Revised Baldrige Criteria Emphasize Corporate Ethics

Responsibility for corporate stewardship and ethical business practices starts at the top with an organization's chief executive and governing body, says the 2003 National Malcolm Baldrige Criteria released in January by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The criteria say senior leaders should serve as role models through their ethical behavior. In addition, they say, "Senior leaders should be responsible to your organization's governance body for their actions and performance. The governance body should be responsible ultimately to all your stakeholders for the ethics, vision, actions and performance of your organization and its senior leaders."

This emphasis is woven throughout all seven categories of the Baldrige criteria but is most visible in the leadership category.

Other areas receiving greater attention in the 2003 criteria include the need to capitalize on knowledge assets, create value for customers and the organization, and align all aspects of an organization's performance management system with the results measurements.

The criteria document is available in editions for business, education and healthcare at www.baldrige.nist.gov or by calling 301-975-2036.

Q-100 Demonstrates Power Of Incremental Improvement

Despite a prolonged bear market, the Q-100 stock index continues to show a positive return on investment since its inception on September 30, 1998. In comparison, the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500, from which the Q-100 is taken, has lost 13.49% of its value over the same period.

"This is what you would expect from a Quality Report," said Craig Robinson, president of Robinson Capital Management, the Minnesota money management firm that created the index. "By demonstrating incremental improvement, it reflects the continuous quality improvements being made by the companies in the index. The Q-100 behaves like the companies it represents."

The incremental improvements were evident in the yearly and quarterly results as well. The Q-100 lost less than the S&P 500 during 2002 and it earned more than the S&P during the fourth quarter of 2002. In the last four and one-quarter years, the Q-100 has grown to $10,069 on a $10,000 investment while the same investment in the S&P 500 has shrunk to $8,651.

A list of the companies in the Q-100 can be found in the December 2002 issue of Quality Progress ("Keeping Current," p. 22). Questions about the Q-100 can be directed to Robinson at 800-577-9217.

Many Manufacturers Indicate Unfamiliarity With Lean

bluebuildingSmall-job shop owners and their employees need help reducing setup cycle time and need to learn more about lean manufacturing principles, workforce development principles and general business analysis, according to a survey conducted by the Society for Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

The survey, "A Reporting of the Lean Manufacturing Needs Assessment of Northeast Manufacturers," was administered in fall 2002 to registrants of the Eastec Advanced Productivity Exposition and aimed to identify the lean manufacturing needs and production challenges of Northeast manufacturers. The survey reported:

  • 09; 34% of manufacturers recognize the need for a lean approach or would like to implement lean principles but are not sure how to proceed.
  • 09; 41% are either not familiar with lean or have read about it but have not considered implementing it.
  • 09; Respondents from companies with fewer than 50 employees are less likely to be familiar with lean.
  • 09; Mid-sized companies or original equipment manufacturers are likely to be familiar with lean and are more likely to have systems in place.
  • 09; Job shop owners and corporate executives are less familiar with lean concepts than manufacturing engineers or quality managers are.

As a result of the survey, SME developed a lean manufacturing pavilion and conference to debut at Eastec 2003 from May 20-22 in West Springfield, MA.

For more information on Eastec 2003 or the lean manufacturing pavilion and conference, visit www.sme.org/eastec. To obtain a copy of the survey, call SME at 800-773-4763 or 313-271-1500.

Survey of Auto Executives Reveals Widespread Pessimism

The North American auto industry is facing its most difficult market in half a decade, a situation likely to accelerate broad changes now underway, according to a KPMG survey of top vehicle manufacturer and supplier executives.

The study, conducted in November 2002, is the second annual installment of what KPMG intends as a long-term tracking study.

Highlights of the survey findings include:

  • In the last 12 months, the industry has stopped expecting a return to healthy profit next year and begun to expect them mid-decade instead.
  • 09; No part of the industry, with the possible exception of dealers, is doing well, but there is confidence manufacturers and suppliers can overcome their difficulties.
  • 009; North American based makers will likely continue to lose global market share to Asian companies, while European makers will likely hold their own or slightly advance.
  • 009; To regain momentum, North American manufacturers need to focus on customer needs and more compelling new-model design and technology.
  • 09; Consumer loyalty to brands and dealers will continue to decline.

A full report on the findings can be found at www.kpmg.com.

Another accounting giant, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, has declared Nissan Motor Co. as the one- and three-year winner in its global automotive shareholder value index. The index has been referred to as the only "true" measure of shareholder return performance at the global level by Peter Brown, Automotive News managing editor.

NCA-CASI Annual Meeting On Education April 6-9 in Chicago

The North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA-CASI) will hold its annual meeting April 6-9 in Chicago. NCA-CASI is an accreditation, evaluation and school improvement organization that has accredited more than 9,000 schools in 19 states.

The more than 100 concurrent sessions will cover such professional development topics as:

  • How to raise student achievement using the plan-do-check-act process.
  • Holding all staff accountable for school improvement.
  • Using Koalaty Kid tools for school improvement.
  • Using data analysis and standards alignment to raise test scores and meet President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act.

NIST Reports Solid Start In WTC Investigation

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reports solid progress in the early going of its 24-month federal building and fire safety investigation of the September 11, 2001, collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings. The collapse was the worst building related disaster in recorded history, killing some 3,000 people.

"We have a long way to go in what is an enormous undertaking, but we have made good progress since we launched this investigation in late August [2002]," NIST Director Arden Bement Jr. said. "We aim to learn enough by the time it is finished for NIST to point to recommended improvements in the way people design, construct, maintain and use buildings, especially high-rises."

Bement urged the public and media to provide the investigation team with more photographs and videotapes that could help document the initial damage and subsequent fire growth in the WTC towers (WTC 1 and 2) and WTC 7. The team is especially interested in WTC 7 and views from the south and west faces of the towers.

MEP SUPPORT: The National Governors Association is among the organizations that recently urged leaders of U.S. House and Senate appropriations subcommittees to maintain the federal government's share of support for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) in fiscal 2003 appropriations. MEP is a national network that provides technical assistance and business support services to small and mid-sized manufacturers.

WHISTLEBLOWER SUES: The Associated Press reported on Jan. 13 that a General Motors (GM) Corp. employee sued GM under Michigan's Whistleblowers' Protection Act, saying he was blackballed after he threatened to report vehicle safety defects. According to the lawsuit, Courtland T. Kelly was demoted on Jan. 2, 2002, and his auditing program was discontinued because he threatened to contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the alleged defects.

MULTILATERAL RECOGNITION: A2LA recently joined Inmetro of Brazil and the Standards Council of Canada in signing the newly established Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation multilateral recognition arrangement. Signers of the arrangement agree to formally recognize and promote the equivalency of each other's laboratory accreditations.

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