In the 2011 Skills Gap Report produced by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, over 80% of manufacturers report they cannot find people to fill their skilled production jobs. As a result, there are approximately 600,000 manufacturing jobs open right now in the United States. Manufacturers need a talented pipeline, but they also need the Right Skills Now.
The Manufacturing Institute, in response to this issue, has teamed up with General Electric, Boeing (Baldrige Award recipients in 1998 and 2003), Lockheed Martin, Alcoa, and other business, digital, academic, and not-for-profit partners to launch an endeavor to train military veterans for specific jobs in advanced manufacturing, in essence augmenting America’s competitiveness. This is a skills-match program that will combine the efforts of a company called Futures, Inc., which has created a digital “badge” system that easily translates the Military Occupational Specialty codes (MOS) to identify best-fit civilian positions in advanced manufacturing. In the past, most companies did not have an easy way of understanding the equivalence of an MOS to the skills and abilities needed in civilian jobs. For example, veterans that have advanced training in welding and machining can now be easily identified by their MOS using the system designed by Futures. This is a great step forward for the …Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
Can you imagine every fast food chain winning the Baldrige Award because of food quality, customer service, or innovative menus? Probably not. Why? Because most of them demonstrate it’s all about low price and average service. Well, here is an exception.
K&N Management was a 2010 recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and 2010 Texas Award for Performance Excellence. Their vision is “to become world famous by delighting one guest at a time.” As a restaurant management group, they were only the second of their kind to be recognized with a Baldrige Award. K&N operates out of Austin, Texas, and is the owner of Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes, as well as Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q, with eight locations and approximately 500 staff members in total. With a dedication to concept design, operational excellence, and meeting or exceeding key guest requirements, K&N Management is certainly worth taking a second look at.
K&N was started by Ken Schiller and Brian Nolen in Austin back in 1993, with the goal of delighting every guest that walked through their doors. By the next year, they had purchased the rights to the Austin-area Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q franchise, and opened the first store: a combination gas station, convenience store, …Joseph A. De Feo | 1 comment | Continued
In 2001, Pal’s Sudden Service was the first restaurant company of any size to earn the Baldrige National Quality Award, and was the first in Tennessee to be twice awarded the Tennessee Quality Excellence Award. Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) recently ran their bi-monthly publication (which has over 60,000 subscribers) highlighting how Pal’s metrics are “nearly unheard of in the food service world.” They aren’t stingy about sharing the secrets to their success either; every month they share their success stories with the Pal’s Business Excellence Institute (BEI), which sees hundreds of business leaders come through its doors annually. K&N Management, another food service operation and 2010 Baldrige Award recipient, has visited the BEI 13 times in the past nine years! At this point, you may be asking yourself, who, or what, is Pal’s?
Pal’s Sudden Service runs 23 double-drive-through restaurants in Tennessee and Virginia, and averages about $2 million per unit since its conception in 1956. When they aren’t busy winning awards (Pal’s was also just awarded a prestigious international award for the visual appearance and navigation of their website by the International Academy of Visual Arts), Pal’s is heavily focused on delivering excellent customer service. With their double-sided buildings, they can serve a customer at the drive-through every …Tom Huizenga | 0 comments | Continued
Back in 1993, Ames Rubber Corporation was the small business category recipient of the Mac Baldrige Quality Award. Founded in 1949, Ames was experiencing annual sales of about $45-50 million around the time they won. These were primarily sales of rubber rollers that feed paper into printers, copiers, and typewriters, but they were also producing highly specialized parts to protect the trans-axle of front-wheel-drive vehicles. The company is incredibly focused on customer satisfaction; the entire organizational strategy is designed to ensure that the customer is driving business. For example, all of the company’s products are made to order to customer design and specification.
At the time, Xerox was Ames’ prime customer, and then-President Joel Marvil knew that Xerox was transforming themselves with a new concept, “Leadership Through Quality.” Ames decided to undertake a similar effort, brought in Xerox for help with training, and executed their “Excellence through Total Quality” program. By the time their training effort was completed a year later, over 17,000 training hours had been undertaken by the organization, successfully prepping them for a new challenge. Two strategy guides were developed: a nine-step Quality Improvement Process, and a six-step Problem-Solving Process.
Pareto charts helped to isolate and track the company’s greatest problems, and tracking systems were developed to …Tom Huizenga | 0 comments | Continued
Awards, rankings, and scores have long been a means to recognize performance. That performance is driven by motivation; the tangible inspiration that can takes its shape in a framed employee-of-the-month certificate on the wall of a twenty-seventh-floor cubical. Motivation for recognition is what drives employees and executives of companies big and small. Honors keep ambition fresh; they give people something to shoot for. But, it is important for recipients of impressive merit to preserve their worthy reputation––even if down the road, they experience recipient-replacement, over and over.
Thirteen years ago, ST Microelectronics earned the Malcolm Baldrige award for their excellence in manufacturing quality, and since then, the company has yet to reclaim it. Despite dusty traces on their quality credential, ST has been doing remarkably well, financially, having nearly doubled their 2010 revenue last year ($353 to $638 million). Sure, handfuls of companies prosper financially without adherence to quality-excellence––why might ST’s success still have a connection to the Baldrige Criteria?
In a world where smart phones are becoming nearly essential to professional and social life (some may argue for safety, too) there seems to be this (semi)permanent opportunity––in some ways, obligation––for services and providers to constantly improve the make-up of tabs, pads, phones, and computers. That is to say, technology …Tom Huizenga | 0 comments | Continued
Let me tell you about one of the best articles ever written about Baldrige in the mainstream press. “We Will Be the Best-Run Business in America,” by Leigh Buchanan, appeared in Inc. magazine on January 24, 2012. You will find the article here.
Buchanan tells the story of Larry Potterfield and the company he founded, MidwayUSA, a small business that sells shooting supplies and hunting gear. Midway won the Baldrige Award in 2009.
Potterfield was first exposed to Baldrige in the mid-1990s, but it wasn’t until 2003 that he embraced it. “He immersed himself in the award criteria,” Buchanan writes, “then personally taught them to 27 managers and executives.” He told the workforce that Midway would win a Missouri Quality Award in 2008 and a Baldrige Award in 2009. The company’s new goal is to win a second Baldrige Award in 2015.
Midway has approximately 370 employees. Every year, senior leaders choose 10 to 14 high-potential employees to serves as Missouri Quality Award or Baldrige examiners. It’s the company’s leadership development program. “I absolutely love this process,” Buchanan quotes Jake Dablemont, Midway’s HR manager. “If I look at the value of what I’ve learned in grad school versus what I’ve learned as an examiner, I would choose to be …Steve George | 0 comments | Continued
The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is transitioning to a sustainable enterprise model, aiming to demonstrate its widespread impact by showing results. The Award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. No matter the size or nature of your organization, the award Criteria are an excellent resource in your journey towards performance excellence.
Integrating Baldrige is a proven path to producing high-performing organizations, as the results of Baldrige Award winners confirm. The Baldrige model has identified the beliefs and behaviors of high-performing organizations. Its 11 core values and concepts, embedded in the Baldrige Criteria and evident in Baldrige Award recipients, are essential to achieving performance excellence.
More than 35 states have a Baldrige-based program which have relied on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and other intellectual property and resources, but operate without financial support from the Baldrige program. The Criteria ask more than 250 questions about how your organization does what it does. The answers to those questions help leaders understand their organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. They also provide a systems perspective (a Baldrige core value) that enables senior leaders to focus everyone in the organization on what must be done for the organization to succeed.
According …Tom Huizenga | 0 comments | Continued