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The Best Manufacturing Plants in America: What They Have in Common

Industry Week ran a recent article on the best manufacturing operations in the U.S.

IW says that these operations have the following traits in common…

  • They pursue excellence on multiple fronts.
  • They use technology wisely. They engage in software and hardware upgrades to accomplish specific tasks – and they make sure of the ROI on their investments.
  • They rely on the wisdom of an engaged workforce. Workers who care about and “own” their jobs are vastly more productive and innovative.
  • They have leaders who do the right things, not simply say the right things. They understand that true leadership permeates their organizations.
  • They engage with their suppliers and customers to drive gains up and down the value chain.
  • They constantly pursue improvement opportunities.

Some manufacturers elevated their game in other ways. E-Z-GO’s 672,047 plant in Augusta, Georgia focused on lean manufacturing principles to increase profitability and bring back outsourced jobs. It worked hard on a “make vs. buy” analysis when it came to parts and components. This ability stemmed from its employees commitment to making its fabrication department more effective. General Cable Corporation, with 276 employees and 198,000 square feet, succeeded by pursuing new markets, new technologies, self-directed work teams, lean manufacturing, and an emphasis on safety.

Anyone in manufacturing understands the challenges in today’s tough environment. These operations may offer insights on things you can try in your own plant.

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Scott Stone is a 23-year veteran of the material handling industry.