TOMMY G. THOMPSON
For Immediate Release -- October 15, 1998
Contact: David Blaska (608) 266-6925 or Marie Lange (608) 261-4422
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES FORWARD AWARD RECIPIENTS
New Award Honors Quality Employers
Serigraph, Inc., of West Bend, was honored with the highest award, the Governor's Forward Award of Excellence. The company is one of the largest industrial screen printers in the world. It operates six of its seven plants in southeastern Wisconsin and employs about 1,100 workers in Wisconsin.
"These companies are role models for Wisconsin," Gov. Thompson said. "They are committed to their customers, dedicated to quality and continuous improving to assure their competitive position in the world marketplace. It is that commitment to excellence that will continue Wisconsin's leadership in the 21st Century."
Forward Awards recognize three stages of achievement, starting with proficiency, then mastery, and finally excellence.
Mastery Awards recognize companies showing results from advanced, well-deployed approaches and implementing performance management practices. Proficiency Awards go to companies making significant progress in using performance management principles and practices in their business operations.
Mastery Forward Award winners were:
- Cutler-Hammer, Watertown/Ixonia
- HUFCOR Inc., Janesville
- Inacom Information Systems, Madison
- Johnson Controls, Inc., Specialty Battery Division, Milwaukee
- Milprint, Inc., Oshkosh
Proficiency Forward Award recipients were:
- Auto Glass Specialists, Inc., Madison
- Bay Towel, Green Bay
- Polymer Technologies, Whitewater
- Promega Corporation, Madison
- Stone Container Corporation, Beloit
"These companies have accepted the challenge to strive for excellence," Gov. Thompson said at the inaugural award ceremonies at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. "Some are making significant progress in their quality journey, while others are moving toward, or have established, mature performance-based management systems that provide models of excellence for others."
The governor said the companies were leaders in:
- Developing new products and processes.
- Training their workforces.
- Empowering workers to find better ways to serve customers and improve products, services and processes.
- Developing safe work environments and environmentally clean production processes
- Partnering with suppliers to ensure higher quality products and services, and
- Developing innovative solutions in partnership with their communities to address community needs.
The awards were created by the governor at the recommendation of his Council on Workforce Excellence, chaired by J. Michael Borden, chief executive officer of HUFCOR Inc., Janesville.
"We recognized two years ago, when the Council was formed, that for Wisconsin businesses to stay on top, they need to be the best among the best companies in the world," Borden said. "We believed that an awards program such as this could provide another incentive for Wisconsin businesses to strive for world class excellence."
Thompson made these observations about each of the winners:
Serigraph, Inc.: "It is an innovator and pioneer in introducing new technologies in its manufacturing processes. It invests heavily in educating and training its current workforce, and operates an on-site training center, called Seracademy. It established one of the first youth apprenticeship programs in the state and nation."
Auto Glass Specialists: "This company, known as the 'guys in the little red trucks,' is the Midwest leader in auto glass repair and replacement. Employe owned, its commitment to quality includes extensive training of its employes. It is the first auto repair and replacement company in North America to be ISO 9001-certified."
Bay Towel: A garment and linen rental/service company with almost 200 employes and four locations in the state, "it attributes its high customer retention rate of 97 per cent and steady growth to the way it aligns its business and marketing strategies with its mission, values and vision."
Cutler-Hammer: "The key mission of this electronics contract manufacturer is to supply parent Eaton Corp.'s core business with electronic circuit boards and assemblies. Cutler-Hammer has experienced a major business transformation since the early 1990's, and this has meant major investment in new technology, the introduction of new manufacturing processes, and increased employe involvement."
HUFCOR Inc.: Hufcor operates worldwide and manufactures and markets products that provide flexible sound and sight separation for rooms, including those at Monona Terrace. "It focuses on producing a zero defect product at low cost and exceeding customer expectations. It has empowered its workforce through team problem-solving and self-directed work teams. It also has developed a supplier base which reflects HUFCOR's dedication to customer satisfaction."
Inacom Information Systems "It has as its mission to be 'the technology integration services company that attracts and retains valued customers and dedicated employes who together consistently achieve unprecedented success'. Its purpose is to 'make technology work'."
Johnson Controls, Inc. "It is a primary supplier of specialty lead-acid batteries that are used in a wide variety of customer applications. The specialty battery group was the first North American battery manufacturer to achieve ISO 9001 quality systems certification. It operates a range of programs to focus on customers and customer expectations."
Milprint, Inc.: "This company is a value-added, technology-based converter of flexible packaging. Milprint has seen substantial growth since 1991. It attributes its success to its ability to make high-quality products the first time, delight the customer with excellent service, and meet their needs with all types of flexible packaging products."
Polymer Technologies: "This full-service supplier of thermoplastic injection-molded and insert-molded components and assemblies has customers worldwide and continuously works to improve all business fundamentals, including standards of customer satisfaction, zero defects, and 100 per cent on-time deliveries."
Promega Corporation: "Promega is an established leader in the development, manufacture, and supply of biological research products and is at the forefront of the biotechnology revolution. Core to its philosophy is listening to customers in a way that leads to the design and manufacture of useful and innovative products."
Stone Container Corporation: "This small converting plant produces corrugated packaging items and also is the smallest company receiving a Forward Award recognition. Its strength is based on its being 'easy to do business with'. It takes pride in providing extraordinary services to its customers through quick response to short lead times, reliable inventory management, and consistent product quality."
The Council also today announced the schedule for the 1999 Forward Award competition.
Borden said recruitment of members for the award judging panel begins this fall. The criteria and application materials will be available in January, "intent to apply" packages will be due in April, and applications must be received in June. Awards will be announced in the fall.
While this year's awards focused recognition on manufacturing and service industries, all sectors of business will be eligible to compete starting next year, Borden added.