Industrial excellence awards come to the UK
Published:  10 March, 2014

UK companies are invited to showcase excellence in manufacturing via the first UK Industrial Excellence Award competition backed by the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

A prestigious award previously won by companies like BMW, Siemens and Airbus is now open to UK firms who want to be recognised for their excellence in manufacturing and service processing.The Industrial Excellence Awards (IEA) have benchmarked European manufacturing competitiveness since 1995, with previous winners including some of the most stellar names in European manufacturing. Now the awards have found a UK partner in Cambridge Judge Business School and have arrived on these shores to seek out the ‘best of British’ industry.The UK IEAs are championed by Cambridge Judge Dean, Christoph Loch, who was closely involved with them during his time as Professor of Technology Management at French business school, INSEAD (Sep 2006-Aug 2009). Professor Loch said:

“We are delighted to be welcoming the Industrial Excellence Awards to the UK. They have become the pinnacle of manufacturing and service excellence in Europe, but until now, UK companies have not had the chance to show off their expertise by competing for an IEA. UK manufacturing is among the best in the world and I am looking forward to learning more about the high calibre contestants from around the UK who will compete for the first UK IEAs.”

The awards are open to exemplary factories and administrative service centres that have succeeded in creating value, growth and jobs in the UK through excellence in management, total productivity, innovation in products, services and processes, as well as supply chain partnerships.Entrants also need to be able to demonstrate the consistent implementation of their corporate strategy in all processes and with the involvement of all employees.Site visits will give judges the chance to see processes in action and speak to employees. All participating plants and business units will receive qualitative benchmarking feedback on their business model. The UK winner, along with the other national winners, will then go on to compete for the top European prize.

Open for entries now, the UK IEA’s 2014 timeline is:

April 31st: The submission deadline for applications

May: Finalists are selected and notified

May-June: Site visits to the finalists conducted by an international team of academics from the partner universities

Early July: The announcement and award of the UK champions, along with the other national champions. Benchmarking feedback provided to all entrants.

September/October: European conference and award ceremony. During the annual European Industrial Excellence Awards conference, hosted by German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche, the national champions each provide a 30-minute presentation to tell their own story of industrial excellence and receive their award as national IEA champion. The overall European champion is announced.

The UK lead on the IEAs is Dr Jane Davies (pictured), University Lecturer in Operations Management at Cambridge Judge Business School. Dr Davies researches and teaches on operations strategy and the value of operational excellence. She said:

“The IEAs for the first time offer UK companies the opportunity to be recognised for the effort and ingenuity that they demonstrate in their manufacturing and service processes every day. We have many superb, world-class businesses achieving excellence in their strategy, processes and people and these awards will offer the perfect platform to showcase this. Entrants have the chance to compete for the UK and European titles, with all competitors receiving high quality feedback from very experienced academics. I urge UK companies to apply and showcase their world class capabilities.”

UK companies are invited to apply now for the Industrial Excellence Awards at the IEA website or through Cambridge Judge Business School at

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