I recently watched a recap of an award show and pondered the true value of awards and public accolades. Granted, the award show I watched was not for the manufacturing industry, but I have been present at or privy to awards for IQMS, our employees, our clients and our partners, which begs the question: Is there value in receiving an award? My answer is a resounding YES!
To some, awards just seem like a little bit of bragging. But is that a bad thing? After all, we all like to align ourselves with winners and people making strides, not failures. We all should look at our accomplishments and things we do well and not be afraid to hide those successes.
Instead of thinking of it as "bragging," it really should be thought of as an opportunity to show the industry, and your peers, your achievements. People are doing more with less every day. We stretch our time, our dollars and our patience. When a company or individual can rise above all that to do more, all of us should stop and ask ourselves, "Can we also benefit from their experience?" Many industry trailblazers were first award winners!
Industry awards also help highlight a company's capabilities. We aren't all the same. Many of us have special skills that aren't common in the industry. To have a fully "hands-off" manufacturing line that automatically checks parts, wraps a pallet and electronically informs the receiving customer that the shipment is outbound within two minutes of it leaving a manufacturing facility is not a functionality that should go unnoticed. A lot of time and money went into the process to get this working. It eliminates shipping errors on product and delivery. This is a capability that might be highly impressive to an end user when selecting their next supplier. To have it, but have people not know about it doesn't help much - the key is getting the message of this ability out to the masses. If you are unique and different, you should fly your award flag high and often because you earned it!
When you put yourself out there for an award, you also put a big sign on your company that says, "We're Open For Business!" Of all the marketing avenues available to any company, industry awards can provide opportunities for new business that you might not have been aware of. For example, I was recently at an award event and one of our customers won first place in their category. If the night had ended there, it was still a great success.
However, after our client won the award, and as he was getting pats on the back from various industry colleagues, something wonderful happened. Our client was approached by a major cosmetics manufacturer who made a simple, yet impactful statement: "Congratulations. It sounds like your company is doing amazing things. You seem to work with all our competitors, so why aren't you working with us? We should talk next week and get you to quote some projects." And with that, our client has now taken on a new account. True story.
Does everyone have something to promote in the format of an award? Probably! You would be amazed what I have seen win over the years. Perhaps a costly error, that never should have occurred, was corrected with even more impressive success than anticipated.
A company begins to take metrics where they never had previously and is able to reduce overtime costs by 50 percent.
A new expansion made way for a state-of-the-art clean room.
No matter which way you look at it, participating in (not just winning) awards will highlight capabilities, achievements and a commitment to continued growth and prosperity.