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State Farm Life Insurance Company, Bloomington, Illinois Receives International Recognition for Earning the Shingo Bronze Medallion Award

Editor's note: This  press release by The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence was picked up by more than 160 media outlets including, The Boston Globe, CBSMoneywatch, International Business Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and the Indianapolis Business Journal.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, part of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, has selected The State Farm Life – Bloomington Operation Center as a recipient of the Shingo Bronze Medallion.

“Receipt of the Shingo Bronze Medallion signifies an organization’s strong use of tools and techniques for business improvement,” said Robert Miller, executive director at The Shingo Prize. “Those organizations that receive the Bronze Medallion are on their way to true operational excellence.”

State Farm Life Insurance Company is part of the State Farm® family of insurance and financial services companies. Founded in 1929, State Farm Life Insurance Company (and its affiliates) is one of the largest providers of life insurance in the United States and Canada with over 7.9 million policies in force. With a vision to be the first and best choice of customers in the products and services they provide, the organization has intensified its focus on providing value by adhering to the principles of operational excellence advocated by The Shingo Prize.

Being awarded the Shingo Bronze Medallion is an honor, and the process of ‘competing’ for this award was exciting and energizing,” said Jenifer Laesch, life supervisor at Bloomington Life Operations Center. “Our commitment to operational excellence does not end with the Shingo assessment; we will embed these principles into our culture and continue to focus on improving processes and creating value for customers.”

Through its pursuit of excellence, State Farm Life experienced a 25 percent reduction in operational expenses while simultaneously growing 250,000 policies, a 27 percent improvement in productivity, $35 million in savings from process redesign and many other process and system improvements.

By “challenging” or applying for an award, organizations invite a group of accomplished professionals and trained examiners from The Shingo Prize to thoroughly review their culture and operations. The examiners select the organizations they think are worthy of recognition.

“In providing recognition, The Shingo Prize invites organizations to challenge early in their implementation of improvement efforts,” Miller said. “Doing so provides them valuable feedback to help accelerate their implementation. By understanding the principles we teach, organizations can begin to proactively change their culture. Culture is the key to sustainable operational excellence.”

The State Farm Life – Bloomington Operation Center will receive the Shingo Bronze Medallion at the Awards Ceremony and Gala during the 25th Annual Shingo Prize International Conference, May 6-10, 2013 in Provo, Utah. The awards gala is the conclusion to this four-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.