Dura Automotive Body and Glass Systems stole the limelight at The Manufacturer MX Awards 2016, when the firm picked up four awards. Alison Dowd, continuous improvement manager and Martin Dinsley, plant manager talk to TM, describing the firm’s journey to the top.
What does it mean for the team at Dura to win three awards and then be named The Manufacturer of the Year 2016?
We were honestly taken aback by the whole process. We entered to learn more about ourselves and understand what we need to do to improve for the future.
We couldn’t be more delighted to have won all three TMMX Awards and then to receive the overall judges award. It was an amazing experience we will never forget.
How did you find out about the awards and what urged you to enter?
We read about the phenomenal success of Lambert Engineering in 2015, so we contacted them to understand their journey and experience.
After visiting and sharing best practice, Lambert urged us on to see what we could do. We made good friends in the process and we continue to support each other.
What was the most difficult part of the judging process?
Writing our initial reports and answering the questions honestly and transparently was the key for us. The difficulty was trying to not be too self-critical, yet maintaining a positive and professional approach.
The judging days themselves were a great experience; we found the judges to be friendly and professional, and their feedback was warmly welcomed.
What is the secret of your success at this year’s TMMX Awards?
We think our combination of proactive leadership and the involvement of everyone creates a culture of engagement, and we think that shone through for us. At Dura we’re fairly humble and self-critical; always striving to be better in what we do.
We have a large number of engaged people who want to make the business better. Not just a benefit to the bottom line, but in the facilities, the environment and the way we work.
How will you use this success moving forward in the business?
We are keen to not only share best practice with suppliers and competitors, but also to show our current and future customers what we are all about at Dura. UK manufacturing is strong and only getting stronger and we will use these awards to showcase that, while remembering why we did this in the first place.
What would your advice be to a manufacturer thinking of entering the 2017 awards?
Go for it! You have nothing to lose and you will learn a lot about yourselves. Be honest and transparent in what you say and let your culture lead the way. For us, it has been a fantastic adventure that has created a great deal of positivity throughout our business, and that can only be a good thing.