Fabricators around the States are in everlasting pursuit of trying to improve operations and attain business growth. Many of them succeeded, but only the best get the annual Fabricator awards.
Besides growth and modern operations, according to the FABRICATOR, each contestant must also contribute to both the local and industrial communities.
So, let’s take a look at what you need to achieve to earn the prestigious FABRICATOR’s Industry Award. In order to help you compete, the article will present past winners, and we’ll shortly explain why they got into a hall of fame.
About The FABRICATOR’s Industry Award
According to FABRICATOR, Industry Award is given to a “company or individual in the metal forming and fabricating industry that has successfully improved operations, attained business growth, and contributed to both the local and industrial communities.”
Each applicant must apply on the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association website to enter the race. In addition, each applicant must provide quantitative evidence to explain why he deserves the award.
Provided evidence is kept confidential and only used in the judging process. Next, the awards committee that consists of staff and the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International selects the winner according to achieved results.
What is Judged?
The award criteria are divided into three separate groups: operations, marketplace, and community. Operations and marketplace award 40 points each, while the latest will give you 20 points. The fabricator that collects the highest number of points is the winner.
But, let’s take a look at what’s judged?
Operations Criteria (40 pts)
The operations group should show the award committee the improvements in your shop floor how you apply safety standards and training.
Shop floor improvements should show the quality control standards; implementation of lean activities, techniques, and practices; uptime improvements. In addition, fabricators get extra points for inventory reduction, scrap reduction, material handling minimization, and non-value-added activity elimination.
Applicants must also present Injury & Illness Recordkeeping Forms, also known as OSHA 300A form for safety standards. In addition, the introduction of ergonomic guidelines, safety team/committee initiatives, and decreased lost time due to injury will bring you extra points.
When it comes to the training, employees’ skills and leadership development opportunities are crucial. In addition, cross-training and certification will always count.
As noted at the beginning, this group will earn you a maximum of 40 points. Achieving everything can be extremely challenging, and that’s why only the best of the best get the award.
Marketplace Criteria (40 pts)
Improving the operations should be soonly recognized by achieving the business success. However, success should be followed by customer satisfaction.
Business success is mainly measured by improving profit margins, but it is usually more than profit. Award-winning fabricators should also expand into new geographic markets, diversify into new market segments and cultivate international business.
In addition, developing cooperative agreements with other job shops will win new contracts, and that’s everything that contributes to the points of business success.
Customer satisfaction index (CSI) is a metric that reflects the overall customer satisfaction with a company in terms of product quality, customer service, price, etc. However, when it comes to the award, the points will also earn JIT delivery, cultivate customer relationships, and increase accepted orders.
Finally, applicants that introduce new products, patents, or services to the fabrication will be highly considered. Overall, this group will also bring 40 points to the fabricators that showed marketplace changes.
Community Criteria (20 points)
Last but not least is a community criterion. The most successful fabricators will have to support manufacturing as a future career choice. They must speak at schools and other events supporting the industry or take membership in industry associations to do so.
In addition, companies should offer internships or apprenticeships and host manufacturing camps or company tours for youths. Partnerships with educational institutions are always highly welcome.
Even though community activity brings only 20 points, it is essential to maintain general community activities.
Award Winners – How Did They Achieve It
The prestigious award winner will appear on the cover of the market-leading publication The FABRICATOR and be featured in a story in the same issue. In addition, a representative receives complimentary registration, travel, and hotel accommodations to accept the award at FMA’s Annual Meeting.
However, let’s take a look at how award-winners achieved the success and managed to combine operations, marketplace, and community success altogether.
Seconn Fabrication—The FABRICATOR’s First-Ever Award Winner
After five years of working for a family-owned metal fabricating, Rob Marelli decided to take the matter into his own hands and start a fabrication business. He began with 5,000 square feet of rental space in 2003.
But by 2007, when he earned a reward, the company had 66 employees operating in 35,000-sq.-ft. facility in Waterford. The company had made $9.5 million and has broken ground on a 24,000-sq.-ft. expansion.
Applying lean concepts has helped the company to maintain a quick turnaround on jobs. In addition, the company introduced live customer service available every weekday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Besides flexibility in its shop floor and customer satisfaction organization, the company also invested in its employees. That’s why the personnel is cross-trained in a particular skill or process. Therefore, one laser operator can drive the truck or act as a backup in another process. In addition, each new hire is assigned a mentor with a 30-, 60-, and 90-day evaluation period.
Speaking of improvements, Seconn Fabricaitons managed to eliminate waste in its production processes and increase the efforts of getting parts in the quickest way possible. By introducing new wrapping pallet machines, costs dropped from $7.50 to $2.50 and freed up labor.
Besides significant improvements and business success, they didn’t forget about the community. The company annually donated between $25,000 and $40,000 to local athletic, health, and school programs and international efforts. In addition, internship programs were established with local schools.
By fulfilling all the requirements, Seconn Fabrications achieved a maximum of 100 points and earned the first-ever FABRICATOR’S Industry award in 2008.
Laystrom Manufacturing Co. – The Latest FABRICATOR’S Industry Award Winner
Laystrom Manufacturing Co. is in the middle of a Chicago neighborhood, and the facilities include laser cutting machines, press brakes, and welding power sources. Today, Laystrom employs about 72 people, and official records state that Laystrom grew its sales revenues by 10% over the past year and 60% over the past three years.
Annual sales figures were kept confidential but said the company had incomes above $10 million. Laystrom’s business growth, operational excellence, and support for the city’s manufacturing community won the Small and Medium-sized Manufacturer of the Year Award from the 2020 Fourth Revolution Awards program. Laystrom’s growth also landed it on the 2020 Inc 5000 list.
The company’s success also caught the eye of The FABRICATOR, which has named Laystrom its 2021 Industry Award winner.
The company managed to present extraordinary safety measures, where during the harshest wave of COVID 19, they had only one case. In addition, they always point out that character counts. Thus, the action from a leader shows that he’s bought into the initiative. The connections to their co-workers were valued. They state that customer commitments are always important, but management wouldn’t put employees’ health at risk to make it happen.
In addition, they use supervisors’ reviews, which take place every quarter, to rank employees’ skills. As a result, employees are tabbed as inexperienced, semi-experienced, very experienced, and very experienced with the ability to train others.
- About The FABRICATOR’s Industry Award at Fabricators & Manufacturers Association
- Culture comes first for precision metal fab shop Laystrom Manufacturing at TheFabricator
- The Fourth Revolution Awards
- The FABRICATOR Live: 2022 Industry Award winner O’Neal Manufacturing Services