The Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing announced May 29 the retirement of Dr. Ross Robson as the organization’s executive director.

 

The following is a statement from Robert D. Miller, the new executive director for the Shingo Prize:

 

“We are pleased to announce that after nearly 20 years of leadership in industry and the Shingo Prize, Dr. Ross Robson, will pass the baton to me, Bob Miller. A year ago, Ross began a process for transitioning responsibility for the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing by bringing me on as associate executive director. The dean of the College of Business at Utah State University, where the Shingo Prize is housed, has announced the next step in that process. Effective immediately, I will assume operational responsibility of the Shingo Prize and will assume the position of executive director on July 1, 2007.

 

“For nearly 20 years, the Shingo Prize has been a standard of excellence that has inspired countless organizations to excellence. My very first experience with the Shingo Prize occurred in 1997 when I worked for the Gates Rubber Company in Denver, Colorado. One of our plants in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, was faced with the challenging task of significantly raising their internal capabilities to meet the demanding expectations of an entirely new set of customers. After many attempts to resolve many quality issues, plant management became aware of the Shingo Prize criteria and, using it as a model for improvement, began the journey that ultimately put them on a firm foundation. Later, after some incredible work, the plant became a recipient of the Shingo Prize and, more importantly, gained the respect and confidence of their customers. Through his leadership of the Shingo Prize, Dr. Ross Robson has played a critical role in enabling this and many other stories like it for the entire 20 years he has been at the helm. I am profoundly grateful to Ross for his incredible contribution to lean manufacturing. It is hard to calculate the depth of influence Ross has had on North American manufacturing.

 

“Because of his work, the Shingo Prize is well positioned to fully realize its potential and to fulfill the vision to be the ‘Nobel Prize’ in business. The very concept of being like a Nobel Prize carries with it an implied strategy such as continuously raising the standard of excellence, expanding the application of the Shingo Prize to many industries and nations. Additionally, it implies building strong relationships with many professional industry associations so that they will recommend to their colleagues the Shingo Prize as a standard of excellence to which they should aspire. 

 

“Ross will extend his association with the Shingo Prize, working as the director of the Public Sector Shingo Prize, for a few more months to help us develop an extremely important new partnership between the Department of Defense and the Shingo Prize. Between now and February 2008, Ross will assist us by finalizing this relationship. 

 

“Equally important, Ross will continue to transition the countless critical relationships he has developed in the past 20 years with people all over the world. Beginning in March 2008, Ross will begin a long-overdue research sabbatical so that he can begin writing the first of the many books he has inside of him. He will retire from the College of Business on August 31, 2008, to pursue a consulting career where he will be able to tap his years of experience in lean manufacturing.

“Though change and transition is often difficult, it almost always brings opportunity. We look forward to a new beginning for the Shingo Prize. We are busy preparing recommendations to our board of governors on critical issues relating to our future. Along with improvements to our current processes, we expect to address many issues of opportunity that must be planned well in advance of their execution. We will keep you well apprised of these changes in the months to come.

“Personally, I am honored to associate with the great people who are involved with lean around the world. Without exception, the people I have met have a commitment to and a fundamental respect for people and are committed to excellence. This puts us in association with the best people in business and I am better for each interaction I have.

“We appreciate all that you are doing and look forward to a long and productive affiliation in the years to come.”

 

For more information about the Shingo Prize, visit www.shingoprize.org.