The nomination period for the 2019 Manufacturing Leadership Awards will remain open until Friday, but already we have received many very compelling submissions, and many point to an interesting common thread: While world-class manufacturers continue to prioritize Manufacturing 4.0 digital transformation, they increasingly are recognizing and taking action on the need to transform their corporate cultures as well.

Specifically, many of the nominations received so far show that manufacturers are transforming the capabilities of their workforces, their hiring practices, and their management practices to create organizations that are able to recognize and quickly respond to frequent and dramatic market changes and in which rapid and constant innovation is demanded and rewarded.

One nominee, for example, rethought the type of employee it would need to successfully navigate an increasingly complex and demanding supply chain. It then revamped its recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes with an eye toward bringing in more people who can excel even in trying, unpredictable environments. The result is an organization that is more nimble and capable of coping with market realities such as mass customization.

Another organization, facing increasing competition in a slow-growing industry, moved to revamp its corporate culture into one that is first and foremost customer-centric. The organization rigorously mapped its customers’ experiences, then reengineered processes to make itself easier to do business with. At the same time, the company developed a core set of customer-centric principles and values.

In a sense, these stories and others from Manufacturing Leadership Awards nominees show that, for many manufacturers, the journey to Manufacturing 4.0 is maturing. That journey is no longer thought of as exclusively or even primarily one of new technology deployment. Manufacturers now recognize it is a more holistic transformation that ultimately includes fundamental corporate culture change.

We look forward to reviewing more inspiring Manufacturing Leadership Awards nominations this year and to honoring Manufacturing 4.0 leaders. We also invite all manufacturers with inspiring stories of their own to submit their nominations by this Friday at https://mlawards.manufacturingleadershipcouncil.com/