Boeing Macon C-17 Facility Named One of Ten Best Plants in North America

The editors of IndustryWeek magazine picked the Boeing [NYSE: BA] C-17 Globemaster III airlifter facility in Macon, Ga., as one of the top ten manufacturing plants in North America and has earned a 2004 Best Plants award.

Established in 1990, IndustryWeek's annual Best Plants competition recognizes facilities that are on the leading edge of efforts to increase competitiveness, enhance customer satisfaction, and create stimulating and rewarding work environments. There were approximately 400 entries in this year's Best Plants competition, judged on rigorous evaluation criteria including customer focus, technology, quality, performance measurement, employee involvement and empowerment, and improved competitiveness.

"This confirms that our commitment to business excellence and employee involvement delivers impressive results," said Obie Jones, site leader of Team Macon. Jones said the key to the outstanding performance of the Macon facility is what he called the "highly motivated, well trained, empowered workforce operating in an environment of continuous improvement."

The Boeing Macon plant produces structural subassemblies for the C-17 advanced airlifter, and also supports the Boeing AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook helicopter programs. Macon is the second C-17 facility to receive the Best Plants award. In 2002, the Boeing C-17 Production Complex in Long Beach, Calif., was named an IndustryWeek Best Plants winner.

"This year's win for Team Macon, combined with our Long Beach win in 2002, shows our C-17 facilities are world-class across the enterprise," said Dave Bowman, vice president and C-17 program manager. "This is a tremendous achievement for the entire C-17 team, including our employees, our customers, our supplier partners and our shareholders."

In honoring the Macon facility, IndustryWeek called it "a team-based, empowered workforce that supports a unique, always striving-to-get-better culture."

IndustryWeek senior editor John Teresko, who personally visited and evaluated the Macon site, said "Team Macon's culture is unique and powerful, even within a world-class company such as Boeing." The magazine also noted Team Macon's ongoing safety performance, the 54 percent improvement in factory efficiency over the past five years, and the focus on "doing it right the first time" that reduced the cost of rework and repair by 89 percent.

The Best Plants award will formally be presented to Boeing in a ceremony at the Macon facility Sept. 20.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense and Department of Homeland Security; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.

More information about the 2004 Best Plants winners.

For further information:
Rick Sanford
Boeing Airlift & Tanker Programs
Gary Lesser
Boeing Airlift & Tanker Programs