National Quality Institute Announces Canada Awards

The National Quality Institute (NQI) has announced the 18th annual Canada Awards for Excellence, which are equivalent to the U.S.'s Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The awards are given to organizations that become more efficient, expand market share, provide employment opportunities and enhance international competitiveness.

Awards are given in two categories: healthy workplace and quality. Quality trophies wwent to five companies this year: Cardiac Care Network of Ontario, Dana Corp., Diversi-care Canada Management Services Co., IBM Solution Delivery Services and Structural Solutions Divisions. The healthy workplace trophy went to American Express. Certificates of Merit went to Gleneagles Elementary School and Honeywell Consumer Products Group.

For more information on NQI, the awards or this year's winners, visit www.nqi.ca.

Companies To Reward Hospitals for Improved Care

Four large New York companies have announced a $2 million incentive program to encourage hospitals in the state to improve patient safety by requiring doctors to use computerized systems that guard against errors.

To receive the bonuses, the hospitals will also have to hire physicians who specialize in intensive care to supervise their sickest patients.

The four sponsors, along with Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, are Verizon Communications, IBM, PepsiCo and Xerox. Other major employers are expected to announce similar programs in response to the 1999 Institute of Medicine report that mistakes in hospitals are killing tens of thousands of Americans each year.

Q-100 Stock Index Continues To Outperform S&P

The Quality Progress Q-100, a fictional index created to track companies that use quality tools and systems, fell along with the rest of the market during the last quarter but continues to ourperform the S&P 500. The Q-100 was down 14.23%, while the S&P dropped 14.68%.

As the graph shows, a 10,000 investment in the Q-100 on June 30, 2001, would have been worth $8,577 on Sept. 30. The same investment in the S&P would be at $8,532.

Year to date results also have the Q-100 beating the S&P slightly. A $10,000 investment in the Dow on Dec. 31, 2000, would be worth $8,000 in the Q-100 and $7,961 in the S&P. The results for the Q-100 are even better starting with the inception of the Quality Report on Sept. 30, 1998. Invested on that date, $10,000 would have been worth $11,356 in the Q-100 this Sept. 30, but only $10,624 in the S&P.

The index was created by Robinson Capital Manage-ment, a Minnesota money management firm. Craig Robinson, the firm's president, is also chair of the Minnesota Council for Quality.

Robinson cites a couple of well managed companies that rebounded much faster than most following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"FedEx, a member of the Q-100, bounced back very quickly, and Southwest Airlines, while not in the S&P and therefore not a Q-100 company, is alone among U.S. airlines in recovering most of its value," he explains.

Customer Service Quality Called Key to Fast Growth

A recent issue of the PricewaterhouseCoopers "Trendsetter Barometer" says virtually all CEOs of 410 fast growing United States' companies believe quality of customer service will be very important to the growth of their businesses over the next 12 months.

Furthermore, more than 30% of those surveyed expect quality service to produce the single most profitable return for each dollar invested.

None of the other sources of growth selected (product improvements, IT, advertising and sales, and new product line development) came close to customer service in the rankings.

"Trendsetter Barometer" also reports 80% see risk management and controls as important to the success of their businesses over the next 12 to 24 months despite the fact that most admit to not being very confident of the effectiveness of their existing risk hazard and control strategies.

Additional information on the two reports can be read at www.pwcglobal.com.

AIAG Offers Product Data Quality Guidelines

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) recently released product data quality guidelines for the global automotive industry.

The document focuses on computer aided design models for finite element analysis, rapid prototyping, numerical controls programming and data exchanges areas.

AIAG members can get a free copy of the document from the member only portion of www.aiag.org. Others can purchase a copy by calling AIAG customer service at 248-358-3003.

AIAG also reports it has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to conduct an industry pilot project supporting the deployment of standards for the exchange of product data management information.

Survey Links Hiring Practices And Organizational Success

Development Dimensions International, a human re-sources consulting firm, and Electronic Recruiting Exchange recently conducted an online survey of 500 recruitment and selection professionals to determine which specific hiring practices and tools are most linked to an organization's success. The results identified the following helpful practices:

  • Job interviews in which candidates are asked to de-scribe specific examples of their skills.
  • Automated resume screening and search.
  • Assessments that predict whether candidates are motivated by the factors associated with a particular job or a company's values and ways of doing things.
  • Simulations that gauge specific job related abilities and skills.

For additional information, visit www.ddiworld.com.

13 Organizations Receive Baldrige Site Visits

Teams of examiners visited the 13 organizations--two manufacturers, two service companies, three small businesses, four education organizations and two healthcare organizations--in the final review stage this fall for the 2001 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

This was the largest number of finalists since 1995. This year, 37 organizations applied for the award.

Baldrige Award recipients for 2001 are expected to be announced by President Bush about the same time this issue of Quality Progress goes to press.

ISO Publishes Guidelines For Healthcare Sector

The International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, has published guidelines for implementing ISO 9000 quality management systems in the healthcare sector.

The 68-page IWA 1, Quality Management Systems--Guidelines for process improvements in health service organizations, is available from the American National Standards Institute (info@ansi.org) and from the ISO Central Secretariat (sales@iso.ch).

IWA 1 is based on an earlier draft developed by ASQ and the Automotive Industry Action Group, a global industry association representing automotive companies.

The Michigan Quality Council (MQC) is coordinating efforts with the North Central Association to increase participation in MQC's Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria training as it relates to excellence in education.


The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat recently hosted a task force meeting to address the feasibility of tall building development in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. The session involved 24 experts from architecture, engineering, fire protection, and building control and security systems fields. For information, call 312-396-4396 or e-mail mark.bouffard@pr21.com or jason.feldner@pr21.com.


Celani Dominguez, a physics teacher at Reagan High School in Austin, TX, will work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) this coming year to learn more about the Baldrige Award and help the Baldrige program better understand the needs of education organizations. He will be working at NIST under the auspices of the Albert Einstein distinguished educator fellowship program.

In October, Ford Motor Co. announced the launch of its "back to basics" quality process, Q1 2002. Ford says the process requires a collaborative partnership with its suppliers, uses clear metrics and rigorous site assessment, and stresses continual improvement.


Because of the tragic Sept. 11 events and their aftermath, Quality Week Europe, which was originally planned for this November, has been rescheduled to March 11 to 15 in Brussels, Belgium.

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