President Clinton and Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown announced today Armstrong World Industries' Building Products Operation (Lancaster, Pa.) and Corning Telecommunications Products Division (Corning, N.Y.) as winners of the 1995 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in recognition of their business excellence and quality achievement.
"The president and I extend our congratulations to the men and women of these two companies. Through an extraordinary commitment to quality, their customers, their companies and their communities, they are at the forefront of a movement that is changing the way America does business," said Brown.
"As study after study shows that quality pays—in productivity, customer satisfaction, increased market share and better employee relations—we urge other U.S. businesses to follow in their footsteps and invest in quality now," he added.
The Malcolm Baldrige National 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. In conjunction with private industry, the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology manages the award program. 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. Since 1988, 24 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 are expected to present the awards to the 1995 winners at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this year.
The two companies will present details of their quality improvement strategies and results at the annual Quest for Excellence conference to be held Feb. 4-7, 1996, at the Washington Hilton & Towers, Washington, D.C.
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 quality control and assurance, and its reputation as an impartial third party.