National Baldrige winners use integrated tools

To date, not one health care organization has earned the coveted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. (The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD.) A look at several businesses that have may prove instructive; many have integrated ISO 9000, and sometimes Six Sigma as well, into their performance improvement efforts.

The following summaries are excerpted from the Summer 2002 Baldrige National Quality Program CEO Issue Sheet:

STMicroelectronics Inc. – Region Americas, was a 1999 recipient in manufacturing. "As we at ST see it, the Baldrige criteria lay the foundation for the entire organizational process by encouraging review of its approach," said Richard Pieranunzi, president and CEO of ST Americas Region. "ISO addresses systems that have direct influence in product quality and customer satisfaction, without suggesting tools for analysis, prioritization, and evaluation."

Eastment Chemical Co., a 1993 recipient in manufacturing, has operated using the principles of the Baldrige criteria and ISO 9000 for more than 10 years. "The company’s quality management system is underpinned by the Baldrige principles, though expressed in a manner specific to the Eastman culture," said Joe Wilson, director of corporate quality. "ISO lays a foundation for necessary procedural standardization, and we benefited most from ISO implementation in the creation of maintainable systems for process documentation and training."

Leadership at Ames Rubber Corp., a 1993 recipient in small business, view the Baldrige criteria, ISO 9000, and Six Sigma as tools that all fit in the toolbox for continuous improvement. According to president and CEO Tim Marvil, "Baldrige gives Ames an overarching set of criteria questions to determine where we are, ISO helps us document what we’re doing, and Six Sigma helps us to implement the processes to correct the problems . . . each of them has played a critical role in meeting the needs of both our customers and our businesses through their use in our organizational processes."

(For more information, go to the web site: www.nist.gov.)