An attempt has failed to add more categories to those covered by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The budget appropriation for the program in fiscal year 1998 is $3 million. It does not include funds for a proposed expansion of the award into healthcare and education fields. Currently, two awards may be given annually in each of three categories: manufacturing, service, and small business. The four winners of the 1997 Baldrige award were the 3M Dental Products Div., Solectron Corp., Merrill Lynch Credit Corp., and Xerox Business Services. This month at a conference in Washington, the firms will analyze their strategies for quality improvement. A new book, written by Baldrige examiner Kicab Castaneda-Mendez aims to help other companies achieve similar quality gains. Titled "The Baldrige Assessor's Workbook," it is published by Quality Resources of New York City. The book offers readers a number of hands-on exercises.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.