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Entries for 2012

Acknowledging Innovative Excellence – K&N Management

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, and restaurant that specializes in …

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Baldrige in Education: A Healthy Mix

The education system in this country needs overhauling.  Tuition rates are skyrocketing and textbook costs continue on the rise, but are curricula being modified as rapidly as they need to be?  Specifically, MBAs: to accurately reflect the needs of the ever-changing business world, are business schools keeping up?  Well, as it turns out, some are.

Post University in Waterbury, CT recently announced the renaming of their business school to The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business, in a culmination of “a great deal of effort in identifying someone whose legacy embodies the quality, goal, and mission of our school. We knew there was no better name to attach to our School of Business than Malcolm Baldrige,” a Post University blog reads.  Post is right down the road from our headquarters in Southbury, CT, with Mac’s hometown of Woodbury being sandwiched between the two towns.  Waterbury, of course, is home to the Scovill plant where Baldrige spent his early career, leading the transformation of a struggling brass mill into a highly diversified manufacturer of consumer housing and industrial goods.  To honor those principles, Post has implemented a number of new courses that clearly draw directly from the criteria that frame the award as we know it today.  For example:

  1. BUS505: Organizational Innovation and Creativity covers how to create and innovate in an organization, and why you should always challenge the status quo.

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Designing Innovative Products and Services with DMADV

Product and service creation requires a process which develops a detailed design for a good or service and is coupled together with the processes to actually produce that good or service.  In Six Sigma, product or service design (Design for Six Sigma [DFSS]) means creating these, including the process to produce them in such a way that defects in the product and the process are not only extremely rare, but also predictable.  Furthermore, defects are rare and predictable, even at the point when full-scale production begins.  To achieve this level of excellence and its attendant low costs and short cycle times, as well as soaring levels of customer satisfaction, requires some enhancements to traditional design methods.  For example, each DFSS design project starts with an identification of customers and a detailed analysis and understanding of their needs.  Even “redesign” starts at the beginning because all successful designs are based on customer needs, and in this world of rapid change, customer needs, and even customers, have a way of rapidly changing.  Another example is the widespread intensive use of statistical methods in DFSS.  The power of the information gained from statistical analyses provides the means to achieve significant improvement.  DFSS is carried out in a series of phases known as DMADV.

DMADV stands for define, measure, analyze, design, and verify.  The discussion that follows does not cover all the details of procedures and tools used in DMADV; that would require many hundreds of pages, and they can be found elsewhere in published form.  We will, however, attempt to acquaint the reader with what any manager needs to know about the purpose, the issues, the questions, and the sequence

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2013 Award Process Fees to Change

The fees for the 2013 Baldrige Award cycle will increase in order to recover costs associated with administering the award process and to reduce the annual financial commitment needed from the Baldrige Foundation. Previously, federal ...

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2013 Award Process Fees to Change

The fees for the 2013 Baldrige Award cycle will increase in order to recover costs associated with administering the award process and to reduce the annual financial commitment needed from the Baldrige Foundation. Previously, federal ...

Read More

2013 Award Process Fees to Change

The fees for the 2013 Baldrige Award cycle will increase in order to recover costs associated with administering the award process and to reduce the annual financial commitment needed from the Baldrige Foundation. Previously, federal ...

Read More

2013 Award Process Fees to Change

The fees for the 2013 Baldrige Award cycle will increase in order to recover costs associated with administering the award process and to reduce the annual financial commitment needed from the Baldrige Foundation. Previously, federal ...

Read More

2013 Award Process Fees to Change

The fees for the 2013 Baldrige Award cycle will increase in order to recover costs associated with administering the award process and to reduce the annual financial commitment needed from the Baldrige Foundation. Previously, federal ...

Read More

2013 Award Process Fees to Change

The fees for the 2013 Baldrige Award cycle will increase in order to recover costs associated with administering the award process and to reduce the annual financial commitment needed from the Baldrige Foundation. Previously, federal ...

Read More

DMAIC and DMADV Six Sigma; Which is Right for Me?

The two primary Six Sigma methodologies are DMAIC to address chronic quality problems and defects, and DMADV to help ensure that products and services function well from the voice of the customer through the delivery of goods.  In this two-part article series, we’ll break down DMAIC and DMADV to their cores, and explain why your company would decide to utilize one method over the other.

If solutions to your problems are elusive, you don’t know their root causes, or if you must attain quality levels measure in parts per million, Six Sigma will place your ailing process under a microscope to find those causes and their effective solutions. The DMAIC steps are:

  1. Define the problem as clearly as one can in words.
  2. Measure the current level of performance and identify the voice of the customers.
  3. Analyze collected data to determine the cause(s) of the problem.
  4. Improve by selecting the right solutions to solve the problem.
  5. Control to hold the gains.

DMAIC_baldrigepostimage_2012

With these fundamental steps, Six Sigma enables many organizations around the world to succeed…

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