This award was established in 1987 by the U.S. Congress in order to raise awareness of quality management and to recognize American companies that use successful quality management systems.
Initially, awards were only given in 3 categories: manufacturing, service businesses, and small businesses. However, in 1999 education and healthcare categories were added, and finally in 2007 a government and nonprofit category was added.
Up to 3 awards can be given in each category annually, and the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology manages the award. Recipients are chosen based on their performance in seven areas:
- Leadership: How upper management leads the organization, and how the organization leads within the community.
2. Strategic planning: How the organization establishes and plans to implement strategic directions.
3. Customer and market focus: How the organization builds and maintains strong, lasting relationships with customers.
4. Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management: How the organization uses data to support key processes and manage performance.
5. Human resource focus: How the organization empowers and involves its workforce.
6. Process management: How the organization designs, manages and improves key processes.
7. Business/organizational performance results: How the organization performs in terms of customer satisfaction, finances, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operations, governance and social responsibility, and how the organization compares to its competitors.