49 Organizations Apply For Baldrige Award

This year's crop of candidates for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award includes eight large manufacturers, three service companies, 11 small businesses, 10 education organizations and 17 healthcare organizations.

This is the largest number of healthcare applicants for the award since the category was established in 1999.

Organizations that pass this summer's initial screening will be visited by a team of examiners in the fall to verify information and clarify issues and questions. Each applicant receives at least 300 hours of review and an extensive feedback report that highlights strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Winners of the 2002 award are expected to be announced in November and receive the award early next year.

Hertz at ASQ headquarters

Following a June 19 meeting of the U.S. Quality Council in Milwaukee, Harry Hertz, director of the Baldrige National Quality Program, shared his insights on the award with ASQ staff.

He described two types of participants in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program as winners and learners--with the latter the most important of the two.

The Quality Council board is made up of senior quality leaders from U.S. Fortune 100 companies.

Mobile Mini-Plants: The Next Big Thing?

The June issue of the Financial News reports on the production of mini-plants in 40-foot mobile containers for more than 700 portable production systems--for products ranging from bakeries to pressed melamine items to mufflers to hemostatic clamps.

The report says the mini-plants include all production machinery, which is fixed on the container's platform, and all wiring, piping and installation parts.

Science Network has started a process of co-investment for the installation of small assembly plants in countries and developing regions to manufacture the mini-plants on the site, region or country where they may be required.

For additional information, e-mail reports@the-financial-news.com.

ISO Central Secretariat Walks the Quality Walk

The central secretariat of the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, in Geneva, Switzerland, recently became the first standardization body to achieve full-site recognition of conformity to the ISO 9001:2000 quality management standard.

The secretariat is a nongovernmental organization that develops voluntary technical standards. Its customers are a worldwide membership of 142 national standards institutes and 2,885 standards developing technical bodies. It was first certified to ISO 9002:1994 in 1996.

Services provided by ISO include coordination of standards development programs, administration of voting on draft standards, final editing and publication of standards, information, communication and public relations.

ISO itself does not carry out certification or award certificates, nor does it control the 740 certification bodies worldwide. It does, however, develop voluntary guides and standards that encourage best practices and consistency.

Documentary Series Seeks Success and Failure Stories

Taping for a series of three documentary reports for public television, tentatively titled "Improving Management: By Managing Improvement," began with coverage of a recent quality summit featuring Joseph M. Juran at the Juran Center for Leadership in Quality at the Carlson School of Management June 25.

The series will be a sequel to "If Japan Can ... Why Can't We?" and "Quality or Else." Clare Crawford-Mason, producer and author of an article planned for Quality Progress' September issue, says, "It will report how, over the last 20 years, some visionary American managers have produced a combination of results once considered impossible: better products and services at lower costs while achieving higher profits."

Crawford-Mason adds, "Even more surprising, thanks to these visionary managers, their companies have produced more satisfied employees, continuing innovation, effective knowledge management and other unexpected benefits."

The series will report and explain how this revolution in management practices and development of people has occurred and how these new ideas can be applied to educational and healthcare institutions and government agencies. Information on some of the winners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award will be included.

Crawford-Mason is seeking leads to organizations that exemplify a systems perspective on management and a strong emphasis on employee development, along with stories of lessons learned and failures.

A description of the project appears at www.managementwisdom.com. Readers with story suggestions should call Crawford-Mason at 202-882-7430 or e-mail cc-m@cc-m.com.

conferenceMachine Tool Show Offers Quality Track

The upcoming International Machine Tool Show (IMTS) sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers will feature more than 30 speakers addressing issues such as Six Sigma, lean, in-process gauging, real-time process control, on-machine measurement, advanced optical measurement technology and automotive quality.

The conference, with six tracks including the quality one, will be Sept. 4-10 in Chicago. Speakers will represent organizations such as Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler Corp., the Boeing Co., Hewlett-Packard and industry suppliers.

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, Quality Progress editor, will chair one of the sessions.

For additional information or to register, go to www.sme.org.

NIST Technology Program Awards 21 Industrial Research Grants

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Advanced Technology Program (ATP) announced 21 new industrial research project grants covering technologies such as lower-cost fuel cells, improved methods of drug design, and safety systems for fire and rescue personnel.

The awards represent nearly $54 million in ATP funding matched by $40.6 million from private industry. They span technologies such as micro-control systems for the auto industry, software for e-commerce, biotechnology, medical therapeutics, materials processing and e-mail security.

NIST says the funding goes to industry led teams, which can include nonprofits and universities, for programs that have the potential to spark important broad based economic or social benefits for the United States.

ATP awards support projects that industry cannot fully fund on its own because of significant technical risks.

A listing of the awards with links to project fact sheets can be found at www.atp.nist.gov/awards/2002list.htm.

Secretariat at sales@iso.ch or from the American National Standards Institute at www.ansi.org.

IAF Survey Shows Acceptance of ISO 9000 Series Certificates

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) recently released results of a survey of the extent to which certificates of conformity to the ISO 9000 series of quality management system standards are accepted by customers in international trade.

The previous survey had been conducted in 1997, the new one from May to July 2001. The 2001 survey covered about 67% of all existing ISO 9000 certificates. The 1997 results indicated that in 99.9% of cases the accredited certificates were accepted.

In 2001, the results showed that where the certificate was covered by the IAF multinational recognition arrangement, less than one certificate in 300,000 was not accepted by the customer.

Copies of the results can be obtained by e-mailing secretary@accreditationforum.com.

U.S. and Europe Agree On Regulatory Cooperation

U.S. authorities and the European Commission (EC) say they have developed guidelines to promote more effective regulatory cooperation, particularly better mutual access to the regulation development process.

The guidelines were negotiated under the Transatlantic Economic Partnership, a U.S.-EC trade initiative launched in 1998. The nonbinding guidelines stress transparency and public participation to promote more effective regulatory cooperation and better quality regulation and to help minimize possible regulatory based trade disputes.

The U.S. and EC are now working to identify initial projects. The guidelines are available at www.ustr.gov.

U.S. Economic Activity Continues To Increase

Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector grew for the fifth consecutive month in June, and the overall economy grew for the eighth straight month, according to the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) latest "Manufacturing ISM Report on Business."

The backlog of orders index indicates growth for the fifth consecutive month, and the supplier deliveries index reflects slower deliveries for the sixth straight month. But manufacturing employment continued to decline in June.

Meanwhile, ISM's June nonmanufacturing report showed activity increasing at a slower rate than in May. May had shown the strongest rate of increase in activity since August 2000. June's report indicated growth in 13 of 17 industry sectors.

The full manufacturing and nonmanufacturing reports can be read at ISM's Web site at www.ism.ws.

Short Runs

HEALTHCARE QUALITY CONTROL: A page one article in the May 30 issue of the Wall Street Journal was headlined "Doctor Prescribes Quality Control for Medicine's Ills." It told of the negative experiences and frustration Donald Berwick, M.D., encountered when his wife was hospitalized in 1999 and conclusions he reached as a result. Berwick is president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.


WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: The National Alliance of Business and the Conference Board will co-sponsor a conference, The New Era of Education Reform: Corporate Opportunities To Strengthen Tomorrow's Workforce, on Nov. 5 and 6 in New York City. For information call 212-826-9740.


HEALTH PLAN STANDARDS: URAC recently announced it will recognize its disease management standards as meeting quality improvement project requirements under its health plan and health network standards. This recognition streamlines URAC's accreditation process, according to Garry Carneal, URAC's president and CEO.

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