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News Digest

This Month in News Digest

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And the Winners Are…

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Rising From (Near) Ruin

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Dry, and a Little Fruity. Who knew?

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Leica Settles In

 

 

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Peter F. Drucker: Visionary

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Must Be Something in the Water…

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RABQSA Suspends Training Deadline

 

 

 

And the Winners Are…

 Talk about quality operations.

Six very diverse organizations received 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality awards recently. The award winners, announced by President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, range from an automotive dealership to a community college and an oil-industry business. It's the first time that organizations in these categories have received Baldrige Awards. The winners are:

Sunny Fresh Foods Inc. of Monticello, Minnesota (manufacturing category)

DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations Co. of New Orleans (service category)

Park Place Lexus of Plano, Texas (small- business category)

Richland College of Dallas (education category)

Jenks Public Schools of Jenks, Oklahoma (education category)

Bronson Methodist Hospital of Kalamazoo, Michigan (health care category)


All six Baldrige Award winners have documented impressive improvement. Since receiving its first Baldrige award in 1999, Sunny Fresh Foods, a manufacturer of egg-based food products primarily for the food-service industry, has increased revenues by 93 percent. The company uses a balanced scorecard approach to track and measure performance in six key business drivers. Each business driver has several key indicators that provide alignment on objectives and highlight improvement opportunities. Sunny Fresh Foods has 620 employees and operates five plants.

DynMcDermott has an annual budget of $108 million and employs 554 people. The company received registration to ISO 9001 in 2001, and since then all four of its storage sites have achieved Voluntary Protection Program certification from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Department of Energy. Overall customer satisfaction with the company's products has improved steadily, from 67-percent satisfaction in 1999 to 85 percent in 2004. This exceeds the DOE target of 75 percent. Since 2001, performance levels have ranged from 4.5 to 5.8 on a six-point scale, above the DOE's satisfaction target of 3.0.

Park Place Lexus, which has 420 employees, operates automotive dealerships in Plano, Texas, and Grapevine, Texas. Its Grapevine location had a New Car Client Satisfaction Index Score of 99.8 percent in 2004, making it the highest-rated Lexus dealership in the nation. The company maintains a database that tracks all interactions with its clients and has implemented a stringent hiring process that includes multiple aptitude, personality and behavioral tests to ensure that the right people are placed in the right positions. Its revenues have increased from about $70 million in 1995 to $350 million in 2004, and the company forecasts that it will have revenues of $387 million in 2005.

Richland College provides education to more than 20,000 students. The first community college to receive a Baldrige Award, it reports that even as its state-supplied budget decreased by 40 percent, it dropped its operational costs per credit-hour while improving services, added necessary employees and implemented stakeholder-listening services to measure satisfaction.

Jenks Public Schools, the 11th-largest school district in Oklahoma, operates nine schools on five campuses, and has 9,271 enrolled students. Its Academic Performance Index scores from 2001 to 2005 exceeded the API scores at the national and state levels, and led the state for K-12 schools of comparable size.

The district operates an innovative intergenerational pre-kindergarten and kindergarten program in which classes are held on site at a long-term care facility for the elderly. It has established four pillars of excellence: strong quality leadership, continuous improvement, customer focus and systems/process focus. District stakeholders meet regularly to align and assess operations with these goals in mind.

Bronson Methodist Hospital, which also received the 2005 Michigan Quality Leadership Award, has a strong patient and employee focus. It exceeds best-
practice levels for work system performance and effectiveness with an annualized turnover rate of just 5.6 percent. Investment in employee development increased from $3,108 per full-time employee in 2002 to $4,453 in 2005, primarily through the implementation of computer-based learning.

The winners were selected from 64 applicants. The awards will be formally presented in Washington, D.C. early in 2006. For more information, visit www.baldrige.nist.gov.

 

Rising From (Near) Ruin

 Although five of its six facilities bore damage from Hurricane Katrina, recovering from the storm could have been far worse for DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations Co., were it not for its compliance to ISO 14001.

The company, a 2005 Baldrige Award recipient, is the sole management and operations contractor for the Department of Energy's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the United States' emergency oil stockpile and the largest emergency petroleum supply in the world. Its headquarters are in New Orleans.

DynMcDermott received registration to ISO 14001 in 2000, and the rigorous emergency environmental planning required by the standard helped the company quickly recover from the hurricane. The oil company sustained damage at five of its six Gulf Coast facilities, yet had no reported petroleum leaks as a result of the hurricane. Just two days after the storm passed and emergency workers allowed people back into the damaged area, DynMcDermott restarted operations.

Re-opening the facilities required a lot of planning prior to the storm. The company's ISO 14001 management system and emergency plan includes the stabilization of its storage tanks, emptying containment levees to hold storm water and closing operations completely. Company storm watch teams stayed on the sites to address final operations until it was no longer safe, then evacuated for higher ground.

"New Orleans was hit hard, and we were too, but it could have been worse," says Bill Bozzo, DynMcDermott environmental department manager. "Ongoing efforts to utilize environmental management systems helped us to prevent harmful environmental incidents… during the hurricane."

The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) reports that companies in more than 125 countries have implemented ISO 14001. (See figure to the left.) Japan has the most registrations, with 19,584 companies using the standard. The United States comes in sixth on the list, with 4,759 registrations.

For more information, visit www.dynmcdermott.com.

 

Dry, and a Little Fruity. Who knew?

The International Organization for Standardization has a standard for wine-tasting glasses: ISO 3591, Sensory analysis--Apparatus--Wine-tasting glass. The standard aims to form a systematic approach to tasting wine. Because the shape of the glass affects the bouquet, ISO recommends that professional tasters and informed amateurs use the same ISO 3591-approved glass when sipping. In this way, all tasters experience the wine in the same way.

 

Leica Settles In

Now that it's part of Hexagon Metrology, Leica Geosystems is undergoing some internal changes.

Hexagon has announced that Leica's Consumer Products division will be renamed as the Measuring Tools Division, and the Geospatial Imaging Division, based in Atlanta, will refocus on software development in preparation for entry into vertical markets. Finally, Leica's Surveying & Engineering Division, High-Definition Surveying Division, Airborne Sensor Business Unit and its Chinese sales region will merge to form the new Geosystems Division. The Geosystems Division will be responsible for central services at Leica's Heerbrugg, Switzerland, headquarters, and for the company's worldwide shared services.

The changes are immediate, and Hexagon reports that Leica's strategic direction is not affected. For more information, visit www.hexagon.se or www.leica-geosystems.com.

 

Peter F. Drucker: Visionary

Peter F. Drucker, one of the most influential management theorists of the 20th century, died November 11 at his home in Claremont, California. He was 95 years old.

Drucker's career as a writer, consultant and teacher spanned nearly 75 years. The author of 41 books that have been translated into 37 languages, Drucker pioneered the ideas of privatization and the corporation as a social institution. He coined the terms "knowledge workers" and "management by objectives." His groundbreaking work turned management theory into a serious discipline, and he influenced or created nearly every facet of corporate management theory and application.

Most recently, Drucker was the Marie Rankin Clarke Professor of Social Sciences and Management at Claremont Graduate University, where he wrote and consulted up to the time of his death. In 1987, the university named its Graduate School of Management after him. It was later changed to the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, in recognition of Drucker and Ito's longtime professional partnership.

"Peter Drucker based his teaching on values," says Robert Kligaard, president of Claremont Graduate University. "Performance and character are central to his advice to leaders and managers. Core values, he teaches, make sense in hard-headed business terms. But we also discern that the purity of our hearts matter for other, more important reasons as well."

Drucker's long life and extraordinary career took him from World War II in Europe to the corporate excesses of recent years, of which he was highly critical. Born in Vienna in 1909, Drucker received his doctoral degree in public and international law at Frankfurt University in 1931. Following his graduation, he wrote an essay that offended the Nazi party, which banned and burned it. He subsequently moved to London, and several years later, to the United States.

Winston Churchill required that every new British officer read Drucker's first book, The End of Economic Man: The Origins of Totalitarianism (1939). After the publication of his second book, The Future of Industrial Man (1943), General Motors Corp. invited Drucker to study its corporate culture, and the two-year study resulted in his seminal work, The Concept of the Corporation (1945). The book introduced the revolutionary ideas of decentralized decision making and setting short-term corporate goals to manage for the long term. It was an immediate bestseller.

Drucker made many revolutionary forecasts. In the early 1950s, he predicted that computer technology would transform businesses. In 1961, he predicted Japan's rise as an economic power; 20 years later, he warned of its impending economic stagnation. In 1997, he predicted public outcry about lavish corporate salaries. An advocate for ethical corporate management, Drucker also denounced those high salaries at the cost of layoffs of blue-collar workers.

"This is morally and socially unforgivable, and we will pay a heavy price for it," he said. In his later years, The Wall Street Journal reported that he spent more than half of his time consulting for nonprofit organizations at no cost.

In 2002, President George W. Bush awarded Drucker the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 

 

Must Be Something in the Water…

Quality professionals in Shanghai have a 10-percent higher pass rate on quality certification exams than quality professionals in other parts of China.

The Shanghai Academy of Quality Management reports that the nationwide average pass rate for the exam is 30 percent, while Shanghai's average pass rate is more than 40 percent. There are 53,136 certified junior and middle quality engineers in China, 12 percent of which are in Shanghai.

 

RABQSA Suspends Training Deadline

RABQSA has announced the suspension of its Certification Training Plan, which required auditors to transition to
competency-based certification schemes for quality management systems (QMS), environmental management systems (EMS), food safety, and occupational health and safety (OH&S) audits.

The transition would have required all auditors certified for QMS, EMS, food safety and OH&S to prove their knowledge of the subject matter involved, instead of illustrating their credentials through their qualifications. This requires a certificate of attainment from an RABQSA-certified training provider, a certificate of successful completion of RABQSA's online "gap" examination, the successful completion of the RABQSA Management System Auditor Skill Examination and the successful completion of the RABQSA Personal Attribute Assessment System (PAAS Master) exam. The goal of the transition was to ensure that RABQSA-certified auditors are current in their knowledge of the management systems they examine.

Michael Carmody, RABQSA CEO, reports that the Dec. 31, 2006 compliance deadline has been suspended to allow auditors more time to choose the certification scheme they will pursue. "The message we have received from our customers throughout 2005 is that more time is required to allow auditors to decide on the value of transitioning from the current qualification-based certification schemes to the internationally recognized
competency-based schemes," says Carmody.

Hundreds of auditors transitioned to the competency-based scheme in 2005. Carmody notes that RABQSA will use 2006 to push competency-based training throughout the auditing community.

"RABQSA has not taken one step backward from our drive into competency-based personnel certification," he says. "In other words, we will transition based on market demand rather than our imposed timeline."

To that end, RABQSA reports that it will continue to offer its traditional qualification-based certification products, as well as the new competency-based certification products.

"The future value of personnel certification to industry will be based on the demonstration of your ability, not simply showing your qualifications," says Carmody. "It's about confidently showing your customer, [that] you are the right person with the knowledge and skill for the job no matter where you choose to work."

For more information, visit www.rabqsa.com.