President Clinton announced today AT&T; Consumer Communications Services (Basking Ridge, N.J.), GTE Directories Corp. (Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas) and Wainwright Industries, Inc. (St. Peters, Mo.) as winners of the 1994 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for excellence in quality management.
"The president and I congratulate the dedicated men and women of these companies. With visionary leaders and an educated and empowered workforce, they are striding into the 21st century confident they will be able to meet the quality and competitiveness challenges of the future," Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown said.
"As the pace of global competition quickens, I encourage all U.S. companies to follow the examples of these winners by focusing on and investing in quality. U.S. business competitiveness depends on American firms that understand the importance of being fast moving, cutting edge and more flexible than their competitors," he added.
The award is named for the late Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige and is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration.
It 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. Up to two awards may be given annually in each of three categories: manufacturing, service and small business. Since 1988, 22 companies have won the award.
Companies submit applications with details on their quality management systems. An independent board of quality experts evaluates the applications and looks for achievements and improvements in seven areas: leadership, information and analysis, strategic planning, human resource development and management, process management, business results, and customer focus and satisfaction.
Teams of examiners visit applicants that pass an initial screening to verify information in the application and to clarify any issues or questions that came up during the review. All applications are reviewed by at least eight examiners. Each applicant receives a "feedback" report citing strengths and areas that need improvement in its quality management program.
President Clinton and Secretary Brown will present the awards to the 1994 winners at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this year.
The three companies will present details of their quality improvement strategies and results at the annual Quest for Excellence conference to be held Feb. 6-8, 1995, at the Washington Hilton & Towers, Washington, D.C.
A non-regulatory agency, 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 quality control and assurance, and its reputation as an impartial third party.