President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans recently announced seven organizations as recipients of the 2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest honor for quality and performance excellence. This is the most Baldrige Award recipients since the program started in 1988 and the first time recipients were named in all five Baldrige Award categories.
The 2003 award recipients are:
Medrad Inc., Indianola, Pa. (manufacturer of medical imaging equipment);
Boeing Aerospace Support, St. Louis, Mo. (service);
Caterpillar Financial Services Corp., Nashville, Tenn. (service);
Stoner Inc., Quarryville, Pa. (small business, manufacturer of cleaners, lubricants, and coatings);
Community Consolidated School District 15, Palatine, Ill. (education);
Baptist Hospital, Inc., Pensacola, Fla. (health care); and
Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo. (health care).
The 2003 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from among 68 applicants. All seven were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource focus, process management, and results. The evaluation process included about 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by teams of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the applications.
Medrad began its quest for the award in 1994 with a self-evaluation based on published Baldrige criteria. The company achieved ISO 9001 certification a year later. It submitted its first Baldrige application in 1996, and in 1999, 2000, and 2002 made it through to the site visit step. In 2003, it was one of only three to warrant a site visit and was subsequently named recipient of the Baldrige.
Stoner Solutions, the other manufacturing company recipient, employs about 45 full-time staff and is one of only 13 small businesses to have received the Baldrige Award since its inception.