing excellence in British industry.
Entry to the awards costs nothing and is open to any manufacturing plant in the UK, regardless of sector, ownership, or technology: excellence is excellence. The only stipulations are that the plant is a self-contained business unit making tangible products in its own facilities.
Prospective entrants should be readying themselves to carry out an internal audit and should contact Cranfield (see end of piece) without further delay for an audit form - a comprehensive questionnaire which examines key areas such as lead times, delivery flexibility, efficiency, inventory, and productivity. Forms must be returned by early April. The form is, naturally, completely confidential and each factory will receive a comprehensive benchmarking report comparing its performance to that of its (anonymous) peer group.
Those which stand out in the benchmarking will be invited to go on to the next stage which involves a day-long visit to the plants by the judging panel, chaired by Colin New, professor of manufacturing strategy at Cranfield School of Management. After the visits, the judges retire to consider their decisions. These will be announced in late October at London's Savoy Hotel.
As in previous years all winners will receive extensive coverage in the November issue of Management Today. Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to our sponsors, Excel Logistics, International Factors and Siemens Business Systems for their generous support.
For further information regarding the Best Factory Awards please contact either: the Awards co-ordinator, Cranfield School of Management, tel: 01234 751122, fax: 01234 751806; or Nicki Brooks, senior events manager, tel: 0171 413 4161, fax: 0171 413 4331; or visit the Best Factories web site at http://www.bestfactories.haynet.com.
TIMETABLE AND PROCEDURE
Closing date for entry to the Best Factory Awards
Selection of finalists
The selected factories receive one-day visits from the judges.
Preparation of individual company comparative reports
Selection of award winners.
Comparative assessment reports distributed to all participating plants
Best Factory Awards lunch and announcement of winners at London's Savoy Hotel.