The Manufacturer MX Awards consist of ten categories and two overall winners. You can submit for as many categories as you like and entry is free.

View an overview of each category's judging criteria below. For the full judging criteria, register for the online entry system.

To enter:

Select your category below by clicking on the relevant link and then on the next page, create an account. You will then receive a confirmation email and validation link to confirm your account. You will ONLY be able to complete your nomination if you have validated your account. You can also SAVE and complete your entry at a later stage.

Good luck!

Achieving Customer Value

Powered by Intelligent Industry

Sponsored by Capgemini 

This award recognises businesses demonstrating how customer strategy has contributed to: increased growth or market share; optimised innovation; improved operational excellence; and enhanced customer delivery and engagement. Candidates should cover how customer satisfaction is measured and the robustness of the quality system that supports the business.

This category is now closed

1. We recognise the importance of obtaining relevant information on the market, the competition and different markets which informs how we operate

2. We understand the importance of considering our customers' requirements when developing new products and/or services

3. We use Key Performance Measures such as On Time In Full (OTIF) as drivers of our company performance

4. We understand the need for an effective Sales & Operations Planning process which is connected to our business plan

5. We believe in having a commitment to excellence in quality throughout our business and supply chain

6. We are aware of the importance of understanding our customers' interpretation of good quality

7. We are aware of the value of third-party management accreditation across quality, sustainability, ethics, and inclusion

8. We believe that supporting our customers' values in our products and services, differentiates us from our competitors

9. We have systems and processes to measure customer satisfaction, incorporating feedback into our operations, products & services

10. We believe that we need to continuously improve our processes and systems

International Trade

Sponsored by Santander 

This award recognises how through exporting activity the company has been able to increase international sales; demonstrate a commitment to expanding international business; and demonstrate the value and contribution of exporting to the future of the business. The company’s exports as a proportion of total sales will be taken in to account.

This category is now closed

1. We understand the potential benefits of exporting and profitably growing the business

2. We are aware of the support available to exporters from the Department for International Trade (DIT)

3. We have undertaken comprehensive research before attempting to export

4. We have given careful consideration as to achieving the most effective representation and support in a particular export market at various stages of development

5. Our products are compatible with the requirements of customers in our export markets

6. We have all the necessary knowledge, facilities and skills available to support the export initiative

7. We have a clear strategy and an appropriate organisation for after-sales support in export markets

8. We understand the risks inherent in our export activity and have worked to minimise them

9. We work with our suppliers to ensure that their contribution supports our strategy

10. We have achieved growth in exports over the last few years

Leadership & Strategy

This award will recognise great breadth and depth of leadership and management skills, and successful implementation of a clear, well communicated business strategy. Candidates should demonstrate strategic thinking; innovative practices; improved commercial performance and competitiveness; and engagement with employees, customers, suppliers and the local community.

This category is now closed

1. We have a clear business strategy

2. Our business strategy reflects the values of our stakeholders

3. We ensure that the corporate strategy is effectively communicated across all relevant stakeholders and understood at all levels

4. Our business plan is structured to achieve our strategic objectives

5. We have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as performance measures across the entire company

6. We identify and manage the risks to achieving our strategic objectives

7. Our senior management promote the business culture and values

8. We understand the drivers for change in our organisation

9. We have management systems and processes that support our strategic objectives

10. We support the appropriate leadership development of all management levels to help deliver our strategic objectives

Operational Excellence

This award will go to the company that best demonstrates the use of effective lean methodologies and techniques that focus on improvements in: quality; cost; productivity; physical waste reduction and non value-adding activities; customer service; and safety. It will also reward evidence of an engaged workforce and development of a lasting culture of continuous improvement.

This category is now closed

1. We have a clear focus on understanding and meeting our customers’ needs

2. Continuous improvement is an integral part of our operations

3. We focus on removing all forms of physical waste and non-value adding activities from our operations

4. Our people are key to our success

5. Our business has embraced environmental sustainability and working towards the net zero agenda

6. We are committed to achieving high standards of health and safety in our workplace

7. We recognise the importance of the adoption of lean practice and behaviour across the whole company

8. Our manufacturing processes are world-leading in terms of performance and efficiency

9. We are aware of the importance of understanding our customers' interpretation of good quality

10. We use a performance management system in place to drive operational improvements

People & Skills

This award will recognise a company culture that promotes learning, focusing on talent and performance, as well as encouraging openness among employees about their development needs. Also assessing how the company is assessing and addressing both the current and future skill needs of the business.

This category is now closed

1. We provide regular, consistent and meaningful feedback on business issues and performance to all our employees

2. We have an active framework that engages our employees with our corporate values

3. We acknowledge the flexibility and productivity benefits enabled by effective teaming and actively create an environment that supports successful team working across across the business

4. We support regular feedback conversations to promote understanding, reinforce standards and encourage performance improvements to ensure we are efficient in meeting our goals

5. We are committed to investing in training and developing our workforce to maximize the effectiveness of our business

6. Our support for the health and wellbeing of our employees intentionally goes above and beyond our statutory duties of care

7. We energise employees to contribute ideas and actions that enable them, their teams, and the business to continuously improve

8. We support the professional development of all employees and actively encourage internal promotion throughout the organisation wherever possible

9. We are actively committed to make our workplace diverse and inclusive where there are equal opportunities for everyone to fulfil their potential

10. We actively support our talent pipeline by recruiting and developing new employees through structured development frameworks such as apprenticeships and mentored training programmes

Product Innovation & Design

Awarded to a company innovation within the business has been developed and applied to create significant growth, improved commercial performance, increased market share and operational effectiveness. This award does not focus on one single innovation, but looks at how a culture of innovation has been created, generating new or improved products, services and processes that successfully meet the changing needs of the customer and business.

This category is now closed

1. We understand the key factors that drive product innovation in our business

2. We understand the importance of considering our customers' needs and requirements when developing new products and services

3. Our product innovation process enables us to assess the readiness of new technologies before introducing them into the business

4. We understand the need to involve all functions in the new product development and introduction process

5. We aim to ensure that all product innovation is closely managed and controlled

6. We understand the importance of protecting our intellectual property

7. We aim to be known in the market for the innovative nature of our products

8. We monitor the performance of our current product range and aim to replace existing products with new products before they become outdated

9. A significant proportion of our current sales are for products introduced in the last 3 years

10. We recognise the importance of third party collaboration in driving innovation forward and developing new products:

Smart Factory

This award will go to the manufacturing company that, in the opinion of the judges, has made the best use of data and technology to maximise its competitive advantage within the manufacturing facility. From design and innovation to supply chain and operations this award looks at how data are gathered and used effectively to improve decision making, develop the design process and control machinery and equipment.

Complete this question set to submit an entry for the Smart Factory category.

This category is now closed

1. We connect machines and equipment, sharing data securely in real time to maximise efficiency across the enterprise

2. The data from our smart factory operations are fully integrated in our business processes

3. People are at the heart of our smart factory operations

4. We learn from experience in our own smart factory operations and from those of others in the manufacturing sector

5. Our smart factory capability enables us to be leading innovators and attractive business partners

6. We connect our smart factory operations effectively with our suppliers, logistics partners and customers

7. We provide enhanced after-sales service enabled by smart technology

8. We are able to model factory operations ahead of making changes or launching new production schedules

9. We invest proactively in automated factory systems to maximize our productivity

10. Our smart factory investment has achieved of exceeded planned benefits

Supply Chain Excellence

This category will look for an integrated supply chain strategy that embraces the whole business process, from raw materials or component procurement, through to customer delivery. Judges will also look for demonstration of innovative thinking and measures to improve business performance, and improvements in the efficiency of operations to achieve greater agility, profitability and customer responsiveness.

This category is now closed

1. We recognise the importance of understanding our customers' demand pattern and how it impacts on our operation and our suppliers

2. We understand the importance of effective Procurement and Supply Chain Management to remain competitiv

3. We understand that our factory layout should be configured to maximise flow and ensure efficiency throughout the value stream

4. We understand that a Make-vs-Buy strategy is a key competitiveness driver when we have freedom from our customers to make source changes

5. We understand the impact bottlenecks have on our systems

6. We take appropriate action to ensure material shortages do not adversely affect our delivery performance

7. We aim to use visual management tools to communicate key company information to our employees

8. We recognise the importance of eliminating all forms of waste in the business

9. We understand the importance of working with our customers and suppliers on continuous improvement activity

10. Information technology is a key factor in effective management of our supply chain and logistics

Sustainable Manufacturing

Sponsored by Cranfield University

This award will recognise how a sustainable approach has improved commercial performance, competitiveness, employee engagement, and customer and supplier perception. It will also reward innovative practices; future sustainability plans and awareness; and the greatest commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.

Complete this question set to submit an entry for the Sustainable Manufacturing category.


This category is now closed

1. We have a comprehensive sustainability strategy that is supported by the board

2. We recognise the importance of external sustainability accreditation

3. We recognise the importance of continually improving the environmental impact of our products

4. We recognise the importance of reducing the environmental impact of our production processes

5. We aim to reduce the environmental impact of supply chain logistics, transport and employee travel

6. We aim to reduce the environmental impact of operating our buildings and facilities

7. We always consider the views and concerns of our key stakeholder groups (employees, local community etc.) before embarking on any major changes to our business

8. We believe that there is a clear opportunity to use sustainability as a competitive differentiator in our markets

9. We believe that our ethical responsibility position positively impacts our business performance

10. We have a policy aligned to the net zero agenda

Young Manufacturer of the Year

The award recognises an individual who has demonstrated a strong understanding of their manufacturing environment and processes; a hands-on passion for their work; a record of commitment to training and professional development; and an ambition to excel in industry. Candidates should be able to show resourcefulness and strong problem solving skills, with a strong commitment to quality and awareness of the customer and market needs for their company. For manufacturers aged 19-30

This category is now closed

1. I have a career development plan and I am undertaking appropriate training

2. I have a detailed understanding of the manufacturing processes we operate from both a practical and theoretical perspective

3. I act as a leader and promote best practice I am fully committed to manufacturing as a career

4. I am fully committed to manufacturing as a career

5. I have made a valuable contribution to manufacturing performance in my company

6. I seek continuous improvements in our processes and operations

7. I promote the value of manufacturing and the career potential to others, particularly young people

8. I work to develop employees and help them to achieve their full potential

9. I work to improve safety performance and the health of employees

10. I work to introduce improvements to the sustainability aspects of the business