Could do better

Posted on 2 Apr 2011 by The Manufacturer

Manufacturers are thin on the ground among the finalists for the 2011 European Process Excellence Awards as utilities, retail and services take lean principles and operational excellence to their hearts. Jane Gray speculates as to the reasons.

Encouraging though it may be to see strategies and techniques, developed in the manufacturing industry, assist other sectors in battling the effects of recession and finding routes for improvement it is a little disappointing the home sector of operational excellence has made such a limited impact on the short list for the 2011 European Process Excellence Awards.

These prestigious awards, hosted by business events organisation IQPC, have always been open to a broad church of organisations but while they were once dominated by manufacturing organisations, where the use of lean principles, six sigma and other efficiency tools is assumed to be more mature, the often superior sense of customer voice in the service and retail environments has allowed them to leverage extra benefits learning how to manipulate these same tools.

Names like Carphone Warehouse, Procter & Gamble, Lloyds Register and Tesco now frequently top the finalist lists at IQPCs European awards. This is not to say that candidates for recognition from manufacturing sectors are not strong, Sellafiled this year and Shepherd Neame in 2010 give proof that manufacturers, large and small and across sectors are still finding innovative and dynamic ways to improve their performance. Furthermore we cannot blame the low number of manufacturing finalists on unfavourable market factors, indeed PMI statistics show that manufacturing, in the UK but also globally, has been consistently returning results of above 50 for the last 18 months.

Have manufacturing organisations become complacent in their assumed lean maturity and failed to remember the need for continuous improvement? Or is there something intrinsic in service processes which makes it easier to magnify or demonstrate value improvements?

Nominees for the 2011 European Process excellence awards will be present in London all through Profit through Process week which will be taking place at The Brewery, London, April 4-8. The awards ceremony itself will take place on Tuesday April 5.

The full list of award nominees for 2011 is listed below:

Best Project Contributing to Innovation
Capgemini Polska Sp.z o.o.
Carphone Warehouse / Best Buy Europe
Procter & Gamble
Sutherland Global Services

Best Process Improvement Project in Service & Transaction
BP Lubricants
Carphone Warehouse / Best Buy Europe
Network Rail
Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
RS Components UK

Best Lean Transformation
Capgemini Polska Sp.z o.o.
RBS Insurance
Virgin Media

Best BPM Project
Atlantic Industries Ltd
Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd
Schenker Arkas Transport & Trading

Best BPM Programme
Carphone Warehouse / Best Buy Europe
Firstsource Solutions USA LLC

Best BPO Programme
Capgemini Polska Sp.z o.o.
Firstsource Solutions Limited
Intelenet Global Services Pvt. Ltd
Serco Consulting, Serco plc
Sutherland Global Services

Best Start Up Process Improvement Programme
Cable & Wireless
Carphone Warehouse / Best Buy Europe
Kuwait Petroleum International
Sellafield Ltd, Capenhurst Site
Virgin Media

Best Process Improvement Programme
Irish Life Corporate Business
Lloyd’s Register