Q-100 Outperforms S&P 500 In 2001 and Since Inception

The Quality Progress Q-100 outperformed the S&P 500 for the fourth quarter of 2001 and for the year. The index of 100 stocks, created by Robinson Capital Management, gained 12.49% for the quarter (vs. 10.69% for the S&P 500) while declining 0.63% for 2001 (compared to a drop of 0.89% for the S&P 500).

Since its inception on Sept. 30, 1998, the Q-100 has a return of 26.97% compared to the S&P 500's return of 17.59% over the same period. If you had invested $10,000 in the Q-100 and $10,000 in the S&P 500 on Sept. 30, 1998, your Q-100 investment would have been worth $12,697 on the last day of 2001, compared to $11,759 for the S&P, according to Stephen George, author of Invest in the Best: How To Profit From Well-Managed Companies, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2000.

The Q-100 is a subset of the S&P 500. Robinson Capital Management uses public information to score all 500 companies, weighting the Q-100 and diversifying the list to align it with the weighting and sectors in the S&P 500.

A complete picture of the Q-100's performance against that of the S&P 500 since inception, for 2001 and for the last quarter of 2001 can be seen in the graphic illustration.

The top Q-100 performer for 2001 was SuperValu, which gained 70%. Other Q-100 leaders were Whirlpool, Staples, Bemis Company and Dell, all of which rose 58%. The top Q-100 performers for the fourth quarter were Intel (+61%), Snap-On Inc. (+58%), and Dell (+48%).

"The fourth quarter reflected recovery from the Sept. 11 tragedy," said Craig Robinson, president of Robinson Capital Management and chair of the Minnesota Council for Quality. "As the Q-100 shows, quality companies recovered more quickly."

For more information contact Robinson Capital Management at 800-577-9217.

By the numbers

4,500,000 Numbers of viewers estimated to have seen an ASQ video release on airport security screeners by the end of January. The video and position can be viewed at www.asq.org.

141Number of TL 9000 registrations by the end of 2001, after starting with 16 organizations in 2000.

49% Percentage of organizations registered to TL 9000 that are in the United States. Asia follows at 33%, and rounding out the breakdown are Canada (8%), Europe (6%) and Latin America (4%).

7,500 Number of people who have joined ASQ's Six Sigma Forum since its inception in May 2001.

RAB, IAF Respond to Criticism Of Assessment System

The Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) recently responded to public statements in which the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, criticized the integrity of the conformity assessment system.

At a late 2001 meeting and in a subsequent press release, Lawrence D. Eicher, ISO secretary general, said ISO 9000 certification bodies and the accreditation bodies that approve them as competent need to do a better job policing their community "to weed out malpractice and dishonest operators."

"We regularly receive complaints about certificates being awarded undeservedly to companies that have not been properly audited or about certification bodies who offer to write the quality manual for the company and then sell them a certificate," Eicher said.

Eicher explained ISO does not audit companies, issue ISO 9000 certificates or control the certification bodies that base their businesses on ISO standards and guides. But he said ISO is concerned about such practices, and all conformity assessment professionals need to be concerned, too, "if they want to avoid being seen as charlatans."

"You need to police yourselves," Eicher concluded.

RAB response
Joseph R. Dunbeck, CEO of RAB, says that as a partner in the ANSI-RAB National Accreditation Program (NAP) and an IAF multilateral agreement signatory, RAB takes Eicher's comments seriously.

"Our effectiveness and respect depend on our reputation for competence and integrity," Dunbeck commented. "When a registrar acts with a lack of complete integrity in issuing certificates for ISO 9000 standards, it is not the fault of the International Organization for Standardization or of the legitimate players in conformity assessment. Nonetheless, it is very much of concern to us all, and as the U.S. accreditor, the ANSI-RAB NAP must do everything it can to police its own community."

Dunbeck said this is accomplished through:

  • Adherence to international standards and guidance documents.
  • Rigorous and transparent processes and requirements based on these documents.
  • Management of a publicized procedure to gather complaints from all types of stakeholders and to ensure all complaints are thoroughly investigated and appropriate action is taken in response.
  • Requiring its accredited registrars to have effective complaints procedures.

Explaining that RAB's scheme for registration and accreditation by independent third parties was developed at the request of industry to meet the needs of industry, Dunbeck, who is retiring at the end of March, concluded, "RAB is in the business of building confidence and reducing risk to facilitate fair and free international trade. Increasing awareness of the value of accreditation is a way to inhibit illegal and unscrupulous activity in conformity assessment."

IAF response
In a press release earlier this year, IAF said its members are required to comply strictly with the international standards or guides relevant to their operations and with guidance issued by IAF on the application of those standards or guides.

IAF added that it works to eliminate any activities that would put at risk the confidence of industry and customers in the outcomes of accredited activities. The forum has an effective procedure for investigating complaints and acts to prevent repetition of inappropriate action, the press release said.

Further, IAF requires all its accreditation body members to have complaint procedures in place that ensure thorough investigation and corrective action. "IAF is determined to eliminate any practice that brings the conformity assessment system into disrepute," the press release stated.

IAF urged all companies to ensure they contract only with conformity assessment bodies that are accredited by members of IAF.

Medicare Service Pushes Certification To ISO 9001

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), formerly known as the Healthcare Financing Administration (HCFA), is coming down clearly in support of advanced process management quality models, according to Michael Crago, ASQ member and director of TüV Management Service & Product Service's health and human services certification program.

Crago says CMS seems to be responding to recommendations in the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) 2001 report "Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century." The IOM said that if organizations are expected to change processes of care, the broader environment must also change. A summary of the IOM report can be found at www.iom.edu/iom/iomhome.nsf/Pages/2001+Reports.

The 2001 Medicare Program Integrity Manual revision to the Medicare Medical Review Program (Rev. 8, 07-11-01, Chapter 1, paragraph 2E, p. 7 portrays the ISO 9000 quality management system as an appropriate method for documenting, standardizing, measuring and ultimately improving healthcare service operations.

CMS has taken the first step to implement IOM recommendations by specifically stating Medicare suppliers should "demonstrate proficient management practices, with written policies and procedures that are up-to-date to address identified problems and appropriate remedial action. One way the contractors can assure proficient management procedures is to become ISO 9000 certified or to undergo a third-party validation process."

Crago says the next appropriate step is for CMS to seriously consider granting "deemed status" recognition to healthcare innovators and early adopters that voluntarily become ISO 9001 certified or validate their management system's quality by other accepted third-party review activities.

AIAG Document Compares QS-9000 And TS 16949

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) has issued QS-9000 Third Edition to ISO/TS 16949 to help make suppliers aware of the differences between the quality system requirements of QS-9000 and the International Organization for Standardization Technical Specification 16949.

The AIAG document compares the elements of the two quality systems in a side by side format.

ISO/TS 16949 was developed by the International Automotive Task Force, which is made up mainly of European automobile manufacturers and industry groups. It is optional for suppliers of DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp.

QS-9000 is a derivative of ISO 9000 for direct suppliers of automotive industry production materials, production or service parts, heat treating, plating, painting and other finishes services. AIAG says registration to TS 16949 will satisfy the requirements of QS-9000 when coupled with individual customer specific requirements but does not replace QS-9000.

For a copy of the gap analysis document, call 248-358-3003.

ISO 9000 Product Support Initiative Provides First Results

A product support initiative (PSI) created to enhance the value of the ISO 9000:2000 family of quality management standards and provide input on implementation experiences has its first results.

Features of the PSI program include an online survey at www.asq.org/mr/psisurvey.html to provide quantifiable measurements of experiences, case studies providing in-depth information about the conformance process and an IDEAS (information, discussion, examples, analysis and sources) program to provide focused help to organizations during implementation.

From Sept. 1 to Dec. 14, 2001, respondents to the survey indicated major issues to be dealt with during ISO 9001:2000 implementation include customer satisfaction, documentation, continual improvement, collection and analysis of data and objectives that are not measurable.

An article in next month's Quality Progress will feature complete analysis including significant issues during gap analysis, internal audits and preassessments, corrective actions, nonconformities, and the most difficult clauses to develop, document and implement.

There will also be information on such topics as integration with other management systems, training, implementation aids, increased audit days and cost benefit comparison.

ANSI Streamlines Audit Program Review Process

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) says recent improvements to its standards developer audit program, a process intended to confirm adherence to ANSI accreditation criteria, have streamlined the audit review process for ANSI accredited standards developing organizations.

One improvement to the process is reviews of audit reports are now done electronically on an as-needed basis. As a result, ANSI says it was able to successfully complete a record 47 audits in 2001.

The 2002 National Engineers Week Future City Competition has drawn seventh and eighth graders from 29 regional sites across the United States. The goal of the competition is to raise appreciation for engineering as a career option among middle school students, particularly girls and minorities. For more information, visit www.futurecity.org.


The Canadian Standards Association says its ISO 9000 Essentials Handbook is now available in French as well as English. To order, e-mail sales@csa.ca, call 800-463-6727 or visit www.csa.ca.


The National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) is offering a fellowship program for members who have made outstanding contributions to the field of healthcare quality. The deadline for applications is May 10. For more information or an application, visit www.nahq.org/awards/fellow.htm, or call 800-966-9392 or 847-375-4720.


National Academy Press has published Sustainable Federal Facilities: A Guide to Integrating Value Engineering, Life-Cycle Costing and Sustainable Development. For information or to order, visit www.nap.edu/catalog/10093.html.


The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization is setting up an international quality assurance effort for higher education. The Global Forum on Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education will begin monitoring and assessing private and transnational higher education providers and is considering a general code of conduct.

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