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NIST Announces 1999 Baldrige Award Winners

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced the four companies that will receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award at a ceremony to be held in Washington, D.C., early this year. Two of the recipients are from the service category, one is from manufacturing, and one is from the small-business category.

 NIST made news last year when it announced it had gained the legislative approval and budgetary support necessary to expand the three-category Baldrige Award program to include entries in health care and education. Previously, these kinds of organizations were only recognized through a demonstration category.

 Of the 52 applications received for the 1999 Baldrige Award, 16 were from educational organizations and nine were from health care organizations. But when NIST announced the 1999 winners in late November, no representatives from these two new categories were among them.

 "Of course, we would have been very pleased to award the Baldrige in these two categories this year," says Jan Kosko, a NIST spokesperson. "But we are very pleased with the level of interest and the number of applications we received in this new category. Several of the applicants showed significant achievement, though none were at the Baldrige level yet.

"However, two educational organizations and one from the health care sector did make it to the on-site visits," Kosko continues. On-site visits represent the final stage of review for Baldrige applicants. "While all applicants receive about 300 hours of review, those making it to the on-site visit receive closer to 1,000 hours."

 In 1988 and 1989, the program's first years, no Baldrige Awards were presented to service companies, which award administrators say is clear evidence that health care and educational organizations will eventually break through. Indeed, semiconductor integrated circuit manufacturer STMicroelectronics Inc., a 1999 winner, failed to earn a Baldrige Award with its first bid in 1998.

 "The great thing about Baldrige is that you get a lot of feedback," says J.P. Rossomme, an ST spokesperson. "We took what we learned from our experience in 1998 and worked on the areas where we were weak, and I guess you know where we are today."

 Spokespeople from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., which in 1992 became the first hotel company to win the Baldrige and in 1999 became the first service company to win the award twice, echoed those sentiments. "Winning this award confirms that quality is not a short-term approach to doing business," observes Horst Schulze, Ritz-Carlton president and CEO. "Instead, it is a road map that allows us to achieve the highest customer and employee satisfaction in the world."

 The award criteria consist of seven categories: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resources focus, process management, and business results. Early this year, President Clinton and Commerce Secretary William Daley are expected to present the 1999 Baldrige Awards.

 For more information, visit NIST's Web site at .

1999 Baldrige Award Recipients

STMicroelectronics Inc.--Region Americas
(Carrollton, Texas; manufacturing)

ST designs, develops, manufactures and markets semiconductor integrated circuits for consumer electronics and automotive, medical, telecommunications and computer applications in the United States and around the world. It employs more than 3,000 people in 37 sites around the United States and Canada. ST is a business entity of STMicroelectronics N.V., based in St. Genis, France.


(Minneapolis, service)

BI designs and delivers performance-improvement programs integrating communications, training, measurement and rewards. Products and services include design and implementation of training, helping customers with organizational change and strategic planning, customer loyalty programs, and sales incentive programs. BI employs more than 1,400 associates at three main facilities and has 21 sales offices around the country.


The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. L.L.C.
(Atlanta, service)

Ritz-Carlton manages 36 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. It is the only service company to receive a Baldrige Award twice and the only hotel company to ever win the coveted award. Ritz-Carlton is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International Inc. and has about 17,000 employees.




Sunny Fresh Foods
(Monticello, Minnesota; small business)

Sunny Fresh Foods manufactures processed egg products, including pasteurized refrigerated and frozen egg products, fat-free egg products, peeled hard-cooked eggs, and pre-cooked egg products such as omelets, French toast, and frozen scrambled and diced eggs. Sunny Fresh Foods, which markets to food service customers, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cargill Inc. and has about 380 employees.


Health Care Standardizes Quality Measurement

I s the quality movement continues to pervade service industries, one of the sectors with the fastest growing interest in quality is health care. And as the popularity of quality improvement measures increases, so too does the need for standardizing the measurement of their effectiveness.

 The Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Study (CAHPS 2.0H), the same survey used by HMO and point-of-service (POS) plans to gauge customer satisfaction, is now available to preferred provider organizations (PPOs), which provide health care to about 89 million Americans. Traditionally, CAHPS had only been used by HMO and POS plans, but industry sources predict the new 2.0H protocol will allow consumers and employers easy comparison of all three plan types.

 "It's important that we use the same tool to evaluate HMO, POS and PPO plans so that we can make comparisons within and between our different systems of care," says Dr. William Osheroff of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, a PPO that plans to administer the CAHPS 2.0H survey in 2000. "Consumers and employers need to appreciate that there are several differences between plan types so they can make informed choices. And we need to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to focus our improvement efforts."

 Several large PPOs have already committed to reporting CAHPS 2.0H data in 2000, which measures health care plans on their ability to supply needed care, speed in securing care, customer service, claims processing and overall performance. Executives at such PPOs see CAHPS 2.0H as a tool to both improve quality and market their services.

 "We have been collecting and reporting on our members' satisfaction for years, and we're proud of our results," says Dr. Jeff Kamil, medical director at Wellpoint Health Plan. "Adopting CAHPS will allow us to better demonstrate to our clients that our quality is second to none."

 CAHPS 2.0H will be a principal element of the National Committee for Quality Assurance's (NCQA's) HEDIS program update, which is used by purchasers to compare more than 90 percent of the nation's health care plans. The NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of health care.

 Providers interested in using CAHPS 2.0H can view a list of NCQA-certified vendors at the NCQA Web site, . For copies of HEDIS 2000, Volume 3, the PPO version, call NCQA's publications center at (800) 839-6487.


ISO Publishes ISO 9000:2000 DIS Versions

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published the draft international standard (DIS) version of ISO 9000:2000, marking the beginning of a five-month period in which the draft standards will be circulated to ISO member bodies for review.

 The ISO member bodies comprise the national standards institutes of 90 countries. If, by the April 25, 2000, deadline, 75 percent of the countries vote in favor of promoting the DIS versions, they will be accepted for further processing as final draft international standards (FDIS). A similar process will occur in the third quarter of 2000. If the drafts pass this stage with another 75 percent of the vote or more, ISO 9000:2000 will be published as an ISO standard in the fourth quarter.

 ISO officials say the purpose of this tedious DIS validation program is to ensure that the new standard meets customer needs and expectations. The results of the five-month process are intended to help TC 176, the ISO technical committee responsible for the new standard, provide valuable input for the development of the FDIS.


ISO 9000 Helps Battle Drug Use In Sports

Former Olympic 100-meter champion Linford Christie tested positive for an illegal anabolic steroid at a German track and field event in February 1999. But that wasn't the end of the story. Christie challenged the test result and was eventually cleared by the British governing body, U.K. Athletics, which ruled that it could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt that substances found in his urine sample were caused by the steroid nandrolone. The case was ultimately forwarded to the International Amateur Athletic Federation's arbitration panel.

 In efforts to provide athletes fairness in drug testing and remove the fodder for such challenges to positive test results, athletic bodies around the world are writing their quality manuals--used to provide standardization for anti-doping measures--using the same system that companies around the world have used.

 "Drug use in sports not only threatens but completely compromises all of the values of sport," says John Mendoza of the Australian Sports Drug Agency, who recently co-wrote an ISO Bulletin article on the use of ISO 9002 to standardize the fight against doping.

 "All too often, athletes and their legal representatives, when given a positive drug result (known as an analytical positive), find substantial problems with the procedures for conducting the collection of the sample, insecure or faulty sample collection equipment, breakdowns in the handling, transport and chain-of-custody from the point of collection of the sample to the laboratory, and fundamental principles of law being ignored or given inadequate due in the hearings and appeals processes conducted within the sport. Doping in sport has become a lawyer's picnic," say Mendoza and co-author Rune Andersen.

 In September 1995, representatives from seven countries formed the International Anti-Doping Arrangement (IADA.) IADA began working on an anti-doping standard in March 1997. The second version of the International Standard for Doping Control (ISDC) is now recognized as a Publicly Accepted Specification by ISO, the first step in the two- to three-year process of becoming a full-fledged ISO standard.

 The ISDC is the principal element in IADA's Quality Concept, which seeks to provide a comprehensive approach for improving the quality of anti-doping programs. Quality Concept calls for an ISO 9002-compliant quality management system for application to the doping control process at the national and organizational levels.

 Since the first version of the ISDC was published in 1997, the IADA countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK) have conducted more than 70,000 tests under the new system. Of the 500 of those from Australia, Mendoza says not one has been overturned due to complaints about sample collection.

 Fourteen more countries have now agreed to abide by the ISDC, with its ISO 9002 element and ISO Guide 25 requirement for drug-testing laboratories. Mendoza predicts that its promotion to an ISO standard will significantly expedite the standard's worldwide acceptance.


At A Glance



Wizdom Systems Inc. has appointed Daniel R. Sudnick as vice president of business development. Wizdom Systems has provided process management software, consulting, training services and methodology since 1986.



PQ Systems Inc., whose software helps organizations reach compliance to standards, was recently named to Software magazine's annual list of top U.S. software companies, "The Software 500."

The State of Indiana has honored Product Action International Inc. with the state's Quality Improvement Award. PAI provides sorting, inspection, rework and containment services. Governor Frank O'Bannon established Indiana's Quality Improvement Award in 1995.


New Companies

Invensys has created a new company, Invensys Sensor Systems, which combines 10 sensor technology brands including Elmwood Sensors, Fenwal Electronics, FASCO Controls, Clarostat, Electro, Deutsche Ranco, SenSym, Foxboro ICT, Optoswitch and Skan-A-Matic.



Camtek and JetCam have merged to create one of the leading suppliers and developers of CAD/CAM systems. Both companies will retain their separate identities while focusing on providing automation, ease of use, speed and flexibility in their products.


Systronics Inc. has merged with Lasor AG of Bielefeld, Germany. Systronics, a manufacturer of surface inspection, area inspection and thickness measurement systems, announced that it will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Lasor with the new name Lasor/Systronics Inc.



The Paul N. Gardner Co. Inc., or Gardco, has published Gardco Mini Cat #19, a 192-page reference that itemizes the company's new and revised physical testing instruments for the coatings industry and related industries. Call (800) 762-2478 for a free copy.


Free Software Demos

Tescina, the maker of DataGet port, has released an online demo version of its popular software. DataGet transforms your Palm Computer into a powerful and portable data acquisition device. The free trial software is available at . For more information, contact Tescina at (510) 713-8001.


Calls for Nominations

The Pinnacle Awards , which recognize quality in health care, were established in 1997 by the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA). The APhA is now accepting applications for the 2000 awards. The deadline is Feb. 25 for the three categories of awards (No. 1: individual or career achievement; No. 2: group practices, health-systems, health care corporations; and No. 3: voluntary health agencies, nonprofit organizations, and associations). Contact the APhA at (202) 223-7197.



Remote Imaging Products
Everest VIT has launched its new site, which hosts complete and updated product and application information about the company's extensive line of remote visual inspection systems. Visitors can download data sheets and access high-quality images and full-motion video clips of Everest products in use. Also available are a list of Everest events and tradeshows and Everest news.


Online Indicator Catalog
Chicago Dial Indicator Co., a digital and mechanical indicator manufacturer since 1932, has launched a full online catalog featuring a complete list of the company's products and their prices. The downloadable price list is regularly updated, and complete illustrations and descriptions are available for every CDI product. A hard copy of the catalog can also be ordered through the Web site.


ISO 9000:2000 Information
This new site, developed by Jack Kanholm of AQA Press, is dedicated to the forthcoming ISO 9000:2000 standard. Visitors can get the latest publication timetable and learn about the standard, some transition strategies and the new requirements included in the 2000 version. Kanholm's site also links to the AQA Web site, from which several publications about the new standard, including one from Kanholm, can be purchased.


Quality Publications
If you're looking for books about quality, you could visit a large neighborhood bookstore and search for the few books relevant to your field that it stocks. Or, you could visit Quality Technical Books online. This Web site offers more than 125 books and videos on quality improvement and quality management from several leading publishers. To make your hunt as painless as possible, you can also enter queries by title, topic or author into the site's search engine.


Metrology Organization
The Measurement Quality Division (MQD) supports, assists and guides those in the measurement field in the application of both established and innovative tools of measurement and quality. Its goal is to improve measurement-based decisions in laboratory, calibration, manufacturing and management processes at all levels of accuracy. The MQD supports standards development, disseminates measurement and quality-related information, offers technical support, provides education, sponsors research, fosters professional interaction in the measurement of quality and the quality of measurement, and emphasizes the importance of measurements in the quality process.


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