More than 800 manufacturers - from the top-ranked Advanced Instrument Development with 27 employees to giants like Toyota Motor Manufacturing (ranked second) - were surveyed on criteria such as scrap and rework as a percentage of sales, warranty costs as a percentage of sales, rejected parts per million shipped and contribution of quality to profitability and shareholder value.
Companies also were evaluated based on the number of quality programs in place; registration to various standards; percentage of employees dedicated to quality responsibilities; average number of monthly hours that employees receive quality training; and the role quality professionals play in the acquisition of test, measurement and inspection tools, software and services.
Regal Marine, ranked 26th, finished only a few spots behind industry giants General Electric (22nd) and Northrop Grumman (23rd), and ahead of such companies as Raytheon Missile Systems (28th), Lear Corp. (45th), The Black and Decker Corp. (85th) and Borg Warner (89th).
"To be mentioned in the same category as those great companies is truly humbling," said Tim Kuck, Regal's executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a statement.
"While we've instituted many processes and systems to achieve better quality - such as Lean and Six Sigma training, ISO 9001:2000 certification and variable employee compensation as it relates to customer satisfaction - our quality truly rests with the manufacturing leadership from our team members, who average 20 years of experience with Regal," he added.
"A by-product of these quality initiatives is that it trickles down to our customers, who have consistently rated Regal one of the best boats to own," Kuck said.