SOURCE: Managing Automation Media

June 19, 2009 17:42 ET

Managing Automation Media Announces Winners of the 2009 Progressive Manufacturer of the Year & High Achiever Awards

Winners Were Honored at the Progressive Manufacturing Awards Gala June 11, 2009 at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, Florida

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 19, 2009) - Managing Automation Media, a Thomas Publishing Company, LLC division, has announced the winners of its fifth annual Progressive Manufacturing Awards Program, which recognizes manufacturers that have used technology to improve competitiveness and capitalize on growth opportunities.

The global Progressive Manufacturing Awards Program, now in its fifth year, is growing. Managing Automation Media has expanded the Progressive Manufacturing Awards Program to recognize more best-in-class manufacturers from the United States and abroad. This year we recognized 100 outstanding manufacturers based on the scope of their mastery, business integration, and use of technology (see the complete list of the PM100 winners).

From the PM100, the judges selected High Achievers in eight mastery categories -- the manufacturers that received the highest scores in each mastery category -- as well as the Progressive Manufacturers of the Year, those companies that have excelled across multiple disciplines. 2009 marked the first year that Managing Automation honored both a large and small/medium-sized company. This exciting award allowed us to recognize two companies for their distinct achievements in overall Progressive Manufacturing.

The 2009 Progressive Manufacturer of the Year Award in the Small/Midsize category is VirTex Assembly Services. The award was accepted by VirTex President Brad Heath.

A small provider of electronic manufacturing services in Austin, TX, VirTex watched for several years as projects it built in low volume moved to lower-cost offshore producers when volumes increased. When a ruggedized laptop computer that VirTex built was selected to be private-labeled by a Fortune 500 company, VirTex was determined to find a way to keep the business. The company did just that by reducing its costs while also offering a level of agility and service that its customer could not get overseas. VirTex, the winner of the 2007 Progressive Manufacturing Leadership High Achiever Award, took cues from Toyota's principles of lean manufacturing and supplier partnership to optimize supply and labor costs. The company pioneered new levels of supplier and customer communication and developed its own Web-based production tracking system that enabled full product traceability. The improvements helped VirTex grow revenue by 58% in 2008 while improving manufacturing cycle times by 25%. VirTex saw a 93% increase in profits.

The 2009 Progressive Manufacturer of the Year in the Large Enterprise Category is Ingersoll Rand Co.'s Industrial Technologies Sector. The award was accepted by James Bolch, president, Industrial Technologies Sector.

A manufacturer of air compressors, motors, and other advanced thermal technologies, Ingersoll Rand's ITS group, like many companies, was finding it increasingly difficult to achieve growth targets expected by stakeholders and investors with product sales alone. The company extended its business model, emphasizing revenue from after-sales services, such as product installation, maintenance, repairs, extended warranty, and replacement parts. Beginning in 2006, the company rolled out its Customer Center Order Management Project. The system, based on software from Oracle, was intended to provide scalability and flexibility to the Customer Centers in order to allow them to expand and to offer a wider array of services in the future. It also was designed to increase visibility into business operations through measurement and reporting of key performance indicators. The Customer Order Management system consists of customer relationship management, sales and order configuration/capture, order management, and integration with back-end manufacturing systems. Besides supporting new service-based revenue opportunities, the system has enabled pipeline forecasting, simplified and shortened the creation and execution of service contracts, improved parts inventory management, and saved time and effort by automating invoicing for recurring orders. Handhelds running Siebel Field Service solution are being deployed to roughly 350 service technicians. This is expected to save approximately $2.8M over the next five years.

The 2009 Progressive Manufacturing High Achievers are:
Business Model:  Bridge Publications Inc.
Innovation:  Magnet Product Design and Development
Customer Mastery:  Emerson Network Power
Supply Network:  Savage Sports Corp.
Data & Integration:  KLA-Tencor
Education & Training:  Dream It. Do It.
Leadership:  Mohawk Fine Papers
Operational Excellence:  Viracon

This year we have added a new award called Editors' Choice, which recognizes companies that have caught our attention and deserve special recognition. The winners of the 2009 Editors' Choice Awards are L'Oréal and Batesville Casket Co.

Project nominations were reviewed by an independent judging panel. Judges evaluated and scored nominated projects based on the following criteria: project scope, business impact, customer impact, technology use, and scale. The Progressive Manufacturers of the Year and the High Achievers are the companies that received the highest total scores.

The Progressive Manufacturing award winners were honored and presented with their awards at the Progressive Manufacturing Awards Gala Dinner, held on the last day of the 2009 Progressive Manufacturing Summit, June 11, at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, Florida. The full list of winners can be viewed at

"The Progressive Manufacturing idea has captured the spirit of an industry that is in the throes of dramatic change," says David R. Brousell, Editor-in-Chief of Managing Automation and a Progressive Manufacturing judge. "Innovation, invention, and new ways of thinking about the business of manufacturing are picking up steam everywhere. The expansion of the Progressive Manufacturing Awards Program pays tribute to this important trend."

About Managing Automation Media

Through Managing Automation Media, Thomas Publishing LLC produces focused, industry-specific information and decision-support tools for the North American and European manufacturing markets. Managing Automation, launched in 1986, provides critical content to progressive manufacturers -- companies that are using information and automation technologies to transform their businesses and create a sustainable competitive advantage. Manufacturing Executive, a new pan-European media portfolio launched in 2008, is written for senior-level management and addresses their needs to develop 21st century strategies focused on innovation, agility, and competitiveness. Through print magazines, websites, the TechMATCH technology-comparison database, and executive conferences, both brands reach the entire integrated technology buying team at every stage of the technology buying process. Additional information can be found at and

Contact Information

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