How have things gone for last year’s Factory of the Future Awards winners ...?

In the run-up to the next edition, a survey of the companies has shown that the first four winners of the Factory of the Future Awards - Continental, Dentsply Implants, Newtec and Provan - have prospered. 

That there was both a long-term and short-term effect was clear from the answers we received. For the winners, the award confirmed that transformation was the right choice. 

The media and business attention they received has already drawn interest from industry and even orders from new customers and partners. For existing customers, especially the foreign ones, it is a reassurance that the products are produced in a professional and sustainable environment. Other players in the sector then see the winning companies as an example or benchmark against which they can compare or test their own actions, or even as an inspiration to participate in the next edition of Factory of the Future Awards! Many requests followed for company visits, including requests from larger, international players. 

It was also a boost for the personnel, increasing the engagement of the employees and even leading to a fall in absenteeism. The winners also saw a stronger 'employer branding' in their own region, which made it easier for them to attract employees with the right (often technical) profiles. 

Going forward, the award is an encouragement to continue in the same path and keep transforming. More than anything else it is an incentive for employees to remain innovative, so they can still be at the top years later. 

We’ll let the four winners speak for themselves: 

Jo Massoels, Business Unit Manager, Dentsply Implants: "The impact of winning the award was quickly apparent when the day after the ceremony employees congratulated each other in the hall. It has greatly contributed to the pride of our employees. It also raised our profile, which made it easier to attract new people in Belgium. We have also been using the award to market out Belgian-made products around the world. Winning the award was the icing on the cake for our aim to grow from being a ‘challenging site’ to become one of the stars within the Dentsply family”. 

Guy De Winne, Quality Manager & Director Manufacturing Operations, Newtec: "The award has given us the opportunity to work with others in the industry to ‘challenge’ out ideas, which in turn gives an impetus for improvements. Of course, each environment is different and you realise that you can’t just copy something, so it's important that you stay true to your own vision ... We have not stood still over the past year. On the contrary, there was further work on all transformations. To give a concrete example, we are now a 'Beta customer’ for a European machine builder, which has led us to make progress in the field of World Class”. 

Stefaan Van Thielen, Managing Director Chassis & Safety Division, Continental Automotive Benelux: “The main effect of this award has been on our personnel.  We not only communicated this award internally in Mechelen; we also reported it to our German management. If you then get extensive congratulations the very next day from Continental’s CEO, you know you’ve made an impression ... The result is that we are more focused than ever on making the continuous improvements found in one of the seven Made Different transformations”.  

Peter Tans, CEO Provan: "In concrete terms, winning this recognition means that we have also been able to organise many company visits for various companies and we have also acted as the host company for a QRM boot camp in the Made Different pathway. It must be said that this has opened a great many doors for us, and in some cases has already led to new partners and new business. ... It not only confirms that we chose the right path, it is also primarily a starting point for work on further transformations”.

The second edition of the Factory of the Future Awards will take place on 4 February in Antwerp.
If you would like to know which Belgian companies will win in 2016, then register now.

Contact Sirris: Walter Auwers, tel. +32 498 91 93 97 
Contact Agoria: Paul Peeters, tel. +32 473 75 75 40