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News Digest

This Month in News Digest

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European Businesses Recognized for Quality

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NIST Announces 2004 Baldrige Winners

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ANAB Replaces ANSI-RAB NAP

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ISO 14001 Protects Ancient Site

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Good Communication Breeds Happy Employees

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Postal Service Issues Quality Supplier Awards

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Juran Institute Releases Quality Minutes


Representatives from Yell were among these who accepted European
Quality Awards in Berlin.

European Businesses Recognized for Quality

European business leaders gathered recently in Berlin to issue European Quality Awards to their high-performing colleagues.

The European Quality Award is Europe’s most prestigious award for quality and organizational excellence. It is issued by the nonprofit European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) and is open to any European business, local government or school.

Yell, a United Kingdom company, and the Kocaeli Chamber of Industry, of Turkey, were recognized with 2004 European Quality Awards. Yell won in the large businesses and business units category for leadership and constancy of purpose, and people development and involvement; the Kocaeli Chamber of Industry won in the public sector category for people development and involvement.

Yell annually publishes 27.9 million copies of 90 editions of the U.K. Yellow Pages, and was listed in the 2004 Top 100 Employers list by London’s Sunday Times. It started a production quality drive to reduce the cost of failure in 1985, and has had comprehensive quality assurance and review programs deployed at all levels of the organization since then. The company is registered to ISO 14001 and has also received a Queens Award for Enterprise for its sustainable development program.

The Kocaeli Chamber of Industry is one of 11 such chambers in Turkey. The province of Kocaeli is one of Turkey’s most rapidly developing industrial regions and has organized industrial zones, a free trade zone and other technical incentives. Eighteen of Turkey’s 100 largest corporations are members of the Kocaeli Chamber of Industry. The province accounts for 12 percent of Turkey’s total foreign trade. Kocaeli hosts 11 percent of the Turkish companies that are registered to ISO 9001 and 24 percent that are registered to ISO 14001. The organization, which is also registered to ISO 14001 and ISO 9001, serves 1,300 members with 32 employees in seven departments.

The EFQM also issued several other European businesses with various awards recognizing excellence in specific business tasks. The award winners were Germany’s Siemens AG Power Transmission and Distribution; TNT Post Group Information Systems, of the U.K.; T-Systems Development Centre South West GmbH, of Germany; Spain’s Colegio Ursulinas; Fonderie del Montello S.p.A., of Italy; Swiss company Hunziker and Co.; Schindlerhof Klaus Kobjoll GmbH, of Germany; Turkey’s EMAR Satis Sonrasi Musteri Hismetleri A.S.; and Turkey’s SKF Türk Sanayi ve Ticaret Ltd.

In addition, the EFQM recognized several European municipalities with awards for excellence. This was the first year the organization has had a category for quality in local governments. The winners were the city of Dordrecht (The Netherlands) and the Liverpool (U.K.) City Council. Both were recognized for outstanding quality efforts and efficiency in operations.

For more information on EFQM, visit www.efqm.org.

 


The Bama Co. produces hand-held pies, biscuits and pizza crusts.

NIST Announces 2004 Baldrige Winners

President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Don Evans recently announced four winners of the 2004 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

The winners are The Bama Co., in the manufacturing category; Texas Nameplate Co. Inc., in the small business category; Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business, in the education category; and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, in the health care category.

This year’s crop of winners spans several industries, representing the different forms that quality can take. The Bama Co., of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a family-owned manufacturer of frozen, ready-to-use food products for the quick service food market. Its main products are hand-held pies, biscuits and pizza crusts. The company has experienced substantial growth in recent years, with total revenue growing from $120 million in 1999 to more than $200 million in 2004--a time period in which sales for the overall frozen baked goods industry remained flat. The company uses financial incentives to encourage employees to meet production goals, and since 2001 has paid average bonuses of $5,000 per year for each employee. Implementing Six Sigma has saved Bama $17.3 million since 2002, increased efficiency on the frozen dough production line from 70 percent to 84 percent and decreased changeover time from three hours to one hour.

Texas Nameplate Co. Inc., from Dallas, is a small, privately held family business that produces identification tags, nameplates and labels for a wide variety of products, including high-pressure valves, computers and oil field equipment. With 39 employees, it is the smallest business to receive a Baldrige Award, and the only small business to receive the award twice. It last won in 1998.

The company’s focus on continuous improvement helped it reduce its quote response time from six hours in 1998 to less than two hours in 2004. Results from a third-party survey show customer satisfaction improved from 81 percent in 2000 to 86 percent in 2003. The company maintains a “better, not bigger” philosophy to encourage quality in its products, and has developed several intranet and software solutions to help it track quality, inform employees and respond to problems.

Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business, a part of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, in-creased student performance on standardized business school tests by 34 percent from 1994 to 2004. Student performance has consistently been well above the national average, and in 2003-2004 reached the top 10-percent level. The college adopted a mission of high quality in 1984 and focuses on providing small class sizes, technology integration and high-quality instruction from industry experts.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, of Hamilton, New Jersey, provides health care to 350,000 people annually. It is New Jersey’s fastest-growing hospital and has steadily improved its market share, with the cardiology, surgery and oncology markets making particularly notable leaps in service. The hospital has implemented an excellence program that all employees are required to uphold, maintains a customer survey database that monitors customer feedback, and uses an organizational performance measurement system to track daily performance and key indicators, which are reviewed weekly by senior leaders, monthly by department managers and quarterly by all employees.

The Baldrige winners were selected from 60 applicants, one of the largest applicant pools in the award’s history. They were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners on their leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; human resource focus; process management; and results. The evaluation process includes upward of 1,000 hours of review and on-site analysis by the examiners. The results speak for themselves, says Harry Reedy, chair of the private-sector Baldrige Award judges panel and vice president/director of quality for State Street Corp.

“We are confident that the 2004 Baldrige Award recipients will serve as role models for every U.S. organization striving to improve,” Reedy says. “It is truly gratifying for those of us on the Baldrige Award board of examiners who volunteer to evaluate these organizations to see them recognized for their exemplary performance.”

The Baldrige Award is administered by the National Institute for Standards and Technology. For more information, visit www.nist.gov.

 

ANAB Replaces ANSI-RAB NAP

As of Jan. 1, a new accreditation body formed by the American National Standards Institute and the American Society for Quality will replace the ANSI-RAB National Accreditation Program as the U.S. national accreditation body.

ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Program, or ANAB as the new accreditation body will be commonly known, was formed in response to the adoption of ISO/IEC 17011, which requires that a national accreditation body be a legal entity. The ANSI-RAB NAP, as it’s currently structured, does not meet that requirement. ANAB will also be divorced from RAB’s personnel certification programs, as ISO/IEC 17011 prohibits accreditation bodies from also certifying personnel. The agreement to create ANAB was approved by ASQ’s board of directors on Nov. 5. ANSI’s executive committee approved the deal two weeks later.

Certification and registration bodies accredited by the ANSI-RAB NAP automatically converted to ANAB accreditation as of Jan. 1, and will receive the new ANAB accreditation mark for use with their registered clients.

No change in staffing is anticipated, although the accreditation staff has been reorganized to provide a better focus on customer service after the completion of the changeover. Operations will continue to be based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

For more information, visit www.ansi.org.

 

ISO 14001 Protects Ancient Site

The Cambodian government recently announced its plans to implement ISO 14001 to protect the temples of Angkor, one of the world’s oldest and most beautiful historic sites.

Angkor, which was built between 879 and 1191, is listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. It’s inundated with up to 500,000 tourists every year, which has made it increasingly important to protect the environmentally sensitive, fragile area where the temples are located.

Temple administrators haven’t previously had a formal environmental management system for Angkor. It was introduced to ISO 14001 by Yoshiaki Ishizawa, a professor at Sophia University in Japan. Cambodian government leaders support the implementation of the standard to protect the historic temple site.

For more information, visit www.iso.org.

 

Good Communication Breeds Happy Employees

When senior managers communicate well with their staffs, employees are much happier, and more focused and productive than when communication is bad.

That was the finding in a comprehensive survey of 25,000 employees representing 17 U.S.-based companies, most of which have global work forces.

Employees want communication that is open and honest and includes good as well as bad company news, along with clear directives from management, the study found.

Towers Perrin, a global professional services firm, conducted the study with a newly formed group of companies dedicated to enhancing company communications through measurement and the sharing of best practices.

“Many companies conduct their own internal communication audits, but this is the first effort we know of that enables us to draw conclusions about communication effectiveness across multiple organizations,” says Charlie Watts, one of Towers Perrin’s study designers. “It’s also different from other studies in that we went directly to employees, rather than to directors of communications or other company officials, to evaluate what makes for good communication.”

Respondents assigned an average score of 69 on a scale of 0 to 100 when asked to evaluate their company’s overall communication effectiveness.

Employees indicated that they define effective communication as:

Open and honest exchanges of information

Clear, easy-to-understand materials

Timely distributions

Trusted sources

Two-way feedback systems

Clear demonstration of senior management’s interest in employees

Continual improvements in communication

Consistent messages

The survey reveals that the five most important steps a company can take to improve communications are to ensure supervisory effectiveness in communications, enhance basic communications tools, improve market understanding, educate employees on business goals and highlight the benefits of the employer-employee partnership.

“Frequency of an organization’s communication efforts… can be another significant factor in determining their effectiveness,” says Katherine Woodall, Towers Perrin senior communication consultant. “This needs to be carefully considered and developed if organizations want to achieve the communication results they are seeking.”

For more information, visit www.towersperrin.com.

 

Postal Service Issues Quality Supplier Awards

Postmaster General John E. Potter recently recognized eight companies with Quality Supplier Awards. The winning companies are “the best of the best” in supplying employees with the equipment, tools and services they need to deliver superior products to the public. Because of their quality efforts, the United States Postal Service saved or avoided some $620 million in costs last year.

“You have helped us reduce costs and improve service while finding newer and smarter ways to improve the services and products you provide,” says Keith Strange, vice president of supply management for the USPS, in addressing the winners.

The award winners are:

Boise Cascade Office Products, Itasca, Illinois, provides office supplies to the postal service.

ConEdison Solutions, White Plains, New York, provides the postal service with energy.

Maritz Research, Fenton, Missouri, provides mystery shoppers to measure customer service.

MSC Industrial Supply Co., Melville, New York, provides maintenance, repair and operating products via eBuy catalog.

Northrop Grumman Security Systems, Elkridge, Maryland, designed and built the postal service’s biohazard detection system.

Ricoh Corp., West Caldwell, New Jersey, provides copiers and related services.

Siemens Dematic Postal Automation L.P., Arlington, Texas, developed the postal service’s delivery bar code sorter.

W.W. Grainger Inc., Lake Forest, Illinois, provides custodial services and products.

For more information, visit www.usps.com.

 

Juran Institute Releases Quality Minutes

The Juran Institute recently released its educational Quality Minutes series on DVD and by subscription. The series is made up of 98 case studies that illustrate how performance improvements helped organizations break through to success. Subjects include Improvement and Cost Reduction; Planning and Meeting Customer Needs; Tools, Measures and Process Improvement; Benchmarking; Competition and Trends; Teams, Strategy and Definitions; Health Care; and Government. Each volume is supplemented with written materials.

For more information, visit www.juran.com.