A round-up of the winners and reactions from all those who won big at The Manufacturer MX Awards 2017, the only peer-reviewed and judged programme of its kind in the UK.
The Manufacturer MX Awards 2017 – Manufacturer of the Year
Sponsored by Santander
“I have to say this was an immense year for us, we really put the pedal down and we hammered very hard. To get this kind of premium award just makes all those long days and hard nights worth it.
“I can’t wait to take this back and show the guys what they’ve done and how they have been recognised. It’ll be a massive motivational boost and we’re going to push on and make that bar even higher for next year. I couldn’t be happier – this is the one.”
Alan Foster, Executive Director, McLaren Automotive
Manufacturer of the Year Runner Up – sponsored by Meggitt Plc
“It really is a fantastic achievement. It’s great recognition for what we’ve achieved as a team in the UK. It’s a hard business that we’re in – automotive – and to win the award tonight is a fantastic achievement for the guys and what they do on a daily basis.”
Steve Shinton, Quality Manager and Adrian Chell, Plant Director, ZF Lemforder UK
Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Meggitt Plc
Kodi Gledhill (Coca-Cola European Partners)
Citation: Sam da Rosa (Ford Motor Company)
“I can’t explain what winning this award means, it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s such a prestigious award. To be recognised in a place like this and as a woman in manufacturing at such a young age.
“I think it will mean a lot for my career. I have learned a lot through the judging process, going to the interview in London and obviously coming here tonight and meeting people is absolutely brilliant and it’s taught me a lot about what I need to do in the future and the people I need to be working with in order to progress.”
Customer Focus – sponsored by A.T. Kearney
PP Control & Automation
“I think in terms of all of the categories tonight the one we really wanted was Customer Focus. If there is one thing that epitomises our business, it’s our dedication to our customers. This award isn’t just for us; it’s for our customers and our entire supply chain.
“It’s hard to say what it will mean, but it recognises all the effort of the whole staff, the commitment from all the business and it really reinforces everything about our company – our culture and our ethos.
“We have previously entered lots of other awards, but this is a great process in terms of benchmarking, finding out where you are, so it’s a no-lose situation. You get out what you put into it – so go for it.”
Tony Hague, Managing Director, PP Control & Automation
Leadership & Strategy – sponsored by Columbus
Jaguar Land Rover
“I think it’s a fantastic accolade for Jaguar Land Rover. It’s been a great process for us in terms of being part of the competition. We have got a lot out of it, and it’s a great reward for our organisation after all the hard work.
“For those thinking of entering in 2018, I’d say you have to be competitive – it’s a lot of hard work in terms of the application, but at the same time you get a lot out of it. There is a lot of helpful support and the benefits go beyond the awards itself.”
Mark Wilson, Head of HR, Jaguar Land Rover Solihull Operations
Highly Commended: Lander Automotive
Innovation & Design – sponsored by Autodesk
“We come here year after year, and it is just fantastic to win the prize. We make so much effort to interact from design to manufacturing – this means something special to McLaren Automotive.
“It’s a key for us to make sure we work together as a team in design and manufacturing. This award says we’re heading in the right direction.
Phil Mockford, Programme Director, McLaren Automotive
Manufacturing in Action
IMI Precision Engineering
“It’s a massive, massive achievement for us. I think we have totally deserved this for all the work we have done over the past four years; transforming the manufacturing facilities and this is a really good recognition of that work.
“I think this is part of a bigger picture for us, we have a very strong five-year strategy and this is a stepping stone to make sure we are on track to deliver that. This is recognition to keep us doing all the right things.
“For those thinking of entering in 2018, I’d say just do it. Honestly, do it, we were unsure if i am honest if we were ready, but you don’t have to be the finished article, you just have to be a step forward and this confirms that you’re on the right track.”
Charles Bamford, Plant Director, IMI Precision Engineering
Manufacturing Services – sponsored by Institute for Manufacturing (IfM)
“To be honest, I am absolutely speechless. It’s a testament to all my staff and my wife that we have actually managed to do this. As you can see, I am a bit lost for words. Being British today, and being in manufacturing – it’s trying times, but I think it’s just great that there’s an institute of wonderful people to make this industry great.”
Darren Smith, Managing Director, Agrimech
Partnership with Education – sponsored by Innovate UK
“We are incredibly excited with this award. After all, it is about our future and working with our community and all the schools in our area gives us the chance to develop our business.
“It’s a chance for us to bring in the right skillset and begin to help the youth in our area to be in manufacturing. At the end of the day, entering these programmes is a chance for us to see how we stack up against the rest of the industry and we want to do our part and do the things to be the leader. Just enter the category, get the feedback and find out how you’re doing.”
Bryan Sitko, Managing Director, Leyland Trucks
Smart Factory – sponsored by Siemens
“This whole atmosphere around the The Manufacturer MX Awards, to be recognised by your own peer group as having something special reinforces that we have really set a new standard in manufacturing.
“We are relentless in our pursuit of excellence, so we will push to the next level and when we’ve reached another level this year we’ll go to another level next year. We have announced another factory in Sheffield, so the plan is to continue to grow manufacturing in the UK.
“For those thinking of entering in 2018, I’d say study hard and prepare well; the judges gave us a good ride this year. They asked some really deep searching questions that made us look at what we do internally.”
Alan Foster, Executive Director, McLaren Automotive
People & Skills – sponsored by LCR 4.0
“This is for the people back home at Dura in Birmingham. We won this for them because we invest in our people, and we passionately believe in bringing our people on and do the very best for them. This one we’re really proud of.
“We’re really embracing the Apprenticeship Levy; we will invest more in our people. We’re going to reach out and say to people, we have won this now two years running, so work with us, we’re passionate about this and we want to develop our people.
“We’d say embrace the levy, understand what is going on, work with the government, work with your people. No matter what you want to do in business; if you’re not investing in your people and their skills then you’re not investing. Work with your people and do the very best you can for them.”
Alison Dowd, Senior CI Manager Europe & Asia, DURA Automotive Systems
Supply Chain Excellence – sponsored by Grant Thornton
Domino Printing Sciences
“It’s just fantastic to be able to recognise all the hard work that everybody makes in the supply chain. Right through the suppliers to the factory to our customers, it’s just an amazing achievement and we’re delighted to receive it.
“It’s called continuous improvement for a reason and we just keep on trying to work with the technologies and improve. It’s a great experience to go through the audit and you learn about yourself. It’s the only way to look and see how you’re doing compared to other companies and the only way to improve.
Carl Haycock, Operations Director, Domino Printing Sciences
Sustainable Manufacturing – sponsored by ThinCats
“This is such a wonderful experience. To be recognised for doing good work, as a company that actually makes a difference in the world – we are so pleased. It’s amazing and we are so delighted.
“For us, it made us think about what we’re like and where we could be better. It is a good challenge to appreciate where you are and what you can do, so for me the experience of entering is very, very good.
Adrian Marks, Site Manager, Interface
World Class Manufacturing – sponsored by SAP
“It means a lot to the company to be honest; it comes at a great time. We have put a lot of effort into training our people. We have built most of our systems internally and what we have managed to do is blend everything together from the shop floor to the offices.
“We deliver great products using innovative in-house design and lean methodologies from design through to manufacture – all to satisfy our customers. It is really important our customers understand this and it’s great to get this award today.
“For those thinking of entering in 2018, you have to stretch yourself, you might not reach your full goal but if you really stretch yourself and you get 90% of the way there then you’ve done really well and still moved forwards as a business. It’s important to keep moving, if you don’t move you’ll fall behind.”
Oli Lebrun, Engineering Manager, Dura Automotive
Young Manufacturer of the Year – sponsored by Sage
Thomas d’Arcy (Rolls-Royce)
“While there was never any doubt that I wanted to be involved in the very best of British manufacturing, this award has certainly justified and confirmed my choice. I would just like to thank all my colleagues and mentors at Rolls-Royce.
“It’s a recognition of how much I have developed in my three years at Rolls-Royce and it’s a springboard to go further – enabling me to have new opportunities with my company.