US Lean award introduced to UK

Posted on 31 Oct 2008 by The Manufacturer

The Shingo Prize – dubbed by Business Week as the “Nobel Prize of Manufacturing” – was introduced this week at a launch event held at the House of Commons and hosted by The Manufacturing Institute who will be administering the award in the UK & Ireland.

The philosophy of the Shingo Prize is that world-class performance in quality, cost and delivery can be achieved through the application of lean principles and techniques across the whole business enterprise.

Julie Madigan, CEO of The Manufacturing Institute stated, “In addition to recognising productivity and business success, The Shingo Prize is also viewed as a catalyst for organisational change. As a result it can also act as an enabler for individual career acceleration within those companies.”

An assembly of MPs, lords and ministers, alongside over 100 of the leading figures from UK industry, including Toyota, Heinz, PepsiCo, Airbus, Siemens, Oracle and BT was present in Westminster on Wednesday of this week for the launch where keynote speakers included Frank Hayden, Director of Integrated Operations at BAE Systems, George Baxter, Director of Science and innovation at NWDA and Neville Chamberlin CBE. Attendees included members from the Institute of Directors, Sector skills councils, National Skills Academies as well as those from leading academic backgrounds such as the University of Manchester and the Lean Enterprise Research Centre at Cardiff Business School.

Madigan further commented, “With world leading manufacturers in the UK, such as BAE Systems, we should be celebrating the phenomenal successes of those organisations and encouraging other businesses around the UK to adopt their working practices through the Shingo Prize model.”

Named after one of the key figures involved in the celebrated Toyota Production System, Dr Shigeo Shingo, the Shingo Prize Model and business guidelines provide companies with a blueprint for lean transformation and the attainment of operational excellence driven by deep cultural change. The Shingo Prize is open to enterprises of all kinds whether they are starting their journey or have already embedded lean tools, systems and principles in their organisations and are seeing sustained business success. Companies achieving the highest levels of operational excellence can challenge for the Shingo Prize and must submit a comprehensive report based on their achievements with regards to the Shingo Prize Model and will be subjected to a two to three day company site evaluation visit.

In North America the Shingo Prize is administered by The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University and it is through a collaboration between this organisation and The Manufacturing Institute that it has been introduced here in the UK & Ireland. The event itself was sponsored by the North West Regional Development Agency and BT Global Services.

At the annual UK/US Shingo Summit the first UK Shingo Prize recipients will be recognized at the bronze or silver medallion level or ultimately The Shingo Prize itself. This event will take place at the Hilton hotel in Manchester on June 8-11, 2009.

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