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Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

In 1987, jumpstarting a small, slowly growing U.S. quality movement, Congress established the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award to promote quality awareness, to recognize quality and business achievements of U.S. organizations, and to publicize and share these organizations’ successful performance strategies. Now America’s highest honor for innovation and performance excellence, the Baldrige Award is presented annually to U.S. organizations by the President of the United States. Awards may be given each year in the manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, and nonprofit sectors. In conjunction with the private sector, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) manages the Baldrige Award and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.

Application process
To apply for the award, organizations must use the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to submit details showing their achievements and improvements in seven key areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. Applicants receive approximately 1,000 hours of review and a detailed report on the organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement by an independent board of examiners, who complete individual reviews and consensus reviews; the highest-scoring applicants also receive site visit reviews. “The application and review process for the award is the best, most cost-effective, and comprehensive business health audit you can get,” said Arnold Weimerskirch, former Baldrige Award judge and vice president of quality, Honeywell, Inc.

Program impact
Since the first awards were presented in 1988, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program has grown in stature and impact. Today, the Baldrige Program, the Criteria for Performance Excellence, and the Baldrige Award recipients are imitated and admired worldwide.

In particular, the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence have played a valuable role in helping U.S. organizations improve. The Criteria are designed to help organizations improve their performance by focusing on two goals: delivering ever-improving value to customers and improving the organization’s overall performance. Several million copies of the Criteria have been distributed since 1988, and wide-scale reproduction by organizations and electronic access add to that number significantly. Gordon Black, chairman and chief executive officer of Harris/Black International Ltd., said the publication containing the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence is “probably the single most influential document in the modern history of American business.”

Following are some of the program’s highlights:

  • An October 2001 study of the economic impact of the Baldrige Program, prepared for NIST by Albert N. Link and John T. Scott, conservatively estimated the net private benefits associated with the program to the economy as a whole at $24.65 billion. When compared to the social costs of the program of $119 million, the Baldrige Program’s social benefit-to-cost ratio was 207-to-1. A December 2011 study by Link and Scott of the Baldrige Program's value to U.S. organizations found an even greater benefit-to-cost ratio of 820 to 1.
  • A 2011 report by Thomson Reuters found that health care organizations that have won Baldrige Awards or been considered for a Baldrige Award site visit outperform other hospitals in nearly every metric used to determine the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation.
  • The Alliance for Performance Excellence, a network of 33-plus state, local, and sector-based quality programs modeled after the Baldrige Program, offer services to nearly every state of the union and offer tiered approaches to the national award.
  • Internationally, nearly 100 quality programs are modeled after the Baldrige Program, including one established in Japan in 1996. These programs, including the Global Excellence Model (GEM) Council, look to the Baldrige Program as an international quality leader.
  • Between 2005 and 2011, 551 U.S. organizations applied for the Baldrige Award. The 90 Baldrige Award winners (including 5 two-time winners) serve as national role models. In 2010 alone, the 83 applicants for the Baldrige Award represented 277,700 jobs; 1,500 work locations; over $38.5 billion in revenues/budgets; and an estimated 80 million customers served. The value of the services volunteered by the 578 Baldrige examiners in 2010 is estimated at $8.8 million. In addition, 2,270 state Baldrige-based examiners volunteered about $29.5 million in services to evaluate 1,350 organizations at the state level in 2010.

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winners

Concordia Publishing House
St. Louis, Mo. (nonprofit)

Henry Ford Health System
Detroit, Mich. (health care)

Schneck Medical Center
Seymour, Ind. (health care)

Southcentral Foundation
Anchorage, Ak. (health care)

Warrendale, Pa. (manufacturing)

Nestlé Purina PetCare Co.
St. Louis, Mo. (manufacturing)

Freese and Nichols Inc.
Fort Worth, Tx. (small business)

K&N Management
Austin, Tx. (small business)

Studer Group
Gulf Breeze, Fla. (small business)

Montgomery County Public Schools
Rockville, Md. (education)

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital
Downers Grove, Il. (health care)

Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies
Kansas City, Mo. (manufacturing)

Columbia, Mo. (small business)

Egg Harbor Township, N.J. (health care)

Heartland Health
St. Joseph, Mo. (health care)

VA Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center
Albuquerque, N.M. (nonprofit)

Cargill Corn Milling North America
Wayzata, Minn. (manufacturing)

Poudre Valley Health System
Ft. Collins, Colo. (health care)

Iredell-Statesville Schools
Statesville, N.C. (education)

PRO-TEC Coating Co.
Leipsic, Ohio (small business)

Mercy Health Systems
Janesville, Wisc. (health care)

Sharp HealthCare
San Diego, Calif. (health care)

City of Coral Springs
Coral Springs, Fla. (nonprofit)

U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC)
Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. (nonprofit)

MESA Products, Inc.
Tulsa, Okla. (small business)

Premier Inc.
San Diego, Calif. (service)

North Mississippi Medical Center
Tupelo, Miss. (health care)

Sunny Fresh Foods, Inc.
Monticello, Minn. (manufacturing)

DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations
New Orleans, La. (service)

Park Place Lexus
Plano, Texas (small business)

Richland College
Dallas, Texas (education)

Jenks Public Schools
Jenks, Okla. (education)

Bronson Methodist Hospital
Kalamazoo, Mich. (health care)

The Bama Companies
Tulsa, Okla. (manufacturing)

Texas Nameplate Company, Inc.
Dallas, Texas (small business)

Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business
Greeley, Colo. (education)

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton
Hamilton, N.J. (health care)

Medrad, Inc.
Indianola, Pa. (manufacturing)

Boeing Aerospace Support
St. Louis, Mo. (service)

Caterpillar Financial Services Corp.
Nashville, Tenn. (service)

Stoner Inc.
Quarryville, Pa. (small business)

Community Consolidated School District 15
Palatine, Ill. (education)

Baptist Hospital, Inc.
Pensacola, Fla. (health care)

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City
Kansas City, Mo. (health care)

Motorola Inc. Commercial, Government and Industrial Solutions Sector
Schaumburg, Ill. (manufacturing)

Branch-Smith Printing Division
Fort Worth, Texas (small business)

SSM Health Care
St. Louis, Mo. (health care)

Clarke American Checks, Incorporated
San Antonio, Texas (manufacturing)

Pal’s Sudden Service
Kingsport, Tenn. (small business)

Chugach School District
Anchorage, Alaska (education)

Pearl River School District
Pearl River, N.Y. (education)

University of Wisconsin-Stout
Menomonie, Wis. (education)

Dana Corp.-Spicer Driveshaft Division
Toledo, Ohio (manufacturing)

KARLEE Company, Inc.
Garland, Texas (manufacturing)

Operations Management International, Inc.
Greenwood Village, Colo. (service)

Los Alamos National Bank
Los Alamos, N.M. (small business)

STMicroelectronics, Inc.-Region Americas
Carrollton, Texas (manufacturing)

BI Performance Services
Minneapolis, Minn. (service)

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
Atlanta, Ga. (service)

Sunny Fresh Foods
Monticello, Minn. (small business)

Boeing Airlift and Tanker Programs
Long Beach, Calif. (manufacturing)

Solar Turbines Inc.
San Diego, Calif. (manufacturing)

Texas Nameplate Company Inc.
Dallas, Texas (small business)

3M Dental Products Division
St. Paul, Minn. (manufacturing)

Solectron Corp.
Milpitas, Calif. (manufacturing)

Merrill Lynch Credit Corp.
Jacksonville, Fla. (service)

Xerox Business Services
Rochester, N.Y. (service)

ADAC Laboratories
Milpitas, Calif. (manufacturing)

Dana Commercial Credit Corp.
Toledo, Ohio (service)

Custom Research Inc.
Minneapolis, Minn. (small business)

Trident Precision Manufacturing Inc.
Webster, N.Y. (small business)

Armstrong World Industries’ Building Products Operation
Lancaster, Pa. (manufacturing)

Corning Telecommunications Products Division
Corning, N.Y. (manufacturing)

AT&T Consumer Communications Services
Basking Ridge, N.J. (service)

GTE Directories Corp.
Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas (service)

Wainwright Industries Inc.
St. Peters, Mo. (small business)

Eastman Chemical Co.
Kingsport, Tenn. (manufacturing)

Ames Rubber Corp.
Hamburg, N.J. (small business)

AT&T Network Systems Group/Transmission
Systems Business Unit
Morristown, N.J. (manufacturing)

Texas Instruments Inc.
Defense Systems & Electronics Group
Dallas, Texas (manufacturing)

AT&T Universal Card Services
Jacksonville, Fla. (service)

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.
Atlanta, Ga. (service)

Granite Rock Co.
Watsonville, Calif. (small business)

Solectron Corp.
Milpitas, Calif. (manufacturing)

Zytec Corp.
Eden Prairie, Minn. (manufacturing)

Marlow Industries
Dallas, Texas (small business)

Cadillac Motor Car Division
Detroit, Mich. (manufacturing)

IBM Rochester
Rochester, Minn. (manufacturing)

Federal Express Corp.
Memphis, Tenn. (service)

Wallace Co. Inc.
Houston, Texas (small business)

Milliken & Co.
Spartanburg, S.C. (manufacturing)

Xerox Corp.
Business Products and Systems
Rochester, NY (manufacturing)

Motorola Inc.
Schaumburg, Ill. (Manufacturing)

Commercial Nuclear Fuel Division of
Westinghouse Electric Corp.
Pittsburgh, Pa. (manufacturing)

Globe Metallurgical Inc.
Beverly, Ohio (small business)

Further information:
Baldrige Performance Excellence Program
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1020
Gaithersburg, Md. 20899-1020
(301) 975-2036
email: baldrige@nist.gov