MasterCraft named finalist for manufacturing award

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MasterCraft Boat Co. was named one of 14 finalists in the 2014 IndustryWeek Best Plants competition.

It honors operational excellence in leading-edge manufacturing facilities across North America. The award singles out companies that have successfully implemented strategies to increase competitiveness, enhance customer satisfaction and foster stimulating and rewarding work environments.

This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the award. U.S.-based manufacturers Harley-Davidson, Lockheed Martin and Toyota have previously been named recipients.

“As a company, MasterCraft takes great pride in its production facilities and the high caliber of workers we employ,” company president and CEO Terry McNew said in a statement. “Being named a finalist for IndustryWeek’s Best Plants further validates our company’s operational excellence strategy that has been designed from the ground up to deliver the highest level of quality.”

MasterCraft COO Shane Chittum said the Vonore, Tenn.-based company’s leadership team identified a strong connection between culture and operating results, which prompted a companywide culture shift by implementing operational excellence systems that delivered comprehensive benefits.

The company said the culture shift did not simply come from the top down; instead, factory line workers were empowered to suggest ideas for improving the production process themselves. More than 8,000 employee-generated improvements were implemented during one fiscal year.

The company said the positive results can be readily seen across its operating metrics, including a 59 percent drop in the rate of safety incidents, an improved first pass yield of close to 50 percent and a 35 percent increase in customer satisfaction.

The winners of the 2014 IndustryWeek Best Plants competition will be profiled in the January 2015 issue of IndustryWeek Magazine and honored during the 2015 IndustryWeek Best Plants Conference.