Best Factory Awards Countdown
Best Factory Awards 2014
Best Factory Awards Gala Lunch Date: 25/09/2015

22 October 2014

Meet the sponsors..

Tony Wallis, sales and marketing director, Toyota Material Handling UK

Q What is the best bit about being involved in the Best Factory Awards?
Being able to recognise and support the great companies that take part in the Best Factory Awards. Over the years the competition has grown and grown to become the awards programme for factories in the UK. It is a great networking opportunity meeting the teams from these companies and openly sharing knowledge and experiences, both at the awards and at the conference.

Q Why is Toyota Material Handling backing the Best Factory Awards 2014?
Toyota Material Handling UK has been involved with the Best Factory Awards nearly a decade, the last five years as headline sponsor. This coveted awards programme has continued to grow in strength every year. The strength comes from the quality of the entries and the quality of the awards celebration, but also the quality of the information shared at the Best Factory Conference.

One of the important elements of the Best Factory Awards programme is the recognition and support it provides to manufacturing industry through the sharing of knowledge. As a sponsor, this is where we have also been able to make a great contribution by sharing the Toyota way and the Toyota Production System.
We continue to be involved with the Best Factory Awards so we can support the great British manufacturing industry by recognising those businesses that show excellence in what they do.

Q What should manufacturers know about Toyota?
Toyota has a reputation for excellence on a global scale, but it is only by acting locally that we have earned the highest levels of customer satisfaction in our industry. This is delivered each and every day in the UK by a team of over 1,000 people trained to focus on delivering excellence and strengthened by the 'Toyota way', a set of core values that guide our operations.

We invest heavily in research and development, and our production facilities and service centres. We put a strong focus on training our people and, at the heart of our approach, is our uncompromising commitment to quality through the Toyota Production System (TPS).

Q What is the single biggest challenge for UK manufacturers in the next 12 months??
I think the single biggest challenge for UK manufacturers is remaining competitive while maintaining a high level of quality. We believe this is achieved through the 'three Ps' – people, product and process. The product simply has to deliver what the customer expects. The process is the way the product will be delivered with a consistent approach, and all of the above is achieved through your people, their leadership and making sure everyone is working towards a common goal.

UK manufacturers can also remain competitive by adopting kaizen or 'continuous improvement'. No process can be deemed perfect and this is built into the culture at Toyota. Understanding that everything we do today is never good enough for tomorrow will make sure that your manufacturing business delivers quality at a competitive price.

Q What has been the biggest business challenge you have faced?
Maintaining the highest level of quality while providing customers with innovative products at a competitive price. In today's climate, there are plenty of competitors who promise dreams and do not deliver and we strive every day through every team member to deliver what we say. We are continually improving and innovating, and have recently launched several key new counterbalance and warehouse products and engineering improvements.

An example of this is our new diesel engine for our Tonero counterbalance forklifts. With new EU regulations being introduced next year stating that any business with more than 250 employees must undertake an energy audit and over 500 employees have got to legally report their environmental performance (energy and CO2 performance) we have gone straight to the source and worked hard to produce a new diesel engine that is 28% more fuel efficient in order to exceed the level required in the new EU regulation.

When business challenges like this arise, it is important for us to react efficiently in order for our customers to be able to deliver against their business objectives. We make sure that our products consistently meet the demands of our customers.

Q Have you ever won an award? If yes, for what and when?
At this year's CeMAT exhibition in May we won two prestigious International Forklift Truck of the Year (IFOY) forklift awards. Toyota I_Site, the intelligent fleet management solution and Toyota Traigo 80, the electric-powered counterbalance forklift were winners of the IFOY award.

Toyota I_Site was selected in the "Intralogistics Solutions" category for its operational features and customer benefits. The jury was convinced by the efficiency, increased productivity and low operating cost that Toyota I_Site brought to the international logistics provider Carreras Group, helping it to manage 300 trucks in 22 locations.

Toyota Traigo 80 electric forklift won in the category "Counter Balanced Trucks up to 3.5 tonnes". The jury was particularly impressed with the truck's powerful acceleration which makes it at the same time 20% more productive and also one of the most energy-efficient trucks in its class.

Q What do you wish was made in GB?
Anything and everything. We often underestimate the quality, value and competitiveness in UK manufacturing and, with more attention to lean process and waste elimination, we prove time and time again we can deliver.

Q If you could bestow one gift on UK manufacturing, what would that be?
Over the years it is clear from experience that product, process and people are the three intrinsically linked ingredients that make the difference between the excellent and the average. Product has to do what it says on the tin, process is the key to consistency and quality and people who are motivated and engaged are the glue holding it together on a journey that never finishes.

Q What makes British manufacturing great?
I would be stupid after that last question to say anything other than products, process and people – except that pride in performance still differentiates British manufacturing

Q Which was the first factory you ever visited and what impressed you most about it?
I have visited many great factories and met some fantastic people in many countries and they all have different attributes. Not because I work for Toyota but because I see it more often it never ceases to amaze me that continuous improvement never stops and it works in every aspect of life.

Q If you could run any factory, what would it produce?
As a speed freak and technical person at heart, I would find a year in F1 production facility an experience to remember. It would have to include attending all the events!

Q What is the best business advice you've ever received?
As a leader, the best question you can ask anyone is: "what do you think we should do?" It's amazing what people will contribute if only you ask the question.



Do you have any comments about this article?

Add your comments




Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Headline Sponsor

Sponsored By

Organised By