1. Weber is the Baldrige Award of the Dairy Industry

    December 28, 2014 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Mary Eastman

    After reading a press release announcing the latest Weber Award winners, and noting that the Weber is modeled after the Baldrige Award, I reached out to Peter Horvath (president and CEO) and Chuck Yarris (director of quality and food safety) of Quality Chekd to find out more.

    What is the Weber Award?

    It is named after Irving B. Weber, a founding member of the Quality Chekd Board of Directors, who had the vision of producing the best dairy products in the country.
    The award originated in the late ‘80s and was originally a marketing opportunity for securing the trademark. But it has since become an all-encompassing award, based not just on the level of product compliance (through third-party testing) but also including leadership, customer, and employee components.

    A difference from the Baldrige Award that Horvath sees is that Weber applicants themselves are very similar, without a lot of variables in organizational products and services. However, the Baldrige Criteria has provided an example in not solely using product quality as the basis for the award.

    According to Horvath, no other award besides the Weber Award is recognized in the dairy industry; even companies outside of the dairy industry know of it. It has “become a quality driver within organizations,” he says, because it does translate into how well they are run. In dairy plants, “Think Weber” signs can be seen on the walls. Being modeled on the Baldrige Award helps Quality Chekd introduce the Weber Award, Horvath says: “Because you are such a high-profile award, we tell them it is like the Baldrige Award, and they understand.”

    What are the steps of the Weber Award process?

    To qualify for the Weber Award, a plant has to be in the top monthly ranking for product testing; take third-party audits/certification, and add those results; add employee safety results data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and then take the top three applicants, and administer a leadership survey.

    Next, Yarris and Horvath spend a day with top managers of award applicants to have them explain what the senior leaders are doing in terms of their organization’s mission, vision, and values and how they communicate those to employees. They are also asked to explain

    • what their strategic planning is and how they know it is effective;
    • quality improvements they are undertaking;
    • employee orientation/absenteeism;
    • communication to the night shift, the reward process, seniority, special recognition, and succession planning
    • the safety program
    • benchmarks being used

    After the leadership interviews, Horvath and Yarris go to employees and find out if they are “walking it”; they sit down and talk with a certain percentage of employees and ask questions such as, How do you get engaged in your work? What are your company’s mission, vision, and values? The employee interview has approximately 30 questions across a broad range of topics.

    Next, a customer satisfaction survey is administered through a third party for consumers who have purchased the applicant company’s products. Such consumers are surveyed on the following:

    1. overall impression of the company
    2. impression of the personnel
    3. overall impression of product/service

    If selected, Weber Award recipients receive a trophy and a highly prized grandfather’s clock (often placed in a prominent location). Winning companies often give employees a memento and a day off or equivalent benefit.

    Similar to Baldrige, another of the Quality Chekd membership advantages (besides the Weber Award) is ongoing training offered through regional workshops and some onsite training for specific companies based on their need.

    Chuck Yarris (director of quality and safety) says a challenge for his organization is keeping interest in the Weber Award high. For example, he asks, even though these companies are doing a great job, what other criteria can raise the bar even higher? He wants Quality Chekd members to be the best (well above competitors), to be profitable, and to have a positive impact on the industry.

    Looking Toward the Future

    According to Horvath, the dairy industry is under severe pressure because the market has seen a 2–4 % decline in consumption, and input costs are high. In the squeeze, another challenge is how to avoid taking shortcuts—and not just in terms of disregarding quality. Horvath hopes to expand the Weber Award beyond the Quality Chekd community because other industry awards are just not as rigorously defined and are based more on public relations efforts.

    So what is the best thing about working in the dairy industry, and Quality Chekd / the Weber Award in particular? While you might guess ice cream tastings, Yarris has unique expertise in tasting buttermilk, so he always gets to try it in a production plant. In particular, he enjoys the variety of getting into the plants to do some analysis, troubleshooting, training, and meeting the night shift crew, he says.

    For Horvath, the best part of his 14 years with Quality Chekd is that he works with wonderful people, he says.

  2. Awards Recognising Excellence in the Public Sector

    by BPIR.com Limited

    A recent workshop, 27-30 October 2014, organized by the Asian Productivity Organisation investigated the importance of awards for recognizing and sharing best practices. The purpose of the workshop was to assist National Productivity Organisations in designing relevant and effective awards that supported public sector organisations on the journey to business excellence in their respective countries. Representatives from 11 countries attended. The chief experts leading the workshop were Dr. Robin Mann, Director, Centre for Organizational Excellence Research, Massey University, New Zealand, www.coer.org.nz, and Dr. Stefania Senese, Officer, Governance and Public Administration, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, New York, USA.


    Many awards were studied from APO member countries and internationally (see the spreadsheet for examples). These included awards for all aspects of business excellence including awards recognizing excellent performance in Leadership, Strategy, Human Resources, Processes, Customer Focus, Information Analysis, Innovation, Service Excellence, E-technology, and Partnerships and/or awards for specific sectors such as the health or education sector.

    Some of the issues investigated were:

    • What are the similarities and differences between the various awards for the public sector?
    • Which awards have been the most successful?
    • Why are some awards successful – what are the key ingredients for success?
    • Why are some awards not successful – what are the barriers or challenges that may hinder the impact of an award?

    Some of the benefits of awards were identified as:

    • Awards raise awareness of the importance of a subject
    • The award criteria can help to guide users on what is good practice
    • The award criteria can be used by organisations for self-assessment purposes
    • Awards motivate organisations to implement improvement initiatives
    • Winners of awards become role models
    • Award winner best practices can be shared
    • Communities of practice of award winners can be created

    Some of the concerns of awards were identified as:

    • Awards may become the destination and once achieved the organisation may revert back to their previous state
    • Organisations may focus too much attention on the award rather than on their business.
    • Awards can be expensive to administer
    • Awards if not administered effectively with an independent and fair judging process run the risk of losing their credibility.
    • Are awards the best approach to encourage organisational improvement or are there better approaches?

    The workshop enabled member countries to have a better understanding of the role of awards and how they can provide an integrated approach to assisting organisations on the journey to business excellence. For example, awards for each category of business excellence, as indicated in the Figure below, can provide the building blocks and support for an overall national award for business excellence.


    For more information on business excellence and awards, contact Dr Robin Mann, r.s.mann@massey.ac.nz or view over 500 award types and over 15,000 award winners and learn from their best practices by joining bpir.com.

  3. 2015-2016 Baldrige Excellence Framework and Criteria (Business/Nonprofit) Now Available

    December 20, 2014 by BPIR.com Limited


    Originally posted on Blogrige

    The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program has released the 2015-2016 Baldrige Excellence Framework (Business/Nonprofit) booklet. The Baldrige Excellence Framework (Education) and Baldrige Excellence Framework (Health Care) booklets will be released in mid-January 2015. All three versions include the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, core values and concepts, and guidelines for evaluating your organization’s processes and results.

    Revisions to the three 2015-2016 Baldrige Excellence Framework booklets (including the Criteria), as with previous editions, aim to reflect the leading edge of validated leadership and performance practice.

    This year’s changes begin with retitling the Criteria booklets to Baldrige Excellence Framework: A Systems Approach to Improving Your Organization’s Performance. This change emphasizes that the Baldrige systems perspective encompasses the core values and concepts, the Criteria, and a scoring system that helps you gauge your organization’s maturity. It includes an updated overview diagram that embodies the integrated nature of the Criteria components and their reliance on core values and concepts. It also includes the Glossary of Key Terms, with definitions and explanations that by themselves are instructive in fashioning key aspects of leading-edge leadership and performance practice. The 2015–2016 Baldrige Criteria features a renewed focus on

    • managing all of the components of your organization as a unified whole;
    • managing change; and
    • dealing with data analytics, data integrity, and cybersecurity.

    The 2015–2016 Baldrige Excellence Framework booklet costs $25 for printed copies (available from ASQ) and $10 for electronic PDF copies (available from NIST, which houses the Baldrige Program). Volume discounts are available for bulk orders of both hard copies and downloaded files. Also, organizations can purchase an enterprise license for use within their own organizations.

    In addition, the Baldrige Program has released a new companion product to the full Framework booklet, called the Baldrige Excellence Builder. This booklet is available free of charge in PDF format on the Baldrige website. Printed copies will be available for purchase from ASQ in late January/early February. The Excellence Builder contains key questions for improving your organization’s performance. It also provides an introduction to the Baldrige framework and can be used to conduct a self-assessment against the most important features of excellence.

    Whether used as guidance in establishing an integrated performance management system or for self-assessing progress, Baldrige is about helping your organization, no matter your size or sector, innovate and improve.

  4. New Zealand Business Excellence Awards

    December 1, 2014 by BPIR.com Limited

    Two Bronze Awards have been awarded in New Zealand’s toughest and most prestigious business performance excellence awards

    The awards, which are administered by the Foundation, are the only awards in New Zealand which are fully aligned to the internationally respected and calibrated US Baldrige criteria.

    Held in the spectacular Sir Paul Reeves, AUT Business School, It was a special occasion with a room packed full of members, past recipients and more. 

    Mash TrustCounties Manukau Health

  5. Seven organisations win Singapore Quality Award (SQA) 2014

    November 13, 2014 by BPIR.com Limited


    Seven organisations have won top honours for their commitment towards the business excellence journey, achieving outstanding business performance. The winners are two local banks, an international food manufacturer, a local SME, an educational institution and two public sector agencies. They received their trophies from Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance at the closing ceremony of the National Productivity Month on 30 October.

    The Singapore Quality Award (SQA) winners are:

    • Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
    • Greenpac (S) Pte Ltd
    • Nestlé Singapore (Pte) Ltd – Jurong Factory
    • OCBC Bank – Consumer Financial Services Singapore
    • UOB Group Channels
    • The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
    • Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA)

    All seven winners have built their organisations around outstanding management practices, with visionary leaders committed to innovation, people and customer-centric excellence, resulting in greater productivity and business growth. They will join the ranks of 96 past Business Excellence Awards winners that have established themselves in the various dimensions of excellence. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Business Excellence initiative which was launched in 1994.

    Read the full press release at SPRING Singapore