Factory of the Year competition, GyártásTrend technology magazine, PS Professional Partner Team
Barbara, you are the engine of our support team! What are your tasks in running the competition?
From the beginning, in cooperation with PPH Media, we have supported the development of the evaluation methodology for the competition, that is the creation of an objective set of criteria, and if necessary, we also participate in its correction, so that not only the applicants but also the competition itself can follow the changes in the economic environment.
Our main annual task is to carry out on-site visits to the applicant factories to audit the content of the application documents, and to evaluate and organise the achievements to determine the order of results for each category.
In which categories will PS experts assist the jury?
In total, PS contributes in seven categories: Best Management Processes, Innovation, Production, Production Support Processes, Customer and Employee Satisfaction and Supplier Relations.
What are the criteria for on-site audits?
The first task of the audits is to check the authenticity and veracity of the data submitted in the application forms. In addition, we can get a more complex picture of the factories during face-to-face meetings and have an insight into the processes behind the numbers. The latter is a very exciting part of the job, because year after year we get to see first-hand how the country’s top producers are putting the latest technological advances into practice.
The competition attracts entries from a wide range of industries, and the award categories are quite diverse. So even for experienced PS professionals, audits can be a great challenge…
Yes, every year it is a great challenge to survey and compare factories from different industries, but fortunately small and large companies now compete separately, which makes the application process easier.
Fortunately, over the past 7 years we have become so experienced that we are able to analyse, document and present the applications to the jury properly. We have a well-established working method, strategy and plan on how to manage, compare and differentiate the results of the factories.
How do you support the work of the jury as a professional partner after the audits?
In addition to our proven methodology mentioned just now, it is also important how we divide up the teams involved in the audits. This is also essential to ensure that we have the best comparative and evaluation support material to hand over to the jury.
The jury is made up of eminent professionals who are very familiar with the specifics of the different industries and, in many cases, the applicants themselves, so if we can give them the best possible presentation, all the basic conditions are in place for an easier and more informed final decision.
To help the Jury, we prepare a category-by-category summary of each audit, so that jury members who were unable to attend the factory visit can get an up-to-date and complete picture of the entrants.
Has PS’s role as a professional partner changed, and if so, what has changed over the past 7 years?
The backbone of our tasks has remained the same since the beginning, but based on the experience we have gained, we can always improve something every year, whether it is modifying the application forms or making the audit summaries more efficient.
In the last two years of audits, we have seen that factories have put in place strict health rules and taken serious steps to overcome the difficulties caused by the virus situation. We had to distinguish between the crisis management measures taken by each factory and whether they had managed to gain an advantage over their direct competitors in their own industry. We also had to develop a concept for this. Our “own crisis management methodology and experience” was a major help in this respect. In March 2020, PS management was able to quickly make decisions affecting all segments of our day-to-day operations to protect our team and ensure business continuity, and then adapt to the changing business and pandemic environment by monitoring and assessing the current situation. In other words, our own PS exercise also greatly helped us to evaluate the crisis management measures applied by the applicants of the Factory of the Year competition.
The audits of the competition are also a good opportunity to broaden the experience of the senior PS staff involved, right? Which could even benefit their work at PS…
The competition gives us the opportunity to learn about the latest robotisation and automation technologies in different industries. We also have exciting sessions where factory managers share their experiences, for example on how they have managed to stay competitive in the hardships of recent years, while innovating for the future. So these Factory of the Year experiences are also an excellent opportunity to understand our other manufacturing customers even better, so that we can better support them with our services.
Our core business is accountancy and payroll, but in our portfolio, we also offer a range of specialist services that are often used by manufacturing companies entering newer and newer stages of business development. Our experience gained in the Factory of the Year competition has helped us a lot to develop our services in recent years, for example in the areas of temporary staffing, business planning, accounting and tax due diligence, accounting consultancy, process improvement, business valuation and even fixed asset inventory. But the impact of a broad range of knowledge is also essential when providing support for the implementation or “fine-tuning” of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Is there any experience, either professional or personal, that you remember about audits or jury support?
Every year, our aim is to produce material that is in full agreement with the jury’s final opinion –striving for perfection is what defines our work. We are all delighted when we achieve this goal.
For the last two years, the awards have only been held online, and it is a pleasure to finally be able to organise it again this year with in-person participation. It was great to see the smiling faces of factory managers and top executives in person after receiving the awards in the various categories. This is definitely a good feedback for us! It was also a great honour for me to personally present the awards on behalf of PS. It was a good experience to congratulate everyone again in person, to meet with the winners, to talk about the competition, the next year’s plans and to be asked to exchange views on certain topics.
As a project manager, I have always made it a priority to participate in as many factory visits as possible, sparing no time, so that I can provide my colleagues with a complex insight and professional opinion to help them in their work and guide the tasks PS has to perform.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. It’s been an educational seven years in any case, and a rewarding one, because the PS team is clearly keen to support the competition professionally. Congratulations on your successful work! 😊
Details of the Factory of the Year 2021 competition (source: www.evgyara.hu)
The competition is open to any company of any size with a manufacturing unit in Hungary, and a company can apply with more than one manufacturing unit.
The competition was open to companies in the following 9 categories in 2021:
- Best management processes
- Most innovative manufacturer
- Best producer
- Most effective production support
- Customer satisfaction
- Employee satisfaction
- Supplier relations
- E.ON – Energy efficiency
- Industry 4.0 (professional partner: SZTAKI)
In each category, small and medium-sized enterprises, factories and large companies are assessed separately.
Each category is open to individual entries, but the composite Factory of the Year award is only open to factories that have submitted valid entries in more than one category and have won at least one of them. The composite Factory of the Year Award will be awarded separately to SMEs with an annual net sales revenue of less than HUF 3 billion, SMEs with an annual net sales revenue of between HUF 3 billion and HUF 15 billion and large companies with an annual net turnover of more than HUF 15 billion.