Q-100 Stock Index Again Outdoes S&P 500

The Quality Progress Q-100, a fictional index created to track the quality leaders in the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500, rose slightly in the first quarter of 2002. The Q-100 was up 1.34% compared to a gain of 0.27% for the S&P.

The Q-100 also outperformed the S&P over the last 12 months. From March 31, 2001, to March 31, 2002, the Q-100 increased 2.70% compared to a slight change in the S&P of 0.24%.

Since its inception the Q-100 has consistently outperformed the S&P 500. A $10,000 investment in the stocks in each index on Sept. 30, 1998, would have been worth $12,866 for the Q-100 on March 31, 2002, compared to $11,791 for the S&P.

Robinson Capital Management, a Minnesota money management firm, created the Q-100 as a way to systematically identify quality companies. "I think the small changes in the indexes this past quarter reflect the highly emotional market we're in," said Craig Robinson, the firm's president. "Stock prices aren't acting rationally because of international concerns, mainly with the Middle East, and because of the crisis of trust due to the Enron-Arthur Andersen debacle."

Questions about the Q-100 can be directed to Craig Robinson at 1-800-577-9217.

airplanesReport Says U.S. Airline Quality Improved in 2001

A recent report says the quality improved for U.S. based airlines in 2001.

The annual study is conducted by Sean Headley, an associate professor of marketing at Wichita State University, and Brent Bowen, director of the aviation institute at the University of Nebraska. It is funded by the two universities.

Alaska Airlines finished first in the airline quality rating, which is based on quality measures such as baggage handling, on-time performance and other areas of customer service.

US Airways was second, followed by Northwest and Southwest. TWA, since acquired by American Airlines, finished last of the 10 airlines ranked. America West, seventh this year, had ranked lowest in 2000. Delta Airlines was the only airline with a score that was worse this year than last year.

Big Three Automakers Working To Improve Quality

The Wall Street Journal recently reported the Big Three automakers are working for quality leadership but that Toyota and Honda continue to "set the pace for the industry" ("Big Three Auto Makers Scramble To Raise Vehicle Quality," April 1, 2002, p. B5).

At the New York auto show this year, a Ford spokes-man said the company's international data suggest Explorer SUV quality has improved as much as 25% and that the Focus subcompact's rating went up dramatically. Both vehicles played a role in Ford's last place ranking among the world's seven largest automakers in the J.D. Powers & Associates initial quality survey for 2001.

At the same show, General Motors (fourth in 2001) claimed it is on track toward its goal of reducing customer complaints and expects to break into the top ranks, replacing Nissan in third place. The Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler (fifth in 2001) says it's making a major push to improve quality to hold on to market share.

The J.D. Powers rankings are based on consumer reported problems per 100 new vehicles.

Effort Under Way To Save Extension Partnership

A bipartisan coalition of more than 50 U.S. senators is supporting continued funding for the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP), according to the Northeast-Midwest Institute and the Modernization Forum.

The Bush administration's budget request reduced MEP funding by 88% to just under $13 million.

Through a national network of centers with 400 offices in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the MEP program provides technical assistance and business support services to small and mid-sized manufacturers to help them adopt new technologies, processes and business practices.

The MEP program is operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for the Department of Commerce. For information, visit www.mep.nist.gov. The Modernization Forum Web site is at www.modforum.org.  

European Survey Says Industry Doesn't Value ISO 9001

A survey conducted by the Engineering Quality Forum (EQF) in the United Kingdom reveals ISO 9001 is not seen as cost effective by industry.

About 68% of respondents reported the quality management standard is of marginal cost effectiveness or is not cost effective at all. Other key findings include:

  • ISO 9001 has become a business requirement for marketing rather than quality reasons.
  • Despite greater demands for quality, price is still the prime purchasing consideration.
  • About 28% of purchasers still rely on inspection of product rather than audit, performance measurement and ISO 9001 requirements.

EQF is made up of major engineering institutions in the United Kingdom. The Manchester School of Management analyzed survey responses. A copy of the report can be purchased by e-mailing hbegg@iqa.org.

Juran To Speak at Carlson Event

Quality guru Joseph M. Juran will speak at an executive summit being hosted by the Juran Center for Leadership in Quality at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management June 25 and 26.

A cross section of CEOs of U.S. companies and quality academicians from institutions such as Harvard, Columbia, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Minnesota have been invited to the event.

Presenters will include James McNerney, CEO of 3M; Robert Galvin, retired Motorola CEO and chair; and Donald Petersen, retired president and CEO of Ford Motor Co.

Juran, who is 97, will soon be releasing his memoirs, published by Simon & Schuster.

JCAHO To Develop Patient Safety Goals

Quality improvement professionals are part of the Sentinel Event Alert Advisory Group advising the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) in developing JCAHO's first set of national patient safety goals.

The group also includes physicians, nurses, healthcare executives, pharmacists and risk managers. They will initially review existing alert recommendations and identify candidates for inclusion in the goals.

The first set of six goals will be announced in July. Each will include evidence or expert based recommendations. JCAHO says that in succeeding years, some goals are likely to be continued, while others will be replaced because of emerging new priorities.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2003, healthcare organizations will be surveyed for compliance with the recommendations or implementation of an acceptable alternative. Noncompliance will result in issuance of a "requirement for improvement."

Quality professionals in the group are Jan McCaffrey, director of risk management & quality performance at Oconee Memorial Hospital, Seneca, SC, and Mark W. Milner, vice president, performance improvement, Health First Inc., Melbourne, FL.

ISA Establishes Distance Master's Program

The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society has established a master's degree distance education program through a consortium of participating universities.

For information on the master of science in electronics and computer technology with an instrumentation, systems and automation concentration, contact Gerald Cockrell at Indiana State University, 812-237-3394.

For information on the master of science in control systems engineering, contact Brenda Johnson at Ohio State University, 405-744-9219.

GAO Critical of DOD, IRS Business Processes

The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) recently issued reports on business practices and modernization efforts at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and financial management business processes at the Department of Defense (DOD).

While pointing out recent improvements, GAO says the IRS still faces challenges and its financial management "has long been problematic." Regarding the DOD, GAO says an integrated approach, accountability, transparency and incentives are keys to effective reform.

The full reports can be read at www.gao.gov.

'QP' To Publish Quality Education Listing

In its October issue, Quality Progress will publish a listing of educational institutions offering quality courses or programs. The courses and programs include quality engineering, metrology, operations management, quality control, industrial statistics and technology. Please send the following information by July 12 to ensure an institution's inclusion:

  • Name, city and state of institution.
  • Type of school (two-year community college, four-year university, public, private or proprietary).
  • Types of programs (individual courses, concentration, certificate, associate, bachelor's or master's degree; doctorate; distance/online learning).
  • Contact person: name, title, telephone number and e-mail address.
  • Web page to obtain additional information about courses or programs.

Fax the information to Valerie Funk at 414-298-2504 or e-mail vfunk@asq.org.

by the numbers
Number who have used Quality 101 to learn about quality or prepare for the ASQ certified quality improvement associate exam.

$50,000 Amount ASQ is providing for a Koalaty Kid and Education Division survey of K-12 schools to determine how widely quality tools and practices are being used in education and help the Society determine how it can best support schools in education improvement efforts. 

Short Runs

STANDARDS CATALOG. The International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, has published a CD-ROM version of its 2002 catalog that lists standards published to date, those in preparation, members and addresses of technical commission registration authorities, and other publications in both English and French. For a copy, contact the American National Standards Institute at info@ansi.org.

TECHNOMETRICS ON CD-ROM. A CD-ROM of all articles that have appeared to date in Technometrics, the quarterly journal co-published by ASQ and the American Statistical Association (ASA), is now available. To order 41 Years of Technometrics on CD-ROM or for more information, call ASA at 888-231-3473 or visit www.amstat.org.

ISO HEAD PASSES AWAY. Lawrence D. Eicher, 63, ISO's secretary general, died in late March following emergency heart surgery. Born in the United States, Eicher had headed the organization since 1986.

Q2002 SEPT. 29-OCT. 2. The United Kingdom's Institute of Quality Assurance will host the Q2002 World Quality Congress Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 on behalf of the European Organization for Quality. The event will be held at the Harrogate International Centre in the UK. For more information, go to www.iqa.org/q2002.

EXECUTIVES RATE QUALITY. Top executives at multinational companies consider nonfinancial performance measures, such as product and service quality and customer satisfaction and loyalty, more important than current financial results in creating long-term shareholder value, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' most recent "Management Barometer" quarterly survey.

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