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Partners Offer Performance Excellence Help for Small Businesses

From NIST Tech Beat: December 20, 2011

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Contact: Michael E. Newman
301-975-3025

A new collaboration between the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP), the Alliance for Performance Excellence and The Alternative Board (TAB) will provide resources and training for small businesses to improve their performance through the use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. The purpose of the partnership is to facilitate the teaming of local TAB boards with their state performance excellence programs so that small businesses utilizing TAB services can learn about the Baldrige program.

The Alliance is a nonprofit network of national, state and local Baldrige-based award programs, while TAB offers consulting and coaching services by bringing business owners together monthly to act and serve as an advisory board of directors to solve challenges, share seasoned advice and address growth opportunities.

“The Baldrige Criteria and framework for business management are ideally suited to address the challenges faced by small businesses that serve as a vital economic engine for our country. It’s only through collaborations with organizations like TAB that we can reach a majority of the 25 million small businesses in the United States and introduce them to the Baldrige process,” said Harry Hertz, director of the BPEP.

Baldrige-based state programs in the Alliance network will join with TAB boards across the nation to guide small business operators in first learning the Baldrige Criteria, then using them to assess and improve their overall performance and competitiveness. The Criteria are organized into seven categories: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. Thousands of organizations worldwide use them to guide their enterprises, improve performance and get sustainable results.

Enthusiasm for the BPEP/Alliance/TAB partnership is already growing. Terry May, president of MESA Products, a Tulsa, Okla., firm that manufactures corrosion control materials, and a 2006 Baldrige Award recipient in the small business category, said, “TAB is a great resource for learning and sharing with my peers, providing real-world, practical guidance to help me improve and grow my business. The Baldrige process, both at the state and national levels, helped me take MESA to an even higher level of performance and achieve breakthrough results. So, a partnership between local TAB boards and state Baldrige programs will be a great resource for small businesses.”

The BPEP is managed by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction with the private sector. The program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy; provides organizational assessment tools and criteria; educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations, and government and nonprofit organizations about the practices of national role models; and recognizes them by honoring them with the only Presidential Award for performance excellence.

For more information on BPEP and the new partnership to assist small businesses, go to www.nist.gov/baldrige. To learn more about the Alliance for Performance Excellence and TAB, go to www.baldrigepe.org/alliance and www.thealternativeboard.com, respectively.