Last week’s The Manufacturer of the Year Awards 2010 was an occasion for celebration for members of an industry that has shown teak-tough resilience through the downturn and is proving that the sector has a big part to play in a recovering economy.
There are many challenges yet to overcome, but the image of British manufacturing is improving and the government and media are showing a new interest for the sector. These elements suggest there are many reasons to look at the future with hope.
Meanwhile, though, 450 people gathered at the Chesford Grange, in Kenilworth, for the TM Awards 2010 gala dinner and ceremony.
Castle Precision Engineering was crowned the Manufacturer of the Year 2010. Marcus Tiefenbrun, the company’s managing director, said: “We were absolutely delighted to win both the SME and Manufacturer of the Year Awards 2010. These awards are the culmination of many years of effort and recognise the excellence we aspire to. It is a great honour to win these highly prestigious awards, and this year we won in the face of intense competition from some of the best companies in the UK.
“It’s difficult to overstate how important winning this award is. We have been judged to be the very best manufacturer in the whole of the UK. We must thank our customers for the valuable contribution they have made to our advancement as a manufacturer. Their assistance, commitment and partnership have been instrumental in our success. This is a tremendous achievement for Castle and once again a tribute to each and every person working here.”
Motorsport engineering company Xtrac won the 2nd Overall Manufacturer of the Year Award and the Advanced Manufacturing Award. At the ceremony, development director Cliff Hawkins said: “I know I speak for all 247 employees when I say that we’re absolutely delighted to receive these top awards. The judging process now seems remarkably prescient, being completed just a few weeks before we achieved our biggest ever order book level.”
Robert McBride was awarded third place overall as Manufacturer of the Year. Gwyn Thomas, UK supply chain director, commented: “As a first time entrant into the prestigious Manufacturer awards we were absolutely delighted to have come 3rd Overall in such a fiercely competitive arena – as this reflects the hard work that has already been undertaken by our company and the journey that we are on in terms of Manufacturing Best Practice and Operational Excellence.”
The company also won the Leadership and Strategy Award and the Design and Innovation Award.
Richard Lloyd, of Constellation Wines Europe and Australia, the business that won the Sustainable Manufacturing Award, said: “Last year we had a bit of trouble getting together a table of ten for the ceremony. It was hard to persuade people to take the time to come – this year there were 50 people shouting that they wanted the chance to get a seat. We’ll be back next year for the People and Skills category!”
The Supply Chain and Logistics Award went to Shepherd Neame. The company’s production and distribution director, Tom Falcon, said: “We are extremely proud to have won this Award – it makes a big difference to a company of our size and history and it provides Shepherd Neame with the recognition I feel it deserves. To transform the supply chain and improve our customer service we have had to make very significant changes at Shepherd Neame.
“These have not only challenged our people, processes and structures, but also our culture and our traditional viewpoints. It was a wonderful ceremony and a reflection of the spirit and importance of the Awards. It was also a well-deserved celebration for so much fantastic work across the UK’s manufacturing industry.”
Joy Mining Machinery won the World Class Manufacturing Award. The company’s operations manager, Paul Burton, commented: “This very prestigious award is a great endorsement of the significant effort and progress made to date at the Joy facility in Worcester. As a team, we are taking the company forward and we should all be very proud. We need to use this in the challenges we have to face going forward and use it as a springboard to really kick on with our Operational Excellence program. We also acknowledge the support and leadership given by the Joy Eurasia board and corporate leaders in the US.”