Summary and Info
In 1994, the idea for this project (we were not then thinking about a book) arose in a context of growing publicity surrounding prizes like the D- ing Award, the Malcolm Baldrige Award, and the European Quality Award, prompting us to ask: “Could we de?ne what world-class manufacturing is? It’s got to be more than managing processes. Are the US and Japan really in the lead, as so many examples suggest?” Xavier de Groote, our colleague in the Operations Management group at INSEAD, made a major contribution to the formulation of the ?rst version of our framework, the ?rst questi- naire, and the ?rst edition of the Industrial Excellence Award (IEA) in 1995. He witnessed the crowning of the ?rst winner, STMP Laval (which became Solvay Automotive soon afterwards and later Ingeny following its merger with Plastic Omnium). The answer to our initial questions can be found in this book. While the journey took seven years and was far from easy, we believe we have made some progress. We have awarded the IEA annually since 1995 in France, and in Germany since 1997. In the course of this effort, we have analyzed questionnaires from hundreds of plants, visited 100 of them, and given prizes to 30. We did not know what we might discover when we ?rst approached this undertaking but we came away deeply impressed.