by Dirk Dusharme

European Commission Wants Companies to Rethink ISO 9000's Use
NIST Budget Update
Federal Quality Institute Set to Close
Quality Association Folds
Measurement Drives Change
NIST Program Provides Competitive Edge
Internet Resources Update
How do you define: Teamwork
Shingo Prize Winners Announced
ASQC Announces Ishikawa Winners
Employees Prefer Praise Over Money
Chemical Company Sees Green
Plans Underway for Deming Stamp

European Commission Wants Companies to Rethink ISO 9000's Use

A new policy proposed by the European Commission could change the way European Union countries view ISO 9000 registration. The policy, still in its draft form, is primarily designed to help generate a European image of quality, but several elements of the document contain language that indicate the EC's intent to put ISO 9000 registration into its proper perspective-as a tool rather than a ticket.

According to the document, "A European Quality Promotion Policy," Europe's global competitiveness is hampered by a lack of cohesion between national and regional quality programs among EU member states. There is no such thing as a perceived "European" quality image, the document points out. Therefore, perceptions of product quality are closely tied to nationalistic bias, which can lead to restricted movement of products between member countries, and even of products outside the EU-such as the United States.

A "European" quality culture will lessen this effect, says Jacques McMillan, one of the document's authors and chief of the Senior Standards Policy Group for the EC's Directorate-General III for Industry, which oversees quality and certification.

"The minute you come up with a national image, the person on the other side of the border is going to look for the national image that he is familiar with," explains McMillan. "In Europe, that means that you keep on favoring the continued existence of psychological barriers to trade. If we can come up with a European image, it will help reduce the psychological barriers and strengthen the global competitiveness of European industry."

Although the document outlines several ways that the EC hopes to build this European quality image, a recurring theme is the EC's goal to educate European industry to shift their emphasis from ISO 9000 registration as a ticket for doing business to its use as a quality tool.

While acknowledging that customer demands often drive ISO 9000 certification, the document debunks the idea held by some customers and suppliers that certification improves quality. Citing a yet-to-be-released survey of European companies regarding the value of third-party certification, the document reports that "more than two-thirds of the companies state that there is no significant difference between certified and noncertified suppliers with respect to the reliability of deliveries, to the quality of products and to the number of complaints."

Despite this type of information, both McMillan and the document stress the importance of implementing an ISO 9000 system as a "first step" in a quality process. The biggest problem with ISO 9000 is not the system itself, but the often abused requirement for third-party registration, says McMillan. The proposed policy addresses that situation.

"A lot of firms are going for a certificate because they believe they have to," explains McMillan. "Sometimes their customers are asking for a certificate when their customers don't need a certificate in the first place. The [European Quality Promotion Policy] will be there to signal operators that ISO 9000 is a tool like any other and to give the message to users, customers and public administrations: 'Don't ask for registration if you don't need it.' "

If McMillan and the EC can drive home that point, it may go a long way toward helping U.S. companies do business in Europe. Things like registration costs and multiple registration for companies doing business in several European countries often prove to hinder U.S. industry, particularly small companies.

As a part of engendering European quality, the document also suggests that a formal program be implemented to train and qualify auditors to one European level as opposed to auditors being trained at multiple national levels.

For suppliers who must have ISO 9000 registration, this should be good news. It could mean the end of nightmarish multiple registrations or trying to find a registrar who has mutual recognition agreements with all the countries that a company is trying to do business with.

Although McMillan says that he has received negative feedback from some European registrars who have reviewed the document, none of the half-dozen ISO 9000 registrars, European and North American, interviewed for this story had any problem with the document's thrust. One even went so far as to imply that, in the end, the proposal could actually enhance business for registrars.

"The true added value of registrars is not that they register but that they, as independent licensed auditors, can help to assess the true performance of organizations," points out M.N.D. de Vries, director of KEMA, a Dutch registrar. "This means that the good registrars will get plenty of new opportunities to help their customers improve their processes. The ISO 9000 business as such may change or even disappear, but the auditing and assessment business will flourish."

McMillan is currently accepting comments on the draft document and hopes to have a reference document, which will form the basis for formal documentation, finished by the end of the year.

For more information or a copy of "A European Quality Promotion Policy," contact the European Commission, Directorate General III, Industry, Rue de la Loi 200, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium.

NIST Budget Update

If the Baldrige National Quality Program receives proper funding next year, it will be due in no small part to outcry from the quality community.

As we reported last month, NIST was facing a possible one-two punch to their budget from both a rescission bill and the proposed 1996 budget that could have severely impacted the health and education pilots, and even the Baldrige program itself.

"Largely due to strong support from the community, we understand that the authorization subcommittee of the House was inundated with phone calls and mail from supporters of the Baldrige program," says Baldrige Deputy Director Harry Hertz.

As it stands, the current set of bills, although not entirely embracing the Baldrige program, do allow for the program to continue. Particulars include:
Unlike an earlier rescission bill vetoed by President Clinton that recommended cutting $16.3 million from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Baldrige together, a new rescission bill does not specifically target the Baldrige program.
An authorization bill passed by a House authorization subcommittee authorizes $3.4 million for the Baldrige program (same as 1995), including $600,000 for the health and education pilots, and increases the number of awards from two to four per Baldrige category. It also removes the Commerce Secretary's authority to add new Baldrige categories, meaning Congress would have to pass a law to create categories.
Though not specifically mentioning the Baldrige program, a House appropriations subcommittee has OK'd a 1996 NIST budget that includes $263 million to cover the bulk of NIST's budget, some of which "could fund quality," says Hertz. The proposed budget also calls for $81 million to fund NIST's Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $60.1 million for construction of research facilities.

The budget proposal did not fund NIST's Advanced Technology Program, a move that Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown called "deeply disappointing."

"The zero funding of the Advanced Technology Program is unacceptable," says Brown. "Limiting and eliminating key technology functions and programs at Commerce affects the ability of the United States to create jobs for U.S. workers, now and in the future."

On a different note, "The Department of Commerce Dismantling Act" (bills H.R. 1756 and S. 929) proposes transferring the Baldrige Award to the National Science Foundation.

Federal Quality Institute Set to Close

Just weeks before the Annual National Conference on Federal Quality in August, the Office of Personnel Management officially announced the September 30 closure of the Federal Quality Institute and transfer of FQI functions to OPM's Office of Executive Resources.

On July 3, OPM Director Jim King announced that the Office of Executive Resources would take over the principal responsibilities of the Federal Quality Institute. In addition, the OPM will coordinate and produce the Annual National Conference on Federal Quality and the President's Quality Award program. The purpose, according to King, is to enhance FQI's functions and do it at lower cost.

"The integration of these OPM
operations represents our unwavering commitment to the development and implementation of quality-management programs," says King. "Quality-management education and delivery systems will be continued, enhanced and further developed under the OPM umbrella."

But some FQI staffers fear that although OPM is the administrative head of FQI, they may be too far removed from FQI's operations to understand key operational aspects, e.g., the important role of volunteers or the difference between consulting and training.

"We don't do training," says an FQI employee. "We collaborate with the leaders and guide them through the process. Training is minimal. OPM wants us to just deliver our training materials to the Federal Executive Institute and management development centers."

FQI staff won't be transferred to OER intact; layoff notices for FQI's already thin staff are coming, says the OPM. FQI has 10 paid staff and 10 detailees from other agencies that handle all FQI functions. By contrast, the Baldrige office has 24 full-time staff.

Three days after OPM's announcement, FQI fired off a press release noting that the FQI closure, which has been OK'd by a House subcommittee, had not yet been voted on by the Senate.

That may not really matter, says an OPM spokesperson; King's decision is pretty much a "done deal."

Quality Association Folds

After 16 years of service to the quality community, the Quality & Productivity Management Association has closed. Citing a string of general economic and programmatic factors, the association, which has been in existence since 1979, closed its doors early this June.

According to a June 2 memo sent to QPMA's 1,200 members, a variety of factors led to the association's dissolution: "Companies cutting back on their membership and training expenses and their quality starts as well; the proliferation of competitors in the TQM field; and the saturation of our members with TQM knowledge."

The final straw, however, was simply an act of fate-the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1994. QPMA had scheduled their fall conference for the Vista Hotel in New York. The Vista's ballroom was destroyed by the bomb blast. A series of relocations followed with the conference finally being held in Orlando, Florida, but drawing only half the usual crowd.

All the factors added up to a "serious cash-flow problem" and insurmountable debts with no possible means to recoup, says QPMA President Jerry Gass.

"We just don't have the type of corporate backing that other organizations do," says Gass. "We had no choice but to dissolve the organization."

Gass and other QPMA leaders will meet with the American Productivity & Quality Center to discuss a possible membership agreement between ex-QPMA members and the APQC. Meanwhile, the APQC will pick up QPMA memberships until the end of 1995.

Drives Change

The last thing most companies address in their change programs is their system of performance measurement, writes Steven Hronec in his book Vital Signs (Amacom, 1995). But measures can drive change throughout an organization. Hronec gives a few benefits of performance measures:
Satisfying customers. People act as they're measured. Without a continual drive toward customer satisfaction, a company will not know the product characteristics or service elements necessary to remain competitive.
Monitoring progress. Actual process improvement is key to long-term performance. The right performance measures make process improvement continuous.
Benchmarking processes and activities. Performance measures make possible "management by facts." They should provide the information needed to compare your company's performance with others to identify and apply best practices.
Driving change. The right performance measures help companies change successfully as they break down barriers and facilitate communication within a process and throughout a whole organization.

NIST Program Provides Competitive Edge

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is inviting nonprofit organizations to submit proposals for new manufacturing extension centers. These centers form the heart of the NIST-managed Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a nationwide system of services and support for the 381,000 smaller manufacturers (less than 500 employees).

There are currently 42 centers in 32 states. Each helps link sources of improved manufacturing technology to clients that need it, tailoring their services to meet the needs dictated by their location and manufacturing client base. Services commonly include assisting in quality management and work force training, as well as helping manufacturers assess their current technology and business needs, define avenues for change and implement improvements.

In 1994, 610 firms responding to surveys from 13 MEP centers indicated that benefits totaled about $167 million, according to NIST. Average benefits per company included 5.5 jobs added or saved, $43,000 savings in labor and material costs, and an increase of almost $370,000 in sales. All this with a federal investment in the 13 centers of just $20 million.

For more information, including a list of MEP centers, telephone MEP at (301) 975-5020, fax (301) 963-6556 or e-mail

Internet Resources Update

Interest among quality professionals in the Internet is growing fast, and Quality Digest continues to get reprint requests for our March 1995 "Cruising the Internet" article. To keep up with the interest, we will continue to provide updates on Internet quality-related resources.

If you need more information on how to access these sites and no longer have the March issue, please contact Quality Digest for a photocopy of the "Cruising the Internet" article. Call us at (916) 527-8875, fax (916) 527-6983 or e-mail


Deming Electronic Network
New address
Getting on:
To: den.list-request@
Subject line: subscribe

American Productivity & Quality Center
The APQC now has a web site, which includes information on benchmarking, TQM and more.
Getting on:

The Benchmarking Exchange

Now available via worldwide web. Membership fee required for full access to this rich benchmarking site. Free access to a wide array of quality resources, including U.S. Navy Best Manufacturing Practices.
Getting on:
System Dynamics for K­p;12
New address
Getting on:
Message: Ask them to sign you up.

New Forums

Quality Systems Behavior Newsletter
Description: A monthly newsletter dealing with behaviors within organizational cultures that support quality-management systems.
Getting on:
Send e-mail requesting newsletter to Include your name, e-mail address and the organization's name.

Global Strategic Systems Newsletter
Description: A monthly newsletter dealing with organizational systems such as ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and other information-processing systems.
Getting on: Same as above.

Description: This is a relatively busy forum dealing with quality in education.
Getting on:
Message: SUBSCRIBE tqmedu-l

New Web Sites

American Society for Quality Control
Description: This ASQC site will contain general information on quality issues as well as information unique to the ASQC. A new addition is the Registrar Accreditation Board directory of more than 2,600 certified quality system auditors.
Getting on:

Description: Forums and information for quality professionals. Includes conference and chat rooms, quality information base, demos and shareware.
Getting on:

Quality Function Deployment
Description: A rich site for QFD. Topics include voice of the customer, quality function deployment, technology deployment, cost deployment, QFD in the narrow sense, comprehensive QFD, bibliographies and reference material.
Getting on:

ISO Easy
Description: A wide array of ISO 9000-related material, including training resources, registrars and lists of reference materials. Extensive links to other quality-related resources.
Getting on:

Description: Everything NIST. News and information, laboratory programs, measurement services, NIST campus information, Advanced Technology Program, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, etc.
Getting on:

How do you define: Teamwork

Teamwork is the cooperation of a group of individuals working together, combining knowledge and effort to reach common goals.
-Tricia Gieseke
Quality Assurance Specialist
Hytel Group Inc.
Hampshire, IL

The output by an organized group whose success is determined by the degree of understanding and application of action and reaction efforts on a given task which has a defined goal.
-Michael S. Payne
Director of Quality
Continuum Technology Corp.
Fletcher, NC

Teamwork is the completion of a task in which more than one person contributes ideas and/or suggestions in the problem-solving or continuous-improvement process. Teamwork enables better decisions to be made by less people. Teamwork ties an organization together with a dynamic web.
-Russell F. Watkins Jr.
Quality Facilitator
Unisun Insurance Co.
Charleston, SC

Teamwork is not forcing a group to think and behave the same. Rather, it is utilizing the individual's strengths and personalities, and uniting them for a common purpose or goal.
-Cobey Bartlett
Quality Manager
LaVanture Plastic Extrusion Technologies Inc.
Elkhart, IN

Teamwork is the process of assembling together two or more people for the purpose of producing a desired work outcome. Teamwork enhances problem identification and resolution, and results in a sense of well-being.
-A. Weis
Quality Assurance Manager
J&G Steel Corp.
Sapulpa, OK

Teamwork is the effective mutual efforts of two or more entities, intended to achieve a common goal.

From two children working to get their ball off the roof to nations working toward lasting peace, this definition applies. Note that the requisite mutual efforts to "groupwork," an inferior, though more common rendition of its more fruitful and productive cousin.
-Larry McCloskey
Investigative Research Consultants
Albany, OR

A group of individuals with dedication and commitment to a common goal. Not to forget the ultimate element, pro-active communication. This is the human race's greatest hurdle, and once you have conquered all communication barriers, teamwork will eventuate.
-Pamela K. Krumrel
Ironwood Plastics Inc.
Two Rivers, WI

A collective understanding of professional goals, and accomplishment of those goals with integrity and honesty, ignoring personal differences and concentrating on the delivery of our service.
-Jackie Brown
Business Administrator
Gage Center Dental Group
Topeka, KS

Teamwork is a group of individuals working together toward a common mission, with the support of upper management.
-Michael A. Nowakowski
Corporate Quality Manager
Berry Bearing Co.
Lyons, IL

Shingo Prize Winners Announced

A diverse group of companies and publications marks this year's winners list for the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing. Shingo Prizes are awarded annually to manufacturing companies that demonstrate outstanding achievements in manufacturing processes, quality enhancement, productivity improvement and customer satisfaction.

This year's winners are:
The Foxboro Co., Intelligent Automation Division, Foxboro, Massachusetts. Industrial process control automation systems and services.
LifeScan Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, Milpitas, California. Blood glucose monitoring products.
MascoTech Forming Technologies-Braun, Detroit, Michigan. Powertrain and chassis components, and aftermarket products.
Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., Blytheville, Arkansas. Low-carbon steels for large structural applications.
Tennalum, a division of Kaiser Aluminum, Jackson, Tennessee. Aluminum rod and bar products for automotive and aerospace industries.
Vintec Co., Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Car seats and headliners.

For books and monographs:
The Handbook of Productivity Measurement and Improvement (Productivity Press) edited by William F. Christopher and Carl G. Thor.
Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition (Harvard Business School Press) by B. Joseph Pine II.
Strategic Industrial Sourcing-The Japanese Advantage (Oxford University Press) by Toshihiro Nishiguchi.

For more information on the Shingo Prize, contact Ross Robson, College of Business, Utah State University, telephone (801) 797-2279 or fax (801) 797-3440.

ASQC Announces
Ishikawa Winners

The American Society for Quality Control announced two Ishikawa Medal winners: Paula Brooks Sommer, regional director with the Social Security Administration in Fort Worth, Texas, and Horst Schulze, president and CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.

The ASQC awards the Ishikawa Medal to individuals or teams that achieve outstanding leadership in improving the human aspects of quality throughout the organization over an extended period of time.

According to the National Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Sommer received the award in recognition of her "contributions to the research and development of a leadership style credited with improving service, raising morale and increasing the efficiency in the Dallas region."

The Fort Worth district has more than 1.2 million social security customers and 120 employees.

The ASQC awarded Schulze an Ishikawa medal for his "strong moral leadership, genuine caring about people and providing people with high skills and public appreciation."

Schulze led the company to win the 1992 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and today spearheads the company's quest for 100-percent guest retention and 100-percent customer satisfaction.

The Ritz-Carlton operates 31 business and resort hotels around the world and employees about 16,000 people.

The medal was named in honor of the late Kaoru Ishikawa who was best known for empowering employees at the working level.

Employees Prefer Praise Over Money

Why do people leave their jobs? In a recent survey, 34 percent of executives cite a lack of praise and recognition as the No. 1 reason, according to Robert Half, founder of Robert Half International, a temporary staffing service specializing in accounting, finance and information technology fields.

"Companies that believe money is an employee's sole motivation for working are destined to lose some of their best people," says Half.

Survey results in response to the question: "Which of the following is the single most common reason employees leave a company?"

Limited recognition and praise 34%
Compensation 29%
Limited authority 13%
Personality conflicts 8%
Other 16%

Chemical Company
Sees Green

At the Gillingham, England, site of Akzo Nobel Chemicals Ltd., applying for environmental management system standard BS 7750 was a very green move. The company identified energy savings worth about $55,000 per year.

In 1992, Akzo Nobel, the world's ninth-largest chemical company, compared their internal EMS to BS 7750 and found it lacking, says Ken Jordan, process and quality control manager at the company's Gillingham site. Akzo Nobel upgraded its system and applied for BS 7750 through Bureau Veritas Quality International registrars and were certified in late 1994. BS 7750 is the national EMS standard for the United Kingdom. Along with other national standards, BS 7750 formed the basis of ISO 14001 development.

"BS 7750 makes you look at all your processes," says Jordan. "Buildings, raw materials, products, everything you do on-site, and decide if something has an environmentally significant effect."

This can translate into savings. For instance, last year Akzo Nobel looked at their steam boilers and found a way to reduce energy consumption by about 17 percent, resulting in less pollution and significantly decreasing fuel oil usage. They also reduced electricity consumption by about 4 percent. The $55,000 per year savings more than offset the management time spent on implementing the standard, says Jordan. But that isn't the point.

The plant, which produces potentially explosive organic peroxides, is located in an environmentally sensitive area with houses in front of them and a million-dollar yacht marina next door. And although having an EMS in place doesn't guarantee that the company will not have an environmental incident, it does reduce the chance, says Jordan.

"Environmental management is insurance for the future," Jordan explains. "You are reducing the possibility of an environmental incident happening by identifying risk areas and reducing them to an acceptable risk level."

Plans Underway for Deming Stamp

The W. Edwards Deming Institute hopes to gather enough petition signatures to convince the U.S. Postal Service to issue a W. Edwards Deming commemorative postage stamp without waiting 10 years. With the exception of presidents, the Postal Service requires that the figure being commemorated be dead for at least 10 years. Deming died less than two years ago.

"We're hoping that we can get enough signatures that the [Stamp Advisory Committee] will make an exception," says Anzie Rezelman, a member of the WEDI group that is working on the stamp project.

The likelihood of that happening is not too great, says a stamp committee spokesperson. Petitions for waiving the waiting period have met with no success in the past. Anyone interested in supporting the Deming commemorative stamp petition should send a signed letter stating their support to the Deming Stamp Project, P.O. Box 26244, Alexandria, VA 22313-6244. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number, signature and date.