The naming of Van den Bergh Foods at Purfleet as Britain's Best Factory on 31 October (see p66 for the report on this year's competition) concluded Management Today's 1996 Awards. But both the Management Today Best Factory Awards, presented in association with Cranfield School of Management, and the Management Today Unisys Service Excellence Awards are more than annual competitions to find Britain's best in the fields of manufacturing and service. A web site, a well-established conference and a special report on The Making of Britain's Best Factories are all part of the Best Factory Awards; and the first Service Excellence conference takes place later this month.
Information on the Web
Management Today has an interactive Internet site providing information on Britain's best factories and case studies of winners from the past three years. It also offers the latest report, The Making of Britain's Best Factories, and incorporates information on the DTI's Inside UK Enterprise Scheme, allowing users to find factories willing to arrange site visits. The Management Today Best Factory Awards site can be accessed on http:/www.bestfactories.co.uk.
Best Factory Conference 1996
The third annual Best Factory Conference, presented by Management Today in association with Cranfield University School of Management, was held for the second year at the National Motorcycle Museum in Bickenhill, West Midlands, on 30 September and 1 October. This was the biggest conference yet and over 200 delegates learned from presentations given by winners of the 1995 Best Factory Awards. These included contributions from Toshiba Consumer Products, NCR (Scotland), Shell Oils, Honeywell Control Systems, and Merck Sharp and Dohme.
Chaired by Cranfield's Professor Colin New, companies described the techniques, tactics and methodologies which most impressed the judges and which brought them their awards. High points of the conference, according to delegates, included 'Changes in Factory Layout and Organisation' by a team from Bonas Machine Company led by MD Jeffrey Gosling; 'Cell Design and Operation, Integrating Suppliers, Policy Deployment and Impacts on People' by Honeywell Control Systems; and 'Continuous Improvement, Customer Focused Cells and Plant Organisation', by Colin Sarson, operations director of WH Smith & Sons (Tools).
The Making of Britain's Best Factories
A special report called The Making of Britain's Best Factories, published by Management Today and Business Intelligence, is now available. The report draws on data collected during the past three years' Best Factory Awards. With its in-depth case studies and over 40 tables of comparative performance data, the report constitutes a unique and invaluable benchmarking tool.
The Making of Britain's Best Factories is available from Business Intelligence, Forum House, 1 Graham Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 3SW; tel: 0181-544 1830; fax: 0181-544 9020.
1996 - and 1997
Finalists in the 1996 Service Excellence Awards will shortly attend the Service Excellence Conference, to be held at Unisys International Management Centre, Nice, on 25-27 November, at which the winning companies will share their knowledge and experience.
Preparations for next year's Service Excellence Awards are under way.
Enquiries relating to the Awards should be addressed to Anthony Locke, Unisys Customer Service Centre, Milton Keynes MK15 0YS; tel 01908 212610.