Q-100 Drops 3.53% in Third Quarter 

Q100KeepingcurrentThe Quality Progress Q-100 fell 3.53% during the third quarter as overall market volatility took its toll on companies with strong quality management systems.

The Q-100 was created by Robinson Capital Management to track the stock market performance of companies that emphasize the use of quality tools and systems (Quality Progress, September 2000, pp. 24-25). Q-100 companies range from Adobe Systems to Whirlpool Corp., and they are all also included in the S&P 500.

For the third quarter, the Q-100 decline was actually greater than that registered by the S&P 500, which fell less than 1%. The greater volatility in the Q-100 is partially attributed to its smaller breadth. Year to date, the Q-100 has also declined more than the S&P 500.

But the longer trends still point to the value of quality systems. For the 12 months starting Sept. 30, 1999, the Q-100 gained 14.24%, compared to 13.28% for the S&P 500.

"Quality is a long-term investment," said Craig Robinson, president of Robinson Capital. "In the long term, the Q-100 is going to outperform. Some of the Q-100 stocks, such as Microsoft and Cisco Systems, got cut in half during the third quarter. But we think they will recover and recover quickly because of the fact that they are well-run."

ISO To Develop Health Care Guidelines At January Workshop

The International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, has scheduled a workshop for January 18-19, 2001, in Detroit to develop guidelines for implementing ISO 9000 quality management systems in the health care sector. ISO's Technical Management Board (TMB) postponed a proposed October meeting, believing a January date would allow wider participation.

The workshop is being held to develop health care sector specific guidelines based on ISO 9004:2000, Quality management systems--Guidelines for performance improvements, which will be published as ISO's first industry technical agreement (ITA). ITAs are an alternative to full ISO standards, and ISO says they can be used for cases in which swift development and publication take priority.

"The proposed guidelines document is not intended for use in third-party certifications, although it is envisaged that it could be used in the design or improvement of quality management systems, themselves certifiable to ISO 9001:2000," said an ISO representative.

The proposal to develop the guidelines was made jointly by ASQ and the Automotive Industry Action Group, which represents GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler and the United Auto Workers.

For more information on the efforts to develop guidance documents for health care organizations, see "Quality Health Care--A Path Forward" by R. Dan Reid (Quality Progress, November 2000, p. 107).

Online University Participates In NCA Improvement Project

Capella University recently announced that it is the nation's first and only online academic institution to become a charter participant of the Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Capella is an online university that serves about 1,800 students in the United States and 30 other countries.

Capella University has been accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association since 1997. By becoming a member of the AQIP, Capella is provided not only with continuing NCA accreditation, but also with support, encouragement and recognition for its continuous improvement efforts and accomplishments.

The agreement made with AQIP says Capella University's current status of accreditation will continue through 2007 as it participates in a series of planning and review activities. Some activities include:

  • Filing a results inventory.

  • Going through a cycle of review that can involve on-site evaluation every three to five years.

  • Undergoing a validation process leading to formal reaffirmation of accreditation every seven years.

Capella is one of four universities participating in the NCA Academic Quality Improvement Project. The other universities include Eastern New Mexico University, Roswell, NM; Fort Hays State University, Hays, KN; and Kent State University, Kent, OH.

For more information on Capella University, visit its Web site at www.capellauniversity.edu

ASDT Says Investments in Training Improve Financial Success

The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) reports evidence that a company's investments in work force training can predict future financial performance, including its total stockholder return (TSR). ASTD also says investors can improve their portfolio performance if they have access to information about training expenditures when making investment decisions.

With the help of Saba Consultants, ASTD examined the average annual training expenditures of 575 firms. Taking a number of factors into account, ASTD found that knowing a firm's education and training investment improves the power to predict its future TSR by 50%.

ASTD researchers also found a similar pattern when looking at gross profit margin, income per employee and price to book ratios. Firms in the top quarter of the study group that invested an average $1,595 per employee in training experienced the following performance results compared to firms in the bottom quarter that invested on average $128 per employee:

  • 24% higher gross profit margins.

  • 218% higher income per employee.

  • 26% higher price to book ratios.

A similar study by ASTD and the Society for Human Resource Management found that training and development has risen to the top as one of the most important benefits organizations must offer to attract and retain talented employees. For a free measurement kit on benchmarking company investments, contact ASTD at www.astd.org/virtual_community/research

A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology examines how CEOs are using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to help improve their strategies and operations and better address global opportunities. The report and the Baldrige criteria are available at www.quality.nist.gov or by calling 301-975-2036.


Isotag Technology Inc. (ITI), Miami, a provider of covert identification products and services, received the Technology 2000 Award from the South Florida Business Journal and Deloitte Touche. The Miami based company received the Shooting Star award for its "exceptional technology in the fields of anti-counterfeiting, anti-diversion, product liability protection, and quality and process control management." ITI says its markers provide proof of authenticity to reduce counterfeiting, diversion and thievery of virtually any product and to improve process and quality control.


The Aberdeen Group, a provider of information technology and marketing strategy consulting to the investment and IT supplier communities, says customer relationship management (CRM) is one of the fastest growing segments of technology. It estimates that CRM will be a $24 billion industry by 2003. For more information, visit www.aberdeen.com


The 2,251 responses to a survey of about 7,500 licensed registered nurses in the state of Minnesota by the Minnesota Nurses Association revealed that nearly 80% lack confidence they will receive excellent quality care in their declining years. The random sample surveyed included members, nonmembers and former members. For a report summary, call 651-646-4807 or 800-536-4662, ext. 161.

University Offers Three Quality Related Discussion Lists

The Economic Development Administration University Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stout hosts free, moderated discussion lists dealing with three quality topics:

1. The ISO 9000 Standards Discussion List allows sharing and exchange of ISO 9000 information and experiences. To sign up, e-mail jennejohnn@uwstout.edu

2. The QuEST discussion is for individuals searching for ways to manage the integration of quality, environmental, and occupational safety and health directives. To sign up, e-mail QuEST@uwstout.edu

3. A service quality discussion supports applied research and knowledge in service management, including ISO 9000. To sign up, e-mail ServiceQuality@uwstout.edu

All three lists have moderators representing the degree areas of industrial management, risk control and service management.

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