Winners’ Words: The Manufacturer of the Year Awards 2011

Posted on 14 Nov 2011

The Manufacturer of the Year Awards was widely acknowledged to be the best awards yet, with accolades going out to thirteen delighted winners in categories designed to celebrate the best of UK manufacturing. Following an inspirational opening speech by United Nations hero during the Bosnian conflict Col Bob Stewart (above), the awards kicked off in glorious style. After giving the jubilant winners a few days to recover, TM revisits the event…


Manufacturer of the Year Award, sponsored by RBS – Cosworth Group

Rik Tremmink, Cosworth Group

Rik Temmink, chief marketing officer at Cosworth Group said: “The awards recognise our successful transition from a motorsports company to a diversified business with a high value-added manufacturing capability that can compete with the best.”

“By combining Cosworth’s world-renowned intellectual property in high-performance engines and electronics with our rapid end-to-end engineering and manufacturing approach, we are able to punch above our weight, even in large markets such as Aerospace, Automotive and Defence – both in the UK and in export markets including the US, Russia and India,” he added.

New Holland Agriculture, part of CNH UK managed to claim 2nd place runner-up, whilst Muntons claimed 3rd spot.


Operations and Maintenance Award – PZ Cussons, UK

Clare Moss, Factory Manager, and Dave Lawson, CI Manager, of PZ Cussons

“The factory team at PZ Cussons (UK) were delighted to have won the award for Operations and Maintenance at the Manufacturer Awards 2011,” said Clare Moss (left), factory manager. “The awards evening was fantastic, the venue was superb and the speakers inspirational. It was great to receive an award that recognises the efforts by all of our employees over the past couple of years.”

“The team have achieved sustained production efficiency improvements through a clear focus on overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). The judges felt that PZ Cussons had demonstrated how these improvements were directly linked to a significant increase in capacity for the business, whilst mitigating increased commodity costs.”

 Leadership and Strategy – JJ Churchill Engineering

Andrew Churchill (left) of JJ Churchill Engineering with Zurich's Phil Moore

JJ Churchill is a precision engineering company in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, with a long history of manufacturing precision parts such as compressor fan blades for the aerospace and defence sectors. After a tough recession, the company is on a strong growth curve and is moving into power generation and other applications and is looking to expand abroad.

“Without doubt the award is highly valued by JJC, and I’d pick two different constituencies to illustrate this,” says managing director Andrew Churchill. “The first are our employees, the majority of whom are not out-and-about like me, and the opportunity for them to see that in its broadest sense, our work is be recognised and valued externally is hugely powerful.  Whilst not explicitly endorsing the strategic direction of the business, a ‘thumbs-up’ for the rigorous process we use to develop the strategic plan is also valued by our customers – the second constituency.

Over the coming weeks we will be writing to all of our customers to let them know of the award and will be up-dating our website – so yes, there’s tremendous marketing and promotional opportunity.”

Young Manufacturer of the Year Award, sponsored by Epicor – Joe Miller, Drallim Industries

Joe Miller, Drallim Industries

“Initially, when they called out my name, I was just in shock,” said Joe Miller at Drallim Industries. “When you look at the size of the companies the other nominations work for, I was surprised to win! It just goes to show that it’s not how big the company is, it’s what you achieve.”

Asked how he thought he had impressed the judges, Miller responded: “I think I impressed them with the diversity of products I work on for my age. I believe the judges also recognised my personal development from starting the company as a young apprentice to now managing projects and teams in a middle management position.”


IT in Manufacturing Award – Fairfax Meadow

Fairfax Meadow managed to pick up the award for best IT in Manufacturing 2011. The entry covered Fairfax’s project to replace an aging bespoke business system with a modern ERP system. Their IT manager Tony Carlisle put together the entry, the win delighting both himself and the rest of the company: “We are delighted to win as it is a very important award, given by a prestigious magazine. It was very much a team effort so I would like to congratulate all the team. The event was attended by a lot of high level manufacturing companies, making for a great evening.”


Sustainable Manufacturing Award, sponsored by Siemens – Muntons

Melissa Abbott, Muntons

One person who left the awards delighted was Melissa Abbott, supply chain value specialist at Muntons. Muntons won the award for Sustainable Manufacturing as well as finishing in third place for the highly prized award of Manufacturer of the Year.

Abbott was delighted for the company, commenting: “It was a great night! The event was superb and we are very pleased to win the award for Sustainable Manufacturing as Muntons takes great pride in the local community and the surrounding environment.”



Innovation and Design – G’ Marketing – G’s Beetroot

Steve West (left), G's Beetroot

It may seem odd for G’s Marketing to nominated its Beetroot division for an award that recognises design and innovation. But by winning, G’s Beetroot has proved that you don’t need to be a high tech engineering firm to be thoroughly innovative.

“Individually and speaking for the group, I’m delighted to win this award,” says group finance director Steve West.”It’s remarkable what we’re doing here, and this will be very valuable for taking forward more process ideas and recipes.”

Each of the processing, packaging and marketing stages of the business proved innovative to the judges. The company’s factory has been redesigned for better flow and uses a lot of automation. In marketing, G’s has developed a unique identity for each of the Big Four supermarkets for what is in effective the same product – Tesco, for example, brands the beetroot Sweetfire. For Marks & Spencer, G’s has developed a plastic pickle jar in the UK. Developed by G’s, the plastic is clear and “looks as good as glass,” says Mr West. “It has a longer life than glass because customers tend to keep it in the fridge, not the cupboard.”

“We are especially delighted because we saw names like Rolls-Royce and Ricardo (Highly Commended) on the shortlist, who must spend millions on R&D.”


World Class Manufacturing Award, sponsored by Newton – New Holland Agriculture

Colin Larkin, New Holland Agriculture

Colin Larkin, plant manager of New Holland Agriculture, a division of CNH the global agriculture machinery manufacturers, was keen to share the accolade with all his team. “Not only was winning the three awards an honour and a delight for myself and the other twenty people who attended the gala dinner, these awards also give great credit to all of the people in my plant.”

“It is a daily business in CNH to strive towards World Class Manufacturing in all areas of the business. These awards are a summation of the energy, effort and effectiveness that the whole team deliver,” he said.

The most successful company on the night, New Holland Agriculture also won the award for Manufacturing in Action and collected 2nd place for the Manufacturer of the Year award, sponsored by RBS. Speaking about their multiple successes, Mr Larkin continued: “Not only was the winning of the three awards an honour and a delight for me and the other twenty people who attended the gala dinner, the awards also give great credit to all of the people in my plant.”


Supply Chain Excellence Award – Cinch Connectors

Craig Pickles, Cinch Connectors

Craig Pickles, continuous improvement manager from Cinch Connectors commented: “Winning the award is a great success for Cinch Connectors Ltd. This was our first time entering and it benchmarks our progress over the last five years. To be crowned winners shows the dedication and passion by all the employees at Cinch. The appreciation by industry that we are doing the right things shows that we are going in the right direction, but this is just a stepping stone to greater achievements in the future.

Pickles attended the awards himself and said of the event: “All the team who attended felt that it was a well-run event and a very enjoyable evening.”


At The Manufacturer we are delighted with how the awards went and look forward to trying to beat this year’s achievements in 2012! We are proud to be able to continually recognize and reward companies who contribute so much to UK manufacturing.


Tom Moore