MALVERN, PA -- MEI Inc. reports that its plant in El Marqués, Querétaro, Mexico, has been awarded a 2013 Silver Medallion by the Shingo Institute. The award recognizes organizations for operational excellence. It is granted after evaluation by Shingo's board of examiners, made up of individuals acknowledged for their accomplishments in "lean" manufacturing and the Shingo principles.
"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 MEI chief operations officer Tash Kassam.
"Over the last 12 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."
The Shingo Institute, based at Utah State University, was established to honor Dr. Shigeo Shingo, who is known for his thought leadership in the concepts, management policies and improvement techniques known as the Toyota Business System. Shingo received an honorary doctorate from Utah State in 1988, and the prize was initiated in the same year.
MEI senior director of manufacturing Hugo Ávila Ramírez observed that the company has made substantial progress, but more remains to be done as it works to complete its operational excellence journey. "Despite a very good result, we know we have an opportunity to progress in certain areas," he said.
The official Silver Medallion presentation to MEI will take place during the 26th Annual Shingo Prize International Conference in May 2014.
MEI holds the world's largest installed base of unattended payment systems, handling over two billion transactions per week in more than 100 countries.