Check Out This Baldrige Winner

Article

Daniels, Susan E.   (2002, ASQ)   American Society for Quality

Quality Progress    Vol. 35    No. 8
QICID: 18218    August 2002    pp. 41-47

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Article Abstract

In 1993 Clarke American, a manufacturer of bank checks, faced a major business crisis due to industry consolidations and competition from direct mail suppliers. It was a defining moment for Clarke's new president and CEO, and a catalyst for the company's journey toward its Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. A new leadership model was developed to distinguish the company through exceptional service. The First in Service business strategy took Clarke from being internally focused to being customer focused, and it is the foundation for all the company's continuous improvement initiatives. While Clarke's initial application for the Baldrige award didn't even warrant a site visit, the firm was learning. They embedded the Baldrige model into everything they did, and business assessments were conducted using the Baldrige scoring model. As a result, the move to recognition as a world-class organization took off, and in 2001 Clarke won the Texas Award for Performance Excellence and was the only company to receive the Baldrige Award in the manufacturing category. The company is committed to fostering a learning organization that continually increases the skills of employees and sustains a culture fully capable of meeting customer's needs. A key tool is a partnership scorecard developed jointly with financial institutions to define partnership goals, measures, and targets. Today, Clarke furnishes checking account and bill paying accessories, financial forms, and a portfolio of services to financial institutions. Sidebar articles profile Clarke's business success and Baldrige myths according to Clarke American.

Keywords

Customer and market focus,Case study,Business plans,Learning organizations,Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA),Strategic planning,Voice of the customer (VOC)


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