The Factory of the Year competition is a global benchmarking contest for companies in the manufacturing sector, initiated by the global management consultancy Kearney in 1992 and debuted in South Africa in 2018 through a collaboration between Kearney, the DTIC (Department of Trade, Industry and Competition), the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), Manufacturing Circle, and Manufacturing Indaba. 

Itpresents an opportunity for South African manufacturing companies to understand and analyse their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to global and local benchmarks and initiate improvements. “We should all be looking at ways to kickstart this sector right now and this is the important and real role that this contest can play,” says Frances Phillips, principal at Kearney.  

New manufacturing technologies and methods of production are constantly emerging, transcending previous limitations and facilitating greater interconnectivity, monitoring, and efficiency of resource use. This presents both significant threats and exciting opportunities for the manufacturing sector in South Africa. 

Sector leaders

“The bar for competitive manufacturing is constantly evolving, with companies using advanced technologies and big data to improve their performance. This competition identifies sector leaders and rewards excellence in manufacturing operations,” says Frances. 

To enter the Factory of the Year competition, manufacturers are encouraged to download the questionnaire within the “Apply” tab of the website South African Factory of the year competition

Cross-industry feedback

After completing the questionnaire, manufacturers should submit their complete questionnaires by 31 July 2023.

“Hundreds of companies have participated and benefited from the independent, cross-industry feedback provided via the competition. The input has enabled them to analyse their strengths and weaknesses and initiate immediate improvements,” Frances concludes. 

South African Factory of the Year website.

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