The National Institute of Standards and Technology is inviting applications from American companies for the 1997 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
The Baldrige Quality Award is the highest honor awarded to U.S. companies by the President of the United States for performance and business excellence. Awards may be given annually in each of three categories: manufacturing, service and small business (500 employees or fewer in either service or manufacturing).
"Applying for the Baldrige Award will help U.S. companies improve their competitive performance. The criteria are focused on achieving improved business results customer satisfaction, financial and marketplace results, operational performance, employee commitment and supplier/partner relationships," says Arnold Weimerskirch, former chairperson of the Baldrige Award Panel of Judges and vice president of quality, Honeywell, Inc. "In addition, the application and review process for the award is the best, most cost-effective and comprehensive business health audit you can get."
For an application fee of $4,500 for large businesses and $1,500 for small firms, applicants will receive from 300 to 1,000 hours of review by at least six business experts and a detailed feedback report on the company's strengths and areas for improvement.
"Feedback reports often are used by companies as part of their strategic planning and improvement programs," says Harry Hertz, director of the Baldrige National Quality Program.
To apply, companies must submit details regarding achievements and improvements in seven areas: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource development and management, process management, and business results.
A change for 1997 is that a company no longer needs to have more than 50 percent of its personnel or physical assets in the United States or its territories. "To be successful in a global economy, many American companies find they must have substantial overseas operations," says Hertz.
HOW TO APPLY
Application packets are available by contacting:
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Administration Bldg.., Room A537
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-0001
Telephone: (301) 975-2036
Fax: (301) 948-3716
E-mail: oqp [at] nist.gov
Information also is available on the Baldrige Award World Wide Web site at http://www.quality.nist.gov. Eligibility forms are due March 3, 1997. Applications are due April 1, 1997.
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance U.S. competitiveness by promoting quality awareness, recognizing performance achievements of U.S. companies and publicizing successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 28 companies have won the award.
NIST was selected by Congress to design and manage the award program because of its role in helping U.S. companies compete and the agency's reputation for accuracy and integrity.
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.