Shingo Prize Awarded to Regeneron for Operational Excellence

Summary: After trained examiners and accomplished business professionals performed a thorough assessment of its Rensselaer, New York facility, Regeneron has been awarded the internationally-recognized Shingo Prize from the Shingo Institute, a program in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

LOGAN, Utah – The Shingo Institute, a program in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, has awarded Regeneron with the Shingo Prize. Regeneron is a leading biotechnology company that invents, develops and manufactures life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases.  

“Receipt of the Shingo Prize is a worldwide recognized symbol of an organization’s successful establishment of a culture anchored on principles of enterprise excellence—principles such as respect for every individual, leading with humility, quality at the source, the quest for perfection, creating value for the customer, etc.,” said Ken Snyder, executive director at the Shingo Institute. “Ultimately, these recipients are in a class of the best organizations in the world, regardless of industry or country.”

Regeneron’s goal for more than 30 years has been to harness the power of science, coupled with a great team, to make exceptional medicine, transform lives, and, ultimately, change the world. Devoted to continuous improvement, the company has grown throughout its life, developed numerous new medicines in its labs, and invented multiple bottleneck-breaking technologies, such as VelociGene® and VelocImmune®, to help speed drug discovery and development. The Regeneron Rensselaer site boasts the ability to manufacture more than 50 molecules onsite under 24/7 operations and is an industry leader in using disposable technology as well as overall cell culture capacity. The company, with 2,700 Rensselaer-based employees, has more than 20 drug candidates in clinical development as of March 2019 and seven medicines approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.


“I do not think it is a coincidence that Regeneron, which has been voted the best biopharma employer six times by Science Magazine, has also been recognized by [the Shingo Institute] for operational excellence,” Manager of Process Sciences Jordan Byrd said. “The commitment to employee engagement creates an atmosphere that fosters improvements and innovation.”

“Someone walked through our facilities years ago and asked ‘have you ever thought of competing for the Shingo Prize?’” Executive Vice President and General Manager of Industrial Operations and Product Supply Dan Van Plew said.

“Once we figured out what the Prize is about, we submitted our first application. Through that initial experience we learned the [Shingo examiners’] outsider-looking-in comments are incredibly insightful and succinct,” he continued. “So we applied a second time, and won THE Prize. We did this with homegrown systems and ideas, while concurrently managing year over year growth of about 35%. It is awfully hard to grow so quickly while simultaneously improving. We are extremely proud to have won.”

Regeneron has attained significant achievements throughout the life of the company. The Industrial Operations and Product Supply team has driven a substantial decrease in potential quality events per batch manufactured from the years 2012-17 as well as a massive increase in the completion of corrective and preventative actions in those same years. The company has also experienced a near 4,800% increase in the average number of employees who are recognized monthly for implementing continuous improvement ideas from 2013-18 as well as a 2,050% increase in unique products manufactured from 2006-18. In recent years, Regeneron also had three products available for commercial launch within one business day after FDA approval, helping change and improve lives in a timely, professional manner. The company was named one of Forbes’ Most Innovative Companies for the last six years. Similarly, it has consistently been ranked in the top two of Science Magazine’s Top Employers survey from 2010-18. Fortune also ranks Regeneron among its 100 Best Places to Work.

By “challenging” or applying for an award, organizations invite a group of accomplished professionals and trained examiners to thoroughly review their culture and operations. The examiners evaluate the challengers based on a rigorous set of standards and the Shingo Institute awards the organizations according to their assessment results.

Team members from Regeneron will receive the Shingo Prize during the Awards Gala at the 31st Shingo Conference held the week of April 28–May 3, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. The conference is a five-day event featuring a selection of workshops, plant tours, keynote speakers, and breakout sessions designed to provide ongoing knowledge, insights, and experience for organizations in their pursuit of operational excellence.

About the Shingo Institute

The Shingo Institute is home of the Shingo Prize, an award that recognizes organizations that demonstrate an exceptional culture that fosters continuous improvement. A program in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, the Shingo Institute is named after Japanese industrial engineer and Toyota advisor, Shigeo Shingo. Dr. Shingo distinguished

himself as one of the world’s thought leaders in concepts, management systems, and improvement techniques that have become known as the Toyota Production System.

Drawing from Dr. Shingo’s teachings and years of experience working with organizations worldwide, the Shingo Institute developed the Shingo ModelTM which is the basis for its several educational offerings, including workshops, study tours, and conferences. Workshops are available in multiple languages through the Institute’s licensed affiliates. For more information on workshops, affiliates, or to register to attend the International Shingo Conference, please visit

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