E-Z-GO Awarded The Shingo Prize

Written on the 20 April 2009

(AUGUSTA, GA) — E-Z-GO, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), is proud to announce that it has been awarded The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, an international award that recognizes companies that achieve world-class performance and promote Lean operational concepts.

E-Z-GO is the first company to receive the Prize at the enterprise level – meaning that E-Z-GO was recognized for world-class status at all of its geographic locations and across all business functions, including manufacturing, engineering, sales, finance, marketing, communications, supply chain management, information technology, and human resources.

“More than five years ago, I set The Shingo Prize as a goal for all of our businesses to achieve,” said Lewis Campbell, Textron Chairman and CEO. “Ever since, I have personally witnessed E-Z-GO’s transformation into a company with Lean practices ingrained across all business disciplines in all of its locations.”

“E-Z-GO’s financial performance and customer satisfaction have improved dramatically and this recognition for its world-class enterprise processes is truly deserved. I could not be prouder that E-Z-GO and its employees have achieved a major component of Textron’s vision,” Campbell said.

Robert D. Miller, executive director of The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence said, “We could not have picked a better company than E-Z-GO to receive the first Shingo Prize ever awarded at the enterprise level.”

“E-Z-GO has truly deployed Lean and Six Sigma practices throughout its entire business,” Miller said. “From the moment we walked into E-Z-GO’s Augusta world headquarters, we experienced a culture of Lean with every employee interaction. The engagement level of their employees, coupled with their passion for Lean from the shop floor to the sales representatives, was impressive.”

“This is a very special time for E-Z-GO,” said E-Z-GO President Kevin P. Holleran. “Five years ago, as we embarked on our Lean journey to streamline our operations and create value for our customers, we set our sights on The Shingo Prize as a corporate goal. I couldn’t be more proud of our employees for their dedication and devotion to achieving that goal and their tireless efforts on behalf of our customers.

“Receipt of The Shingo Prize validates that every E-Z-GO vehicle is sourced, built, sold and serviced using world-class processes. The Prize is the ultimate example of our ‘Excellence in Motion’ – our unique combination of passionate people, advanced technology, unmatched manufacturing expertise and extraordinary service that delivers what no other company in the industry can.”

In being evaluated for the Prize, E-Z-GO was assessed by a team of professionals with expertise across all business functions. The team included representatives from prior Shingo Prize-winning companies. Assessors visited E-Z-GO’s global headquarters and manufacturing facility in Augusta, Georgia as well as the company’s factory-direct sales and service branches in Illinois, Texas and Georgia.

The assessors viewed E-Z-GO operations firsthand and interviewed employees at all levels of the company to ensure that Lean operational philosophies and thinking were ingrained throughout the company.

The Shingo Prize
Established in 1988, the Prize is named for Dr. Shigeo Shingo, a leading expert in improving manufacturing processes and one of the architects of the famed Toyota Production System. The Prize has been dubbed “the Nobel Prize of Manufacturing” by Business Week magazine. The Prize is administered by the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

The Shingo Prize is the highest level of recognition awarded, although companies and organizations also can receive “Silver Medallion” and “Bronze Medallion” status. Prior recipients of Shingo recognition include: the Neutron Generator at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M.; Lycoming Engines in Williamsport, Pa.; Volvo Construction Equipment in Skyland, N.C.; Micron Manufacturing Co. in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Medtronic Surgical Technologies in Jacksonville, Fl.; and Calloway Golf Ball Operations in Chicopee, Mass.

E-Z-GO’s Lean Achievements (2005-2008)
E-Z-GO, founded in 1954 and located in Augusta, Georgia, is a leading supplier of golf, turf and utility vehicles throughout the world. Its Augusta manufacturing facility features on-site fabrication of vehicle frames and other key components, three manufacturing assembly lines, an automotive-inspired testing facility, engineering, parts and accessories with a focus on customer care. The company also has six branch locations nationwide serving its sales, service and distribution network.

The company’s Lean transformation began in 2003 in the face of diminishing business performance. Since 2004, E-Z-GO has seen its profitability increase by more than 200 percent and its return on invested capital, or ROIC, increase by greater than 13 percent.

E-Z-GO accomplishments that led to its receipt of the Shingo Prize include:
Quality

* Increased First Time Quality over 20 percent - at 98 percent today
* ISO 9001 Certification (current) – auditors recently identified 6 E-Z-GO practices as “best-in-class” compared to similar manufacturers

Cost

* Improved inventory turns 30 percent
* Improved operating profit by more than 90 percent
* Improved Productivity by 30 percent
* Reduced supply base 60 percent
* Instituted all employee suggestion system to collect employee improvement ideas
* Improved ROIC over 500 basis points

Environmental, Health and Safety

* Total Recordable Injury Rate of 0.7 – “World-Class” is 1.0
* Reduced absenteeism by 36 percent
* Reduced energy consumption 10 percent year over year; natural-gas consumption reduced by 8 percent from 2006 to 2008
* Plant water consumption reduced by more than 85 percent over six-year period
* Plant-wide recycling program, including employee recycling, resulted in more than $250,000 in cost savings and avoidance
* ISO 14001 Certification (current) – auditors recently identified 5 E-Z-GO practices as “best-in-class” compared to similar manufacturers
* Launched employee health and wellness program

Awards and Recognition

* Named one of 20 finalists for Industry Week’s Best Plants 2008
* Extensive media coverage including IMPO Magazine cover article highlighting Lean and operational excellence
* Awarded State Funding Grant by Georgia Gov. Sonny Purdue to support training and transformational objectives
* Received two Textron Chairman’s Awards for Innovation (A/C Drive and Braking system on new RXV vehicle)
* Lead Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturer’s Exchange – bringing local manufacturers together to share best practices and address issues in common

People

* E-Z-GO has approximately 1,000 employees located in Augusta and throughout the sales/distribution organization around the world.
* Employee engagement scores are the highest for an operating company within Textron, including sister business units such as Cessna and Bell Helicopter.
* The transformation to embrace lean principles has occurred at all levels of the organization. Basic lean tools such as 5S, identification of the seven wastes, standard work, and “Kaizen” events are now part of everyday work routines.
* The highly engaged work force is a powerful sales tool influencing the purchase decision of key customers through tours and interactions.
* The diverse workforce has developed goals and strategies that are aligned with the needs of the customer. E-Z-GO has implemented lean manufacturing and business processes that deliver high quality, reliable vehicles and customer value.

About E-Z-GO

E-Z-GO, a Textron Company, is a leading manufacturer of golf cars and utility vehicles. E-Z-GO is the preferred golf car fleet provider for seven of the top 10 of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses as ranked by Golf Digest. E-Z-GO is also the golf car of choice of nine of the nation’s 10 largest course-management companies. E-Z-GO boasts the largest sales and service network in the industry, with more factory branch locations and independent distributors than any other manufacturer.

More than a maker of golf cars, E-Z-GO is also a leading provider of industrial, turf and utility vehicles for a variety of applications and industries. Products under the E-Z-GO flagship include the Shuttle Personnel Carrier, ST Trail Utility vehicles, and the Clays Car, the world’s first vehicle designed specifically for the sporting clays shooter. E-Z-GO also produces the Cushman line of heavy duty burden carriers.

Founded in 1954 in Augusta Ga., E-Z-GO became part of Textron Inc. in 1960. Textron Inc. is an $11 billion multi-industry company operating in 32 countries with approximately 40,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Fluid & Power, Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation. More information is available at www.textron.com.

About Textron

Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) is a $14.2 billion multi-industry company operating in 28 countries with approximately 42,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, defense and intelligence, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation. More information is available at www.textron.com.

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Special note to Editors: The correct spelling of ‘E-Z-GO’ is with all capital letters and two hyphens.

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