The award is given to companies that demonstrate the ability to effectively integrate technology into existing "old line" manufacturing operations. In essence, the award honors the progression of manufacturing.
Judges pored over nomination forms and named their choices based on criteria including:
* Finding solutions to problems. These can be anything from line operation efficiency to warehousing and distribution or inventory management. Some honorees developed solutions that improve communications with customers and employees.
* Scope of project. Was the solution developed in-house? Did it come from an existing off-the-shelf product? Did the company wisely balance its financial means with the costs associated with implementing the solution?
* Project integration. How long did it take to integrate the solution into existing operations? What challenges did management encounter during the process, and how did they overcome those challenges?
* Net result of project. What impact has the project had on the company? This can include such as reduced costs, increased sales or profits, better communication or other results that positively impact the company.
The 2004 competition judges were:
Alan Lipp, executive vice president, Merit Brass Co. (2002 eVolution award winner)
Wilton (Bo) Foster, manager e-commerce, Corp. Systems, Alcan Inc., Rolled Products Americas and Asia (2002 eVolution award winner)
Ed Morrision, executive director, Center for Regional Economic Initiatives, Weatherhead School of Management, CWRU
Dr. Stephen Gage, president & CEO, CAMP Inc. (title sponsor)
Dustin S. Klein, executive editor, Smart Business Network (presenting sponsor)