MEI, Inc., a technology business specializing in automatic payment solutions announced that its manufacturing facility, MEI Queretaro MX, El Marques, located in Queretaro, Mexico was awarded a 2013 Shingo Silver Medallion. The award recognizes “organizations that demonstrate strong use of tools and techniques, have mature systems that drive improvement, and are aligning thinking and organizational behavior with the correct principles of operational excellence.”
Award candidates are evaluated by the Shingo Board of Examiners who are comprised of a group of individuals who have been acknowledged for their accomplishments in the area of lean manufacturing and the Shingo principles. The evaluation is performed in the areas of safety, quality, cost, efficiency, customer satisfaction, associate engagement and social responsibility.
Earning the Shingo prize required engaging everyone from the MEI factory floor through corporate headquarters. A culture focused on continuous improvement and efficiency directly correlates to customer satisfaction by way of the ability to meet delivery, quality, and product production commitments. The additional Shingo attributes regarding associate engagement and social responsibility, are perfectly aligned with key tenants of MEI’s Mission statement. “We believe customers prefer to source their payment technology needs from a partner that not only exceeds their operational needs, but does so in a sustainable way” said Tash Kassam, Chief Operations Officer for MEI.
“Over the last twelve years, MEI has been on a journey to improve our operational processes through Lean Manufacturing and over the last three years, MEI has focused on the use of the Shingo principles to drive those improvements,” continued Kassam. “The end goal was not necessarily to win the prize, as much as it was to create a structured approach to operational excellence.” Kassam continued, “Having begun the dedicated journey, our operations team decided to apply for the prize and were elated to see our dedicated efforts recognized.”
As evident in the MEI principles, a focus on sustainability and the Shingo Principles will continue to guide the organization towards further improvements in manufacturing efficiencies. This commitment is especially important, as MEI finalizes the expansion of its Queretaro plant. Completion of an additional 60,000 square feet of storage and assembly lines is expected to finish in December 2013.
Manufacturing Senior Director , Hugo A vila ÁRamírez, commented on future MEI commitments for efficiency improvements by sharing, “ There are many excellent practices within our culture, company alignment, lean practices, environment, safety & morale, which are all important pillars in our operational excellence journey. Despite a very good result, we know we have an opportunity to progress in certain areas. MEI looks forward to working towards those goals and meeting the next challenge.”
MEI will be officially presented with the award at the 26th Annual Shingo Prize International Conference in May 2014.
About the Shingo Award:
The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence is a not-for-profit organization housed at Utah State University and named after Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo. Dr. Shingo distinguished himself as one of the world’s thought leaders in concepts, management systems and improvement techniques that have become known as the Toyota Business System. Dr. Shingo received his honorary Doctorate of Management from Utah State University in 1988, the year the prize was initiated.
The mission of The Shingo Prize is to create excellence in organizations through the application of universally accepted principles of operational excellence, alignment of management systems, and the wise application of improvement techniques across the entire organizational enterprise. We do this by teaching correct principles and new paradigms that accelerate the flow of value, align and empower people, and transform organizational culture. For more information on the Shingo Award visit http://www.shingoprize.org/.
MEI, headquartered in Malvern, Pa. holds the world’s largest installed base of unattended payment systems, handling over two billion transactions per week in more than 100 countries. The company developed the first electronic coin mechanism in the 1960s, followed by the first electronic non-contact bill validator. Cashless capability, bill recycling and cash management solutions have also become a strong part of the growing portfolio. In 2010, MEI reached a milestone of selling more than four million bill validators and five million coin mechanisms worldwide. MEI products are in widespread use in the vending, soft drink, gaming, amusement, transport, carwash, retail, and kiosk markets. For more information on MEI and its products, visit www.meigroup.com or call 1-800-345-8215.