Audi Brussels and BMT Aerospace Belgium: winner and laureate of the Industrial Excellence Award Belgium 2021

Represented by Vlerick Business School, this is the first time Belgium has taken part in this prestigious European competition

Ann Vereecke

By Ann Vereecke

Professor of Operations Management

23 November 2021

The Industrial Excellence Award is a prestigious competition that benchmarks management quality for European competitiveness in the industrial and service sectors. The award competition – including both national as well as international levels – involves 12 countries and is hosted by 15 top universities and business schools across Europe.

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Vlerick Business School is happy to announce that Audi Brussels was elected as the national winner of the first Belgian award, which focuses this year on ‘Digital Enterprise Strategy Innovation Top-down & Bottom-up’. BMT Aerospace Belgium, the second finalist, was elected as the Belgian laureate in the same category.

 Ann Vereecke, Professor of Operations Management at Vlerick Business School: “At Vlerick Business School, we are excited to become the Belgian partner in the European Industrial Excellence Award. This prestigious award gives recognition to companies that combine a clear and consistent strategy with excellence in operations. The special focus of this year’s competition was how digitally enhanced processes create superior value. A recipe for sustainable growth!”

Audi Brussels - Winner of the 'Industrial Excellence Award Belgium 2021’

Audi Brussels is a subsidiary of Audi AG, which manufactures Audi’s first electric car models Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron Sportback and assembles their batteries.

The strategy of the Audi Brussels plant is ‘to become even more lean, clean and automated/digitised’. Digitisation is a journey with a clear goal for Audi Brussels: from collecting data to create transparency, to prediction, to prescription and autonomous systems. A noteworthy aspect of their digitisation journey is the involvement of their operators in automation and digitisation projects, and the focus on re-skilling and upskilling the workforce for the future.

Because the factory is surrounded by the city of Brussels, Audi Brussels operates as an example of ‘urban manufacturing’, creating a symbiosis with the community and keeping it liveable thanks to a remarkable environment and people focus.

Audi Brussels exerts tireless and fruitful efforts to get ahead of the trends and remain relevant in the future: a clear driver of their success has been their ability to transition to the assembly of entirely new car models (from traditional cars to the e-cars), which entailed a complete transformation of the factory.

BMT Aerospace Belgium – Laureate of the 'Industrial Excellence Award Belgium 2021’

BMT Aerospace Belgium manufactures gears and other mechanical components for the aerospace industry. Despite the Covid-19 crisis, the company has maintained a strong financial performance thanks to their understanding of their working capital, which includes leading a proactive collaboration with their supply chain partners.

The company’s main achievements include the digitisation of manufacturing processes and predictive maintenance, the introduction of additive manufacturing, and a strong people focus. The focus on people is embedded in the culture of the company, resulting in operators being proud of working in a highly automated, state-of-the-art factory.

The Belgian Award ceremony will take place at Vlerick Business School in Brussels on 17 January 2022.

As the winner of the Industrial Excellence Award Belgium, Audi Brussels will compete with the European national champions as finalists for the Industrial Excellence Award Europe. This European competition will be hosted online by IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, on 25-27 January 2022.

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Alejandra Cabos Rodríguez

Alejandra Cabos Rodríguez

Researcher