News Digest
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This month in News Digest

  • President Clinton Names 1997 Baldrige Award Winners
  • Juran Foundation Moves to University of Minnesota
  • New Advisory Board to Guide Manufacturing Network
  • New Standard Tracks Workplace Conditions
  • Teamwork: Is It Child's Play?
  • ICSA Bestows Excellence Awards
  • Coalition Supports Manufacturing Skill Standards
  • CPAs Join the Ranks of ISO 9000 Consultants
  • Canadian Organizations Receive Excellence Awards

    President Clinton Names 1997 Baldrige Award Winners

    President Clinton and Commerce Secretary William Daley have named four 1997 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winners. The coveted honor for achievements in quality and business performance goes to: 3M Dental Products Division and Solectron Corp. in the manufacturing division, and Merrill Lynch Credit Corp. and Xerox Business Services in the service category.

    "The Baldrige Award is a blueprint for success to help U.S. companies attain and retain market leadership in the 21st century," says Clinton. "The 1997 award winners once again prove that U.S. companies can improve their competitiveness and their bottom line, even as they make their companies better places to work and their communities better places to live."

    3M Dental Products Division

    3M Dental Products Division manufactures and markets dental products worldwide. More than half of 3M DPD's 700 employees are based at its St. Paul, Minnesota, headquarters and at the division's manufacturing and distribution facility in Irvine, California. In 1994, 3M DPD became the first Gold Level winner of California's U.S. Senate Productivity Award, a Baldrige-based award.

    3M DPD's quality and business achievements include a global sales strategy that doubled sales and market share over the last decade, outstanding overall satisfaction rates for suppliers and dentists, and innovative new products. They also reduced new-product cycle time from three years to 10 months, achieved high employee-satisfaction rates and played a leading role in developing an ethics code for the dental industry.

    Solectron Corp.

       Solectron Corp. provides electronics design and manufacturing services to original equipment manufacturers. Headquartered in Milpitas, California, the company had less than 2,000 employees when it won its first Baldrige Award in 1991; now it employs more than 18,000 people at 17 locations worldwide.

        The first company to win the Baldrige Award twice, Solectron also has won quality awards in California, North Carolina, Texas and Malaysia. The company attributes its success to numerous factors, including a system to track customer satisfaction weekly, more than 140 recognition awards from customers since 1981 and environmental awards for reducing hazardous wastes and chemical emissions.

    Merrill Lynch Credit Corp.

    Merrill Lynch Credit Corp. provides liability management services, including home financing, personal credit, and investment and business financing. The company's 830 employees market and sell all MLCC products through a nationwide network of more than 14,000 financial consultants. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, the company has 29 district offices located throughout the United States. It is a past winner of the Florida Governor's Sterling Award.

    Merrill Lynch's accomplishments include an increase of 74 percent for return on investment between 1994 and 1996, a 100-percent rise in net income between 1994 and 1996, and increased partner satisfaction levels from 42 percent in 1994 to 70 percent in 1996. Its revised planning and management has significantly improved customer satisfaction, productivity and profitability.

     Xerox Business Systems

     Xerox Business Systems provides document outsourcing services and consulting, including on-site management of mailrooms and print shops, as well as document creation, production and management. With headquarters in Rochester, New York, XBS employs 14,000 people and manages more than 2,000 customer accounts in 35 countries.

        Xerox's quality achievements include a revenue growth of more than 40 percent during the past two years, a double in revenue per salesperson, a current overall customer satisfaction rating of 95 percent, a job retention level of 92 percent and several assistance options to employees and their families.

    For more information about this year's winners or the award process, visit the Baldrige Award's Web site at www.quality.nist.gov.


    Juran Foundation Moves
    to University of Minnesota

    The Juran Foundation will soon have a new home in Minneapolis. Joseph M. Juran, the foundation's originator, recently decided to transfer the organization from Wilton, Connecticut, to the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. Juran graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1924.

    The reaction at the university has been understandably enthusiastic. "We're pumped!" exclaims Jim Buckman, co- director of the Carlson School's Quality Leadership Center. "It's a very, very big deal for us."

    Transfer of the foundation's $2 million in assets should finish early in 1998 and represents a starting point, according to Buckman. The center plans to raise an endowment -- with a target goal of $15 million to $25 million -- with contributions from business leaders and companies worldwide.

    "Dr. Juran also cares a great deal about the extension of quality principles into nonbusiness areas," says Buckman. "We intend to take a leading research role in the application of quality into education and health care, and nonprofits and government. Our ultimate goal is to develop what Dr. Juran called for in an article several years ago -- the national center for research in quality."

    This undertaking includes three critical components: establishing a Juran fellows program to encourage doctorates; endowing a chair and commissioning research to annually assess the quality field; and establishing a Quality Leadership Center database, accessible to researchers and businesses from around the world.

    Buckman believes Juran chose the University of Minnesota for several reasons: the Minnesota business community's reputation for quality leadership; Juran's connections to the school; and the school's deliberate and aggressive approach to quality research, which has resulted in four National Science Foundation grants.

    "I think he likes our ideas, the approach that we've taken and the fact that we have an ambitious vision," comments Buckman.


    New Advisory Board to Guide Manufacturing Network

    The Manufacturing Extension Partnership has appointed nine prominent industry and economic leaders to serve on its newly formed National Advisory Board. Members were selected for their expertise in manufacturing and industrial extension and for their work on behalf of small manufacturers. The board plans to meet three times a year to provide advice on MEP programs, plans and policies.

    Created in 1988, MEP -- part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology -- administers a nationwide network of centers that provides small companies with business and technical assistance. Though funded by federal and state governments, MEP staffs its centers with local manufacturing experts who counsel companies on business site layout, re-evaluations and ISO 9000 problems.

    The board will help identify specific directions MEP programs should take, explains board member Lawrence Rhoades. New programs such as professional exchanges to help educate personnel are of special interest to Rhoades.

     "There are many different kinds of centers that have strengths in different areas," he says. "Some of them have developed interesting ways of helping small companies keep current."


    New Standard Tracks Workplace Conditions

    A new international, interindustry standard will formalize manufacturers' guarantees for proper working conditions at supplier facilities. Called SA8000 -- SA stands for "social accountability" -- and modeled on ISO 9000 and ISO 14000, the standard was drafted by staff members of the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency and a 25-member advisory board. Board members included representatives from a wide range of companies and organizations, including Amnesty International, the National Child Labor Committee, KPMG, SGS, Toys R Us, Reebok, The Body Shop and the International Textile Workers Union.

    SA8000's accreditation process will resemble that of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000, according to Eileen Kohl Kaufman, CEPAA program director. "The difference between SA8000 and ISO 9000 or ISO 14000 is that, in addition to having procedural or system requirements, it also has performance requirements, a combination of a code of conduct and a management system," explains Kaufman.

    Kaufman doesn't expect that SA8000-certified factories will label their products with proof of certification. "We're not attesting to the quality of the product," she notes. "It could be shoddy goods. But if it's produced in an SA8000-certified factory, we know that certain rules of working conditions were followed."

    SA8000 now exists in its first printed form as a working document, says Kaufman. In January, applications packets will be available for registrars interested in becoming accredited for certifying the standard.

    For more information, contact the CEPAA at telephone (212) 420-1133, fax (212) 420-0988 or e-mail SA8000@aol.com.


    It Child's Play?

    When it comes to teamwork, adults should look to the example set by children. In her new book, KidSpiration, Out of the Mouths of Babes, Beverly Smallwood applies children's insights on teamwork and problem solving to the world of business. The speaker and licensed psychologist offers five key elements of teamwork: communicate often, completely and accurately; listen with both your ears and your heart; resolve conflicts constructively; make courtesy common; and claim the power of choice.

    "From my experience in working with organizations, these are the elements that, when missing, most often interfere with teamwork," says Smallwood.

    Lack of communication represents one of the most common hindrances to employee performance. Different perspectives, priorities and approaches among employees or management can create barriers in accomplishing tasks. "Our own perspective becomes a filter that distorts an open understanding of how others view a situation," notes Smallwood. "In a team, this can be deadly. Every viewpoint is necessary to fully understand a problem."

    Smallwood emphasizes the need to steer away from the victim mentality. "Claiming the power of choice means you take responsibility for your reactions, your performance and, ultimately, your success," she explains.

    Leaders also need to get involved in the team-building    process. "Leaders who are examples of courtesy and respect, and who coach their team members to follow these same practices, are out in front in terms of building a cooperative work team," maintains Smallwood.

    For more information, contact Smallwood at telephone (601) 264-0890, fax (601) 261-0471 or e-mail bevsmallwd@aol.com.


    ICSA Bestows Excellence Awards

    The International Customer Service Association has presented its annual awards of excellence to Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Systems, which took top honors in the nonmanufacturing category, and Pirelli Cable Corp., in the manufacturing category. The awards, designed to recognize companies providing exceptional customer service throughout all levels of their organizations, are considered the highest honor for customer service.

    "Being formally recognized for excellence in customer satisfaction has given customer support services a sense of accomplishment in our work, and we are all celebrating our success," say Evelyn Housman, team leader of customer service support, and Carol-Anne Kemp, director of customer service support, at Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Systems.

    Johnson & Johnson Healthcare provides supply chain services for 18 Johnson & Johnson companies. Their customer service program allots a minimum learning goal of 40 hours per employee and an eight-week classroom training session for all new hires. "The management structure throughout HCS embraces companywide goals and encourages employees to go above and beyond through formal recognition programs for outstanding service," explains Housman.

    The customer service representatives of Pirelli Cable Corp., which manufactures fiber-optic cable and accessories, have earned an excellent reputation for 24-hour customer service all year long. "We feel that every person in our organization is a passionate customer service provider," observes Mary Dwyer, Pirelli's customer service manager.

    Dwyer stresses that the award honors not just the customer service department but the entire company. The award gives Pirelli a competitive advantage, as well as offers a great boost to morale, she adds.

    For more information about the ICSA Award of Excellence, telephone (800) 360-4272 or visit their Web site at www.icsa.com.


    Coalition Supports Manufacturing

    Skill Standards

    Benefiting from a grant awarded by the National Skill Standards Board, a coalition of leaders from 60 corporations, national trade associations and labor unions met in Washington, D.C., Sept. 16 to discuss the creation and adoption of national skill standards. The group's first objective was developing a strategic plan to launch such a system.

    The grant was awarded jointly to the coalition's leaders, the National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing and the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO. Since the initial meeting, the coalition has divided into four groups: strategic planning -- creating project vision and mission statements; outreach -- maintaining statistics and following the group's practices; fieldwork -- networking and attracting new members; and membership governance -- serving the current membership. Collectively, the coalition can reach more than 40,000 of the nation's manufacturers and nearly half of the manufacturing work force.

    Over the next three months, coalition members will arrange work groups and begin a series of communications and virtual meetings. The NSSB will collect complete reports on the program's status after the coalition's next meeting in Los Angeles Jan. 12-13.


    CPAs Join the Ranks

    of ISO 9000 Consultants

    Faced with increased competition in the financial services arena, some CPAs are expanding their market by applying their skills to ISO 9000 consulting.

    "In the last 10 to 15 years, the deregulation of financial services has caused all sorts of financial service firms to encroach on revenue streams that CPAs used to have," says Charles Peck, senior vice president for marketing, product and organizational development at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. "So we must look at new avenues that apply CPAs' skills."

    ISO 9000 consulting represents a natural extension of CPAs' skill sets, notes Peck. "We need to provide avenues to equip them to be able to do this kind of business," he adds.

    In an effort to help its members learn how to guide clients through ISO 9000 certification, the AICPA has teamed with Alamo Learning Systems to provide four-day ISO 9000 workshops in major cities around the country.

    The seminar covers a number of topics, including training senior management, marketing the program for clients, performing gap analysis, creating an ISO 9000 map, documentation, running internal audits and working with registrars. After the initial training, Alamo will provide follow-up support -- via e-mail, telephone or on-site assistance -- to help AICPA members become knowledgeable in ISO 9000.

    For more information, contact Dave Dasgupta of the AICPA at telephone (212) 596-6111, or visit the AICPA Web site at www.aicpa.org.


    Canadian Organizations Receive Excellence Awards

    Canada's National Quality Institute recently granted the Canada Awards for Excellence to an individual and nine organizations for their achievements in the categories of quality, entrepreneurship and innovation. Honorees included:

     Quality: Brock Telecom -- large manufacturing trophy; BC TEL Education -- large service trophy; Dominion Directory Co. -- small/medium service trophy;  Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital -- health care trophy; Glen Park Public School -- education certificate of merit

     Entrepreneurship: Lorraine Lush,     Career Academy

     Innovation: Quartz Imaging Corp.;  Research in Motion Ltd.; E.QU.I.P. International Inc.; Sierra Wireless Inc.



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