Ludwig Erhard Prize (LEP) 2019 silver award

03. Jul 2019 | People + Business

The Ludwig Erhard Prize is Germany's oldest and most renowned prize for excellence. It is dedicated to the promotion and propagation of the concept of excellence. Honorary assessors from various companies evaluate the performance of the entrants on the basis of the EFQM Excellence Model.


We took part in the LEP in 2005 and 2011, where we were finalists and came second. After eight long years we decided it was now time to enter for the LEP again. But we were not just interested in winning the attractive prize, we also particularly value the input and assessment by external bodies not previously familiar with our company.


As a first step our Marketing Board Quality Circle, made up of the board of management and the heads of division, set a date for submission of our application and the on-site visit. We had a choice of three different dates. To allow ourselves as much time as possible, we naturally decided on the latest date available. As quality officer and assistant to the board of management, I was appointed project manager. Which meant being responsible for organisation and production of our application. I was fortunate enough to receive help with this from our long-standing adviser, Dr. Jürgen Freisl. Having been an LEP assessor for many years, he is a real expert in this field.

The application

An LEP team was set up to assist with production and processing of the application. Janine Winkler, Dennis Leidig, Malte Stäubner and Rolf-Christoph Engel volunteered to take on this task.

The application is made up of three sections: The company presentation, the enabler part and the results part. Our company presentation includes a comprehensive presentation of our business, including statistics, a brief history and a description of our management system. In the enabler part, we explained roughly five strengths for each of the nine criteria of the EFQM Excellence Model under the headings "Target", "Procedures & implementation", "Assessment & improvement", "Links & measurements", "Verification/documents" and "Processes/responsibilities". In the final part, we presented the development of the indices important to us over the past five years in the form of a graph, together with the results of customer and employee surveys. The Controlling department was particularly helpful to us when doing so.

Once proof-reading had been completed by all concerned and one week prior to final submission, we put on a last spurt. Together with Lorena Treccarichi from our Marketing team, the application was formatted in accordance with our CI and provided with illustrations to create a clearly written and interesting presentation. Towards the end things got rather hectic again and I was highly relieved when I was able to mop my brow and send off the application.

On-site visit

After the board of management and myself had a first meeting with the assessors in Cologne, an on-site visit took place between the 06.05.-10.05.2019. During the course of this, discussions were held on various topics with a number of employees. The six assessors split up into three groups and talked about three categories each from the EFQM Excellence Model. Points were then awarded on the basis of the talks. The assessors gave a small presentation on the 10.05. to explain the results to the Marketing Board and myself. We received a number of suggestions for improvement, but also plenty of praise.

The results & the awards ceremony

After their on-site visit, the assessors compiled a report containing their results which they passed on to the jury. The jury then also evaluated the results and awarded the prizes to all the companies.

The waiting was finally over on the 25.06.2019 when the awards ceremony took place in Berlin.

At 5 pm the event began in radial system. At the beginning the award ceremony was opened by the moderator Ursula Heller and Thomas Kraus, chairman of ILEP e.V.. After two very interesting speeches by Prof. Dr. Timo Meynhardt and the multiple Paralympic winner Verena Bentele, the prizes were distributed. Since we were the best ranked company, we were the last to be awarded silver. From a total of 8 companies, 6 received bronze and 2 silver. Gold was not awarded this year.
After the award ceremony the After Show Party along the Spree started with lots of food, drinks and good conversations.

We are very proud of our prize and who knows - perhaps we will be applying for the LEP again soon.