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Baldrige Applicants Increase for 1998

Thirty-six U.S. companies -- 10 more than in 1997 -- submitted applications for the 1998 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. This year's applicants include 15 large manufacturers, five service companies and 16 small businesses.

Since its beginning in 1988, the Baldrige Award has received 684 applications. Thirty-two companies from various industries have earned the award, including one company that won twice. Award applicants must show achievements and improvements in seven areas: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource focus, process management and business results.

During the upcoming months, each of the 36 Baldrige applicants will receive a minimum of 300 review hours by at least 10 members of the award's board of 300 business and quality experts. Companies passing initial screening will receive a fall visit from an examiner team to verify information provided in the application and to clarify issues and questions raised during the application review process. Every applicant receives an extensive feedback report highlighting the company's strengths and improvement opportunities.

The 1998 award winners are expected to be announced in November by President Clinton and Commerce Secretary William Daley.

For more information about the Baldrige Award, visit www.quality.nist.gov and check out our related story on page 34.


Summit2Celebration Highlights World Standards

World Standards Day will be celebrated Sept. 23, highlighting a week of related events held in Washington, D.C., Sept. 21-24 and co-sponsored by the American National Standards Institute and the National Institute of Stand-ards and Technology.

The event seeks to increase awareness of global standardization's importance to the world economy and the role of stand-ards in improving business, government and industry. During the week, the World Standards Day Paper Contest winner will be announced, and the Ronald Brown Stand-ards Leadership awards will be presented.

On Sept. 23, NIST and ANSI will co-host a summit, "Toward a National Stand-ards Strategy to Meet Global Needs," at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. The summit will launch a concerted effort to create a more effective national standards strategy to meet both private-sector and government needs. Summit roundtables will identify U.S. needs for domestic, regional and international standardization; consider methods to ensure that standards reflect the state of technology and that global standards contain U.S. contributions; and address funding issues for standards development and dissemination.

The summit is open to the public, notes NIST's director Raymond Kammer. "We're inviting the standards development organizations that we think are significant players and would have an interest in this, or anybody else that's expressed an interest," he says.

For summit registration information, contact Lori Phillips of NIST at telephone (301) 975-3881 or visit the event's Web page at www.nist.gov/public_affairs/confpage/.


LipstickFirst SA8000 Certification Granted

Avon Products' Suffern, New York, manufacturing facility has become the first recipient of Social Accountability 8000 certification. The plant, which employs 200 people in making lipsticks and other color cosmetic products, was certified by SGS International Certification Services. SGS ICS was the first registrar accredited for SA8000 certification services.

SA8000 was created by the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency to promote socially responsible production in facilities worldwide. To qualify for certification, organizations must meet verifiable standards for child labor, forced labor, health and safety, freedom of association, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours, compensation and management systems.

The Suffern facility's two-day audit process was based on SA8000's requirements, U.S. law, research of the facility, information concerning local prevailing wages and manufacturing conditions, and information from nongovernmental organizations.

"We feel the auditing process serves us well," says Fitzroy Hilaire, Avon's director of supplier development. Hilaire, who also serves as chairman of SA8000's Advisory Council, explains that the process requires a company to emphasize management systems, employee involvement and good moral practices. Avon found it valuable to go through the process and know that it works, he notes. "We're pleased with the results," he says.

Two more U.S. companies are in the SA8000 certification process, and 60 facilities in Asia are beginning the process, according to John Brooks, SGS ICS's senior vice president.


North American Manufacturers Honored for Excellence

Seven North American manufacturing companies received the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing. The prize, administered by the College of Business at Utah State University in partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers, recognizes manufacturing excellence in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The 1998 prize winners include:

Qdbullet Coach of Carlstadt, New Jersey, a luxury leather goods manufacturer.

Qdbullet CYDSA Industria Quimica Del Istmo S.A. de C.V. of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, which produces chlorine, sodium hypocroxide and sodium hypochlorite. Customers include Kimberly- Clark, Pemex, DuPont and Procter & Gamble.

Qdbullet Freudenberg NOK's Gasket Lead Center in Manchester, New Hampshire, which manufactures total sealing packages for engines, transmissions and brakes.

Qdbullet Johnson Controls' Lexington, Tennessee, plant, which produces automotive power seat adjusters, power recliners, fineblanking and broached parts.

Qdbullet Lear Corp.'s plants in Winchester, Virginia, which supply interior automotive products such as door panels, speaker grilles, quarter panels and consoles.

Qdbullet Milwaukee Electric Tool Co.'s plant in Brookfield, Wisconsin, which manufactures electric tools for professionals.

Qdbullet Transmisiones y Equipos Mecanicos S.A. de C.V. of Queretaro, Mexico, which produces transmissions for high-performance automobiles such as Mustang, Camaro, Corvette, Viper, light trucks and military vehicles, as well as other automotive and agricultural vehicles for the American market.

For more information about the prize, visit www.usu.edu/~shingo or call (435) 797-2279.


Realty1Real Estate Firm Receives ISO 9002 Certification

Prudential Preview Properties of Brighton, Michigan, has become the first full-service North American real estate brokerage firm to receive ISO 9002 certification. The company -- which employs more than 70 agents and offers services such as residential and commercial property sales, and relocation and business brokerage services -- received its certification from SGS International Certification Services of Rutherford, New Jersey, after a six-month process.

Prudential Preview Properties undertook the certification effort for several reasons, says Larry Vering, the company's vice president of finance and chief financial officer. One was ISO 9000's importance to Prudential's customers, many of whom are affiliated with the local auto industry. Although Vering states that his company didn't expect to use ISO 9000 certification as a marketing tool, it is already attracting new customers.

The main reason for certification, however, rests with customer service, according to Vering. "Our firm is very proactive when it comes to serving customers, and that ties in with what ISO 9000 is all about," he says, adding that certification is one method for increasing performance and innovation within the company.


Kalmar Named Quality Professional of the Year

William J. Kalmar, director of the Michigan Quality Council, has been named Quality Professional of the Year by the American Society for Quality's Automotive division.

Kalmar has directed the MQC since 1993, when it was created to promote total quality management practices in Michigan businesses, educational institutions and organizations. Among his many responsibilities, Kalmar administers the Michigan Leadership Award process, which promotes quality in Michigan businesses.

"It took me 30 years to find the job that allows me to do all that I like to do," says Kalmar, who notes that his job requires knowledge of quality, fund-raising and public relations. "To be recognized for something you truly enjoy doing is a plus."



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