More Efficient, Faster, Better! Material Handling Managements 2006 Industry Leadership Awards

Dec. 1, 2006
MHM recognizes six of the material handling industry’s pacesetters.

In a head-to-head race, whether it’s thoroughbred horses, cycling or the 5,000 meter long distance race, someone always sets the pace. If it’s a fast pace at the start everyone has to decide if they want to try to keep up with the leaders or settle for finishing back in the middle of the pack.

The same is true in industry. There are the pacesetters and there’s everyone else. The pacesetters are out in front with new equipment and technology. They have the strongest customer relationships and supplier partnerships. They are proactive when it comes safety practices and other employee programs. These companies tend to cultivate and attract the best talent. And it’s no surprise at the end of the year when they post the highest margins and industry-leading sales growth.

Material Handling Management’s first annual salute to outstanding material handling operations recognizes six of these industry pacesetters. These awards have two purposes: One, to recognize operations that are on the leading edge of efforts to manage inventory better, increase competitiveness, enhance customer satisfaction and create rewarding work environments. And two, to encourage other managers and work teams to emulate the honorees by adopting leading practices, technology and improvement strategies.

The stories on the following pages profile the key initiatives and management programs, capital investments and day-to-day performance that distinguish these companies as high-performance, world-class operations. They also offer a glimpse of where these organizations are directing their efforts to maintain their leads in the never-ending race to stay ahead of the competition.

Meeting Uniform Needs at Maximum Speed
At Superior Uniform continual investment in automation and information technology speed order fulfillment.

Bell Makes Material Flow
Small carton manufacturer combines a lean manufacturing strategy with automated production lines.

Polishing Links in the Chain
A bike maker’s investment in new software and automation put it on a path to aggressive growth and operational efficiencies.

Logistics Service Provider Aims to Please
Electric motor manufacturer exemplifies Evans Distribution’s customer-focused approach.

Customer Service Begins with Employees
Access Business Group takes care of its employees, so its employees take care of business.

Improving Efficiency Reduces Production Time
Ford Michigan Truck Plant successfully implemented lean processes powered by a wireless network.


Candidates for MHM’s 2007 Industry Leadership Award must be a single material handling operation--factory, distribution center, flow-through facility, etc.--or a combination of related facilities within the United States, Mexico or Canada. Eligibility is not limited to facilities owned by U.S.-based parent companies. Company and/or facility representatives must we willing to share their stories and management philosophy with the material handling community.

Complete entry forms will be reviewed by MHM editors. After reviewing the information submitted, the editors will select the winners. The exact number of winners will depend on the number and quality of entrants. To request an entry form for the 2007 competition send an e-mail to managing editor Lisa Kempfer, [email protected], 216-931-9213.