The criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award have been streamlined and changed for 1995 to focus more sharply on quality as an integral part of today's performance management practices, says the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology.
"I think that both the quality and business communities agree that quality cannot be seen as separate from overall performance or the 'bottom line.' It must be woven throughout all of a company's business practices," says Curt Reimann, head of the Baldrige Award program at NIST. "More than ever before, the 1995 award criteria reflect this thinking. Evolving over the years, the criteria are now widely accepted as the standard for excellence in business performance," says Reimann.
The criteria are designed to help companies deliver ever- improving value to customers and improve overall company performance and capabilities, says Reimann. Since the award was established in 1987, almost 1 million copies have been distributed and thousands of organizations use them as a quality improvement "road map."
The 1995 criteria focus on key areas of business performance: customer satisfaction and retention; market share and new market development; product and service quality; financial indicators, productivity, operational effectiveness and responsiveness; human resource performance and development; supplier performance and development; and public responsibility and corporate citizenship.
"Companies that successfully build all of these into their business practices should see tangible results, including improved productivity, market share and financial performance, better employee relations and greater customer satisfaction," says Reimann.
In addition to having a sharper focus on key business strategies, the 1995 criteria also have been streamlined. The number of areas to address has been cut by 40 percent.
Single copies of the 1995 award criteria are available free of charge from NIST by calling (301) 975-2036 or faxing (301) 948-3716. Packets of 10 may be ordered from the American Society for Quality Control for $29.95 plus postage and handling. Order item number T998 by calling ASQC at (800) 248-1946 or faxing (414) 272-1734.
The Baldrige quality award was established by Congress in 1987 to promote quality awareness, to recognize quality achievements of U.S. companies and to publicize successful quality strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Currently, two awards may be given annually in each of three categories: manufacturing, service and small business.
A non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards. NIST was selected by Congress to design and manage the award program because of its role in helping U.S. companies compete, its world-renowned expertise in measurement and its reputation as an impartial third party.