Stairway to the Stars

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What makes a Star? Hollywood may have its own notions on this, but the judging panel of The European Supply Chain Excellence Awards are in no doubt as to what constitutes Star Quality in their eyes – collaborative working, holistic performance and above all else, adaptability.

And these attributes were in abundance across the 20 shortlisted companies gathered on the evening of the 17th November at The Dorchester Hotel, London, where the Prize Giving Ceremony for this year’s European Supply Chain Excellence Awards took place. But the brightest star of all – the Overall Winner – was forklift truck manufacturer, Jungheinrich Group.

What made the judges select Jungheinrich Group over close runners-up Fujitsu Siemens Computers and Swisscom Mobile, was the way the Jungheinrich Group is structured to have complete end to end supply chain control, with visibility across the entire operation, including the very impressive aftersales organisation.

However, making this year’s Awards particularly interesting was that the Overall Winner came from the Engineering Category rather than the cutting edge Hightech and Electronics sector which produced the Overall Winner last year, with Cisco Systems, and contained the two neck and neck entries from Fujitsu Siemens and Swisscom this year. Perhaps, adversity plays a key motivating force in moving companies to reshape, adapt and achieve. The electronics sector is, as we all know, a highly competitive market where we expect to see companies capable of adjusting quickly to changes in demand, but these characteristics are also exhibited by Jungheinrich Group, in the Engineering sector, which has in recent years found it necessary to look closely at its manufacturing, supply chain, sales and aftermarket strategies. The changes that Jungheinrich has implemented have produced a cohesive and agile structure that, in the judge’s eyes, demonstrates ‘Star Quality’ or, as we prefer to call it ‘Excellence’.

The findings from this year’s Awards judging process are presented in a paper by Chris Webster, from our partners Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, which starts on page 36 of this issue. Here, the data from the entrants on-line entry questionnaire is analysed to give an insight into the capabilities of the various sectors that make up the Awards categories. Could you be a Star?

Nick Allen, Editor

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