May 5, 2015 – The headquarters of Recaro Aircraft Seating in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany has been voted ‘Best Factory of 2015’ in the Industrial Excellence Awards 2015. The Awards benchmark European competitiveness in the industrial and service sectors. An expert panel examines the customer focus, employee involvement, innovation, lean manufacturing processes, and sustainability of the competing companies.
“It is a special honor to bestow the Industrial Excellence Award this year on Recaro Aircraft Seating,” said Prof. Dr Arnd Huchzermeier of the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. “This medium- sized enterprise has achieved an impressive track record in the aircraft seating industry: with innovation leadership, high annual growth rates, and a strong global brand. Focusing on comfort, weight, innovative design, quality, and maintainability of its products, the company is able to cope with demanding product requirements, customer preferences and complex projects.”
The jury, composed of representatives of the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, the INSEAD Business School, and the German magazine Wirtschaftswoche, also paid tribute to the quality of the aircraft seats. According to the jury, the R&D department is most advanced and very customer-focused, and the shopfloor practices German craftsmanship.
“As a medium-sized company, we are pleased that we have received this prestigious award for our headquarters in Schwaebisch Hall, where currently 1,000 employees are developing, producing, and marketing seats for all leading airlines around the world,” said Dr Mark Hiller, CEO and Shareholder of Recaro Aircraft Seating. “Our mission is to be the best seat supplier from our customers’ perspective – this award once again underlines the success of our excellence philosophy, which we have been pursuing for eight years now.”
Joachim Ley, EVP of supply chain at Recaro Aircraft Seating, added, “Manufacturing precisely what the customer desires with maximum efficiency and within a very short space of time is not an easy task in the sector where we operate: It is characterized by immense diversity of variants and capacity fluctuations in production. To be successful on the market, we need smoothly operating processes with direct and efficient communication paths and swift decision-making processes. The measures taken during our excellence initiative have proven completely effective here.”
Thanks to newly introduced lean production processes, the company can react flexibly and rapidly to changes and current requirements. With shopfloor management, the company has developed a culture of ongoing improvements to management performance and communication: due to regular exchanges of information, problems are recognized at an early stage and there are immediate reactions to variations so solutions are quickly introduced.