Mannok Wins Operational Excellence in Manufacturing Award

26th June 2023

Mannok won the Operational Excellence in Manufacturing category at this year’s Operational Excellence Awards, a prestigious awards programme, held annually in Dublin, to recognise and reward individuals, teams and organisations who have made a commitment to achieving operational excellence and business transformation. Over 60 organisations were finalists in 20 award categories and Mannok was up against six other high performing businesses in the category it won.

Operational Excellence (OpEx) is an approach to business management that emphasises continuous improvement across all aspects of the business and within all business processes by creating a culture where management and employees are invested in business outcomes and empowered to implement change.

Mannok has been working towards operational efficiency since January 2022, following the launch of the Mannok Leading Excellence Programme, its operational excellence strategy. It was the rollout of this strategy, a transferable framework based on four core pillars of Lean, Sustainability, Skills and Development and Continuous Improvement, and employee receptiveness to the programme, which helped the company achieve this OpEx award.

Within the Operational Excellence in Manufacturing category, the judges were looking for a manufacturing business that has used operational excellence as a critical driver to ensure processing and manufacturing efficiency, that there was a reduction in down-time, that product quality had increased or maintained and that there were cost savings for the business.

When Mannok was announced as the winner of this category, at the awards ceremony on the 15th of June in the Crowne Plaza Hotel Dublin, the judge’s comments were presented,

“The excellent and progressive work around Operational Excellence in Mannok grabbed the panel’s attention, with a great Lean and Continuous Improvement programme under pinning all the work and effort that is being put in by the team. This company is taking clear steps to make its operational vision a reality and is a very worthwhile winner in this very competitive category. Congratulations to everyone at Mannok.”


Some of the notable achievements to date from the work of the Mannok OpEx team include:

  • Through the Skills Development Programme over 1000 key processes have been reviewed, standardised and developed into video training, within its Packaging, Roof Tiles, PIR Insulation and Bagged Cement facilities, to create standardised, safer ways of working.
  • Over 320 staff at all levels of the business have completed Lean training. The training ranges from in-house foundation level to QQI accredited Level 9 awards.
  • An automated card swiping process for drivers at the company’s weighbridge has reduced weigh in time by circa., 75%.
  • Through the implementation of preventative maintenance and problem-solving training to employees, the amount of downtime across Mannok’s facilities has significantly reduced and over the last 12 months the plant availability has increased by 16%. All unplanned stoppages are now tagged and investigated, with actions assigned to help mitigate the chances of the issue arising again.

Commenting on Mannok’s OpEx Team’s work to date and how this award is an excellent representation of not only their work but everyone’s across the business, Operations Director, Kevin Lunney, said,

“The implementation of OpEx is underway in 4 of 8 manufacturing facilities and associated support functions across our business, with performance already yielding significant improvements. As we improve process and efficiencies across the business while aiming for best in class standards, we are benefiting the business, our customers and our people.  

I would like to congratulate the Operational Excellence Team on this prestigious award and the wider Mannok team, who have all been very receptive to adopting the operational excellence core principles of teamwork, problem-solving, innovation and leadership.

It was a very proud moment for the company to be recognised along with some of the most successful businesses across the country. It was also a very proud moment, when Conor Baxter, our Operational Excellence Manager, was crowned Operations Manager of the Year. On behalf of the whole company, I’d like to commend Conor and thank him for all his work.”

The Operations Manager / COO of the Year award was the only individual award of the evening and the judges were looking for an individual who had an exceptional contribution to the success of their organisation. There were nine people shortlisted with the overall winner being, Conor Baxter Operational Excellence Manager at Mannok.

While Conor was being presented with his award, the judge’s comments were read out and they said,

“Conor demonstrates a real can-do attitude, he’s self-driven and has tapped into various levels of the business with his passion and leadership. The variety of testimonials from people at all levels in Mannok, is a clear indicator that he’s highly regarded and valued across the business. Not only has Conor applied OpEx practices personally, but he’s also influenced his entire organisation and beyond, promoting OpEx on a large scale. Congratulations, to Conor Baxter.”