June 18, 2024

Factory of the Year 2023 – Call for entries in annual industry benchmarking exercise

2 min read

South Africa’s manufacturing sector experienced a four-month slump (as of February 2023), due to continuous bouts of loadshedding, and exacerbated by rising costs and interest rates. 

Frances Phillips, principal at Kearney, says this accelerates the need to identify gaps and improvements within the manufacturer even more relevant and timeous, which is exactly what Factory of the Year works to achieve.

The Factory of the Year competition is a global benchmarking contest for companies in the manufacturing sector, initiated by the global management consultancy Kearney in 1992 and debuted in South Africa in 2018 through a collaboration between Kearney, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Manufacturing Circle, and Manufacturing Indaba.

It presents an opportunity for South African manufacturing companies to understand and analyse their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to global and local benchmarks, and initiate improvements. “We should all be looking at ways to kickstart this sector right now and this is the important and real role that this contest can play,” says Phillips.  

New manufacturing technologies and methods of production are constantly emerging, transcending previous limitations and facilitating greater interconnectivity, monitoring and efficiency of resource use. This presents both significant threats and exciting opportunities for the manufacturing sector in South Africa.

“The bar for competitive manufacturing is constantly evolving, with companies using advanced technologies and big data to improve their performance. The Factory of the Year competition identifies sector leaders and rewards excellence in manufacturing operations,” says Phillips.

To apply to the Factory of the Year competition, manufacturers are encouraged to download the questionnaire within the “Apply” tab of the competition website.

After completing the questionnaire, manufacturers should submit their completed questionnaires by 31 July 2023.

“Hundreds of companies have participated and benefited from the independent, cross-industry feedback provided via the competition. The input has enabled them to analyse their strengths and weaknesses and initiate immediate improvements,” says Phillips. 

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