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Malcolm Baldrige

The Malcolm Baldrige Award is the highest most recognized quality award in
the United States of America. In 1987 the U.S. Congress established the Malcolm
Baldrige award program to recognize U.S. organizations for their achievements in
the quality and performance excellence as a competitive edge. Its recipients,
that are well known, are held on a plateau over other companies competing for
the same market share. Not only does it recognize excelled companies for their
excellent commitments, it also is used as a selling point. This can be evident
if you look at the recipient’s profits from one year to the next. Later on, you
will see how Motorola, the very first recipient was changed by the awarding of
the Baldrige to them and what the award did for the company.

The U.S. Congress saw a need for American companies to focus on quality and
what is stood for. In the early and mid-1980’s, many industry and government
leaders saw that a renewed emphasis on quality was no longer an option for
American companies which were falling behind in the global economy. However,
many American companies didn’t feel that quality was important or that it
wouldn’t take them anywhere, well they were wrong. The Baldrige Award stood as a
standard of excellence that would help U.S. organizations achieve world-class
quality programs and products. Now in 1999, not only can U.S. companies partake
in the Award process, so can education and health care providers as well.

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The criteria for the Baldrige Award, which has changed over the years, has
played a major role in achieving the goals established Congress. The standards
set is recognized not only nation wide but universally as the standards for
performance excellence. Two major criteria which the Malcolm Baldrige Award
what’s companies to focus on are, delivering ever improving value to customers
and improving overall performance in the organization.

Who are the companies who have won the Malcolm Baldrige Award? Well, in the
past 12 years a total of 37 companies have won the award, and the list keeps
growing. Ranging from Motorola Inc., to Boeing, from 3M Dental products, to
Xerox Corp., from Cadillac Motor Car, to Ames Rubber Corp, and from Ritz-Carlton
Hotel to AT;T. These are just some of the elite corporations in the United
States, which have won this prestigious award. Who will be next now one knows,
maybe the company you work for.

Born in 1922 in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm Baldrige was an American dreamer
from the get go. Graduating from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree, in
1944, he headed down his path of life. Before moving into the working world,
Baldrige served in the Pacific as a Captain during WWII. Beginning his career in
1947 as a foundry hand in an iron company, he rose to become the companies
President in 1960. On December 11, 1980, President Ronald Reagan nominated
Malcolm to be Secretary of Commerce. He was a leader among many businessmen and
a friend to many of the world’s most powerful leaders. He opens the gates to the
east and even into the Soviet Union. Not only was he a skillful man with oversea
affairs, he also had the upper hand in the Commerce Department, buy reducing the
budget by 30% and man power by 25%. “The economic liberty and strong
competition that are indispensable to economic progress were principles that
“Mac” Baldrige stressed.” President Ronald Reagan. In 1987
Baldrige died in a rodeo accident in the state of California.

The Malcolm Baldrige Award Foundation is a public and private partnership,
which creates the backbone for the award itself. Signed into Law on August 20,
1987 by President Ronald Reagan, Public Law 100-107 states that it is in the
countries best interest to produce quality products in order to compete in the
global economy. Based off of seven basic categories, which are: Leadership,
Strategic planning, Customer and market focus, Information and analysis, Human
resource focus, Process management, and Business results, today’s corporation
strive to be the best in there market and create a competitive edge above the
rest. This joint public and private program generates approximately $100 million
dollars privately and 4.9 million from the federal government.

Who will win the next Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Award, no
one knows. But all across America companies will be striving to provide the best
service to their customers, employees, and suppliers because they know in order
to survive, “Quality must be job one.” So even though the process is
difficult, companies of today and companies of tomorrow will strive to be the
best at what they do no matter what the cost.

Category: Business


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