The Delaware Alliance for Excellence, a program of UD's Division of Professional and Continuing Studies, provides educational programs and support for continuous improvement efforts in the Delaware region and recognizes organizational success and performance through the Delaware Quality Award.
Initiated in 1992, the Delaware Quality Award was named in honor of W.L. (Bill) Gore, who dedicated his professional life to excellence. He advocated freedom, fairness, commitment and sound decision-making in an open and creative environment. He believed that each person within an organization is responsible for the level of quality in products and services offered to its customers and stakeholders.
The Delaware Quality Awards Program is based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria. It honors companies and organizations that excel in leadership, strategic planning and deployment, customer focus, knowledge management, valuing people, operational processes and results
The keynote speaker of the evening, Dave Scranton, head of a seven-member inside sales team in customer service, satisfaction and retention for Stoner Industries, said that his company's success can be attributed to the Baldridge criteria. “The Baldrige criteria and the Baldrige process was our largest benchmarking tool because it gave us an idea of where we stood against other world class organizations,” Scranton said. Ever since Stoner Industries began implementing the Baldrige criteria, which culminated in them winning the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2003, the company has grown incredibly, he said.
In presenting the W. L. Gore Award to Bayhealth Medical Center, Riabov said, “the center consistently earns quantifiable high patient satisfaction from both internal and external surveys. Recent tabulations of 2007 data have revealed an overall satisfaction score of 100 percent from an internal survey. The center's success is a reflection of the staff's devotion to providing high quality care to each patient and family who enters the facility.”
Bayhealth Medical Center's Inpatient Rehabilitation Center is part of southern Delaware's largest health-care system. Bayhealth is comprised of Kent General and Milford Memorial hospitals, Middletown Medical Center and many satellite facilities. The Inpatient Rehabilitation Center was opened by Milford Memorial Hospital in 1992. Last year, the center earned the Delaware Quality Award of Merit.
Of the second W.L. Gore Award of Excellence winner, United Electric Supply Co., Riabov said, “they have achieved tremendous growth. The company has more than doubled its size since 1995. They have increased sales by 135 percent, they have grown geographically from seven to 15 branches.”Tom Cloud, chairperson and CEO of United Electric Supply Co., accepted the award and, after congratulating the other award winners, said, “The Delaware Quality Award has helped us continue on our mission, which is to stay an independent company”.
United Electric Supply, a four-time recipient of the W. L. Gore Award, is a wholesale distributor of electrical products serving customers in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia. Since 1995, United has been 100 percent employee-owned.
Delaware Quality Commitment Awards went to the State of Delaware Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and to the Division of Water Resources Environmental Laboratory Services in the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).
OMB offers a broad scope of services that are vital to the effective and efficient operation of state government and the welfare of the citizens of Delaware. It was created through the initiative of Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and through the support of the Delaware General Assembly in July 2005. OMB, which centralizes the management of major state assets including people, facilities, land use and financial resources, chose to participate in the Delaware Quality Award using the Baldrige Express process to accelerate its improvement efforts, to gain feedback from quality experts and to develop an action plan for the future.Jennifer Davis, the director of OMB, said that the application and awards process has “been an amazing journey. It was humbling to learn all the areas we have to improve, but we're up for the challenge, and we're not done; we'll be back next year.”
DNREC's Environmental Laboratory Section also won the Delaware Quality Commitment Award. In 2000, the lab was facing unproductive attitudes and behaviors among its workforce. The organization dedicated itself to improving its customer-focus, employee motivation and involvement, and to achieving a positive working environment and higher levels of productivity.
Sergio Huerta, laboratory director for DNREC, said that, thanks to the award process, everyone in DNREC “understands quality as a philosophy, and that quality is now something that we strive for, for the long term.”
Also honored at the banquet were the teams competing in the Second Annual Delaware Regional Team Showcase. Jim Bianchetta, who was instrumental in bringing the team showcase to Delaware, presented the Team Showcase Award to Dentsply Caulk, for the second year.
For more information about applying for the Delaware Quality Award, contact John Riabov at [firstname.lastname@example.org] or 302-571-5233 or visit the website at www.DAE.Udel.edu.
Article by Adam Thomas
Photos by Kevin Quinlan