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News Digest

This Month in News Digest

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Most Baldrige Awards in History--Winners in All Categories

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European Quality Awards Announced

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Scientists Recognized for Creative Microscopic Photography

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2004 Baldrige Process Gets Underway

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Customer Satisfaction Plateaus

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New Benchmarking Case Studies Available

Most Baldrige Awards in History--Winners in All Categories

President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans have announced the winners of the 2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. For the first time in its history, awards were earned in all categories. Additionally, this year’s crop of honorees is the largest in Baldrige history--a total of seven organizations are recipients.

“I’m pleased to join President Bush in congratulating this year’s recipients of the prestigious award,” says Evans. “They represent America’s best and are setting a high standard for corporate and social responsibility. Their dynamic, principled leadership has built our economy into the world’s largest engine of progress and prosperity.”

The 2003 recipients are Medrad Inc. of Indianola, Pennsylvania (manufacturing); Boeing Aerospace Support of St. Louis (service); Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. of Nashville, Tennessee (service); Stoner Inc. of Quarryville, Pennsylvania (small business); Community Consolidated School District 15 of Palatine, Illinois (education); Baptist Hospital Inc. of Pensacola, Florida (health care); and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Missouri (health care).

“These recipients know the evaluation for the Baldrige Award was objective and scrupulous in identifying performance excellence,” says Harry Reedy, chair of the Baldrige Award panel of judges. “Every step of the process is structured to apply the knowledge and expertise of the board of examiners in ensuring that only the most outstanding applicants are recognized.”

Medrad Inc.

Medrad develops, manufactures, markets and services medical devices. Used in diagnostic and therapeutic imaging, Medrad products include vascular injection systems and magnetic resonance accessories. Its quality and performance achievements include:

A consistent average annual revenue growth rate of 15 percent

On-time delivery of 98 to 100 percent for syringes, disposables, injectors and magnetic resonance coils

A $535,000 budget for employee tuition and a $2,233 expenditure per employee for learning and development opportunities

Boeing Aerospace Support

As part of the Boeing Co., Boeing AS services include aircraft maintenance, modification and repair, training for air crews and maintenance staff, and new parts provision. Its quality achievements include:

An average cumulative earnings growth rate of 17 percent per year from 1999 to 2002

A 23 percent increase in “exceptional” and “very good” customer response in the government sector

Contracting cycle time improvement from 100 days in 1998 to 23 days in 2003


Caterpillar Financial Services Corp.

CFSC is the financial services business unit of Caterpillar Inc., a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, gas and diesel engines, and industrial turbines. Incorporated in 1981 to finance the company’s forklift trucks, CFSC now provides financing for the complete line of Caterpillar products. Its performance highlights include:

An earnings increase from 5.6 percent in 1998 to 25.6 percent in 2003 within Caterpillar Inc.’s total revenues

An increase in customer satisfaction from 89 percent to 93 percent during the last five years

After-tax savings exceeding $15 million in 2003, attributed to CFSC’s Six Sigma efforts


Stoner Inc.

Stoner is a small, privately owned manufacturer of specialized cleaners, lubricants and coatings, which include car care and auto detailing products, mold release agents and specialty cleaners for electronics and other critical components. With 45 full-time and five part-time employees, Stoner is the smallest business ever to receive a Baldrige Award. The company’s achievements include:

A 400 percent sales growth since 1990

A 31 percent reduction in toxic chemicals since 2000

A 39 percent return on assets, exceeding the industry’s average by 29 percent


Community Consolidated School District 15

This kindergarten through eighth-grade school system serves 12,390 students in seven municipalities in northwest Chicago. The system has 14 kindergarten through sixth-grade schools, three junior high schools and one alternative school. D15 operates its own transportation, maintenance, technology and food services departments. The organization’s quality highlights include:

Second-graders’ reading level 35 percent above the national average, with 84 percent reading at or above grade level

An 11.7 percent turnover rate for the 2002–03 school year, compared to a 20 percent national average

A 50 percent increase in contributions to the United Way since the 1998–99 school year

Baptist Hospital Inc.

A subsidiary of Baptist Health Care, Baptist Hospital Inc. includes two organizations--Baptist Hospital of Pensacola and its referral hospital, Gulf Breeze Hospital, and Baptist Medical Park, an ambulatory care complex with outpatient and diagnostic services. Its quality achievements include:

Overall satisfaction for inpatients, outpatients, ambulatory surgery patients and home health care services near the 99th percentile

A rise in staff morale from 47 percent in 1996 to 84 percent in 2001

Ranked the 15th best company to work for in Fortune magazine’s 2003 annual survey


Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City

This not-for-profit comprehensive teaching and referral health care organization is the largest hospital in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The hospital was founded in 1882 and is affiliated with the Diocese of West Missouri of the Episcopal Church. Saint Luke’s facilities include the Mid America Heart Institute, the Mid America Brain and Stroke Institute, an ambulatory surgery center, an outpatient care center, and a nursing college. Its quality performance achievements include:

Ranked 35th of 4,500 nationwide hospitals in the 2002 Consumer’s Checkbook report

95.3 percent of 58 critical quality measures in control in 2002

Top 5 percent of teaching hospitals for four of eight obstetrical and perinatal indicators

Named after the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. businesses. The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the quality and performance achievements of U.S. organizations and publicizes successful performance strategies. To learn more about the award and its recipients, visit www.baldrige.nist.gov.

European Quality Awards Announced

Organizations representing Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom have received Europe’s top prize in organizational excellence: the 2003 European Quality Award. Each year, recognition is given to businesses that display exceptional levels of excellence in eight criteria: results orientation; customer focus; leadership and constancy of purpose; management by processes and facts; people development and involvement; continuous learning, innovation and improvement; partnership development; and corporate social responsibility.

The award is sponsored by the European Foundation for Quality Management. There are three levels of recognition available to applicants: award winners, prize winners and finalists. Recipients of the 2003 European Quality Award are:

Bosch Sanayi ve Ticaret AS, Turkey (operational units category); award winner and prize winner in leadership and constancy of purpose

Runshaw College, United Kingdom (public sector category); award winner and prize winner in leadership and constancy of purpose

Maxi COMCOMAT, Greece (independent small/medium enterprise category); award winner and prize winner in results orientation

Edinburgh International Conference Centre, United Kingdom (subsidiary small/medium enterprise category); award winner and prize winner in people development and involvement

Special prizes were presented to nine additional organizations that excelled in one or more of the following criteria: leadership and constancy of purpose, customer focus, corporate social responsibility, people development and involvement, and results orientation. These organizations represented the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Switzerland, Italy and Germany.

2003 showed a record number of prize winners, plus an additional six organizations that were recognized as finalists. The total of four award winners has only occurred twice in the award’s 12-year history, in 1999 and 2000. In 2001, concerns were raised when no applicants earned enough points to receive an award. However, the structure of the EFQM’s excellence model and criteria were enhanced to provide more in-depth feedback on key strengths and areas for improvement.

For more information on each of the award winners, prize winners and finalists, visit www.efqm.org.

Scientists Recognized for Creative Microscopic Photography

Nikon Instruments Inc. has announced the winners of the 2003 Small World Photomicrography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography through a microscope.

“This year’s best photomicrographers are studying cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart failure, reproductive disorders, marine and plant life, materials science and more,” notes Lee Shuett, executive vice president at Nikon. “Each of them sat at a microscope, found something beautiful and sent it to us to share.”

The winning applicants were selected from more than 1,200 entries from around the world. There were 20 winners altogether, including:

First Prize--Torsten Wittmann of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California

Second Prize--Greg W. Rouse of Marine Invertebrates at South Australian Museum in Adelaide

Third Prize--Heiti Paves of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics in Tallinn, Estonia

As part of the company’s efforts to make science imagery accessible to the public, Nikon has launched an expanded Small World museum tour in 22 locations in the United States and Canada. Locations include the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, Pacific Science Center in Seattle, the San Jose Museum of Technology and Innovation in California, Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh and Adventure Science Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“The works of art in the Nikon Small World exhibit are a wonderful reminder of the unique beauty in everything and a testimony to the natural and wonderful coexistence of art and science,” comments Eric Flem, Nikon communications manager.

For a look at all the 2004 winners and a listing of exhibit dates and locations, visit www.nikonsmallworld.com.

2004 Baldrige Process Gets Underway

Since the 2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winners were announced, the Baldrige National Quality Program, administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has been busy gearing up for the 2004 agenda. The following announcements have been posted at the Baldrige Web site, www.baldrige.nist.gov:

Examiners for the 2004 Baldrige Award are currently being sought. Those who have been examiners in the past can access their applications online and update their information. Those new to the process can submit an application in five award eligibility categories: manufacturing, service, small business, health care and education. Category coverage and balance are important factors in selecting board members. All applications can be filled out electronically. A PDF version of the application is also available, which includes explanatory materials.

The 2004 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence are now available online. The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence provide a systems perspective for understanding performance management. They reflect validated, leading-edge management practices against which an organization can measure itself. With their acceptance nationally and internationally as the model for performance excellence, the criteria represent a common language for communication among organizations for sharing best practices. The criteria are also the basis for the Baldrige Award process.

Registration is now open for the 16th Quest for Excellence Conference, being held March 28 through 31 in Washington, D.C. The conference is intended to help organizations learn how to evaluate and focus their efforts on performance results, leadership effectiveness, customer and employee satisfaction, and process management. The 2003 Baldrige Award recipients will be there to share their performance practices, their journey to performance excellence and their lessons learned.

Customer Satisfaction Plateaus

Although consumer spending rose in the third quarter of 2003, customer satisfaction did not. The American Customer Satisfaction Index remained unchanged in the third quarter, registering a score of 73.8 (on a 100-point scale).

The third quarter scores measure manufacturing nondurables, including food processing, beverages, tobacco, apparel, athletic shoes, personal care products and pet foods. Compared with a year ago, the ACSI is up about one point.

Although there was no change in the aggregate level of ACSI, only one of the eight nondurable manufacturing industries showed a decline in customer satisfaction. Satisfaction fell slightly overall for soft drinks but improved for beer and personal care products, and remained stable for food processing, tobacco, apparel, athletic shoes and pet foods.

Despite a decline in customer satisfaction, the soft drinks industry still tied with personal care products for the highest ACSI score (84) among the industries measured this quarter. Cadbury Schweppes improved its score to 89 while Pepsi and Coca-Cola dropped to 83.

All of the personal care products companies showed an increase in customer satisfaction, with Clorox (86), Dial (85), Unilever (85) and Procter & Gamble (85) leading the way.

Beer and pet foods both registered ACSI scores of 82. Anheuser-Busch led the brewing companies with a score of 82, while Colgate-Palmolive topped the pet foods manufacturers with a score of 85.

For the sixth time in the past seven years, the food processing industry scored 81 in the ACSI. According to Jack West, past president of the American Society for Quality, a co-sponsor of the ACSI, food processing companies continue to show exceptionally high and stable satisfaction scores for a number of reasons.

“These companies have been in business a long time and are well-versed in quality and process-improvement methods,” says West.

For the 10th straight year, Heinz took the top spot in this industry with an ACSI score of 90.

Other nondurable manufacturing industries measured in the ACSI included apparel (with an ACSI score of 80), athletic shoes (79) and tobacco (76).

The index is produced by a partnership of the University of Michigan Business School, the American Society for Quality and CFI Group, and supported in part by Market Strategies Inc., a major corporate contributor, and Foresee Results, e-commerce corporate sponsor.

Company scores and other informa-tion about the ACSI can be found at www.theacsi.org.

New Benchmarking Case Studies Available

Many businesses save as much as 10 percent of their annual revenues each year through quality initiatives, according to a new study by research and consulting firm Best Practices LLC. Based on a survey of 84 companies and 15 case studies, the findings act as a primer to assist companies on how to choose the best productivity approach based on the improvement goal sought.

“Lean, Six Sigma & TQM Project Success: Recent Case Studies and Benchmarks” offers an outline of companies’ recent improvement projects, complete with actual results and descriptions of lessons learned.

The benchmark metrics reveal which project approach is best suited for the improvement sought and what type of results are expected. Additionally, the report includes:

Defect- and cost-reduction techniques

Typical scope and average duration of the improvement project

Average annual dollar value contribution expected for the productivity approach

Average targeted annual savings and revenue goal for productivity efforts

“This research provides an invaluable perspective on the current landscape of quality efforts,” says Chris James, vice president of Best Practices. “Leading global companies reveal their accrued experiences, metrics and lessons learned.”

To download a summary and excerpt of the document, visit www3.best-in-class.com/rr268.htm.