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Next Generation Manufacturing Honors Best Companies in Key Industry

Posted on August 11, 2011

Bob Miller, Vice President of medical device manufacturer Tegra Medical in Franklin, knows better than anyone that the annual Next Generation Manufacturing (NGM) Benchmark Study and Award Program means more than simply winning a prize.

Next Generation ManufacturingTegra Medical and its 450 employees received the inaugural NGM award last year in a process that helped the company to refine its already efficient operations and strengthen its worldwide competitive position.

“Participating in the NGMA program last year helped us to look at our company differently. We reevaluated our goals and mission and made some very strong strategic decisions to help us to continue to grow as a Next Generation Manufacturer” Miller said.

The second annual NGM Achievement Benchmark Study and Award Program is now underway. The program gives small and midsize manufacturers the opportunity to assess their operations against world class standards while competing for the Second Annual Next Generation Manufacturing Award (NGMA).

The benchmarking study and award are again sponsored by the AIM Manufacturing Institute, the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership and McGladrey.

The self-directed benchmark study will ask respondents to assess their performance in such areas as productivity and quality gains, sustainability, supply chain management, skills training and global engagement.    

Employers may complete the study online at or . Firms who complete the assessment will become eligible for an onsite visit, and companies that show tangible success against performance criteria will become eligible to receive the NGM Award in November.           

Miller said, “The benchmarking process also shined a light on several best practices, including our comprehensive measures to retain employees and building pipelines to recite new talent, and systematically completing daily and weekly reviews at all levels.” 

Manufacturing is the fourth largest employment sector in the Massachusetts, generating more than $40 billion in revenue. That revenue number has increased since 1997. The average manufacturer operating in the Bay State employs 50 or fewer people. Out of more than 7,500 manufacturing companies in Massachusetts, only about 160 produce more than $100 million in annual output, and only a quarter of those have revenues above $500 million. 

The numbers confirm that smaller enterprises are critical to the state’s manufacturing economy. But while small and midsize manufacturers often surpass larger firms on key performance metrics, these companies typically face hurdles because they do not have the same level of resources as larger firms.

The global competitiveness of small and midsize manufacturers is of increasing importance to the health of the region’s economy – and of course vital to the success (and survival) of the individual firms. The NGMA sponsors urge manufacturers to participate in the benchmarking self-evaluation study in order to gauge their competitive posture for the future.