The Comparison of ISO 9000 and Baldrige Award


Research has been conducted on the comparison of ISO 9000 and Baldrige awards. ISO 9000 is a standard for quality management systems by organizations for better performance. ISO 9000 works on five categorized frameworks for assessment. And the Baldrige award has been created by the U.S congress for evaluating the performance level of U.S organizations. It is based on a seven criterion assessment model. In this research work, a Baldrige award-winning organization has been listed as an example. Trident Precision Manufacturing Inc. is a manufacturing company that won the Baldrige award. The strategies used by Trident Precision Manufacturing Inc. led their way to success.


ISO (International organization for standardization) maintains ISO 9000. ISO 9000 is a “generic name given to a family of standards developed to provide a framework around which a quality management system can effectively be implemented”. Quality ISO 9001, 2007, What is ISO 9000, para.1)

ISO 9000 consists of the standards related to quality management systems. ISO develops International Standards for most of the industrial sectors except electrotechnology, covered by IEC, and telecommunications, covered by ITU. The ISO standards are very specific and call for the need for a highly specialized committee with specialized knowledge in each sector. “ISO has developed over 17,500 International Standards on a variety of subjects and some 1100 new ISO standards are published every year.” (ISO standards, 2009).

The ISO 9000 includes the following standards

  • ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems
  • ISO 9004:2000 Quality management systems

The Baldrige Award was legislated by the U.S congress in 1987. This award is named after the former secretary of commerce, Malcolm Baldrige. This model is usually incorporated by the organizations which carry out habitual assessments to evaluate and perk up their performance level. “Baldrige Criteria and assessment processes help organizations identify, understand, and manage the factors that determine their success.” (Transform your organization, n.d.)

The Baldrige model is being integrated into the way that those organizations operate and their core values are also being embedded to evaluate their performance. Seven categories of performance models are being used by Baldrige to assess management systems. All types of organizations like healthcare organizations, manufacturers, service companies, small businesses, K-12 school districts, colleges and universities, government agencies, non-profits, etc can apply for this award. This award not only endorses the performance of the organizations but also makes out the achievements and outcomes of the organizations. Baldrige award is suitable for those organizations, which take up a continuous improvement philosophy.


The Baldrige Award and ISO 9000 are very different in the purpose, content, and focus. For the enhancement of the competitiveness of U.S organizations, the U.S Congress created the Baldrige award. This award mainly concentrates on the quality awareness and achievements of U.S organizations. This is a platform for sharing the successful strategies followed by U.S organizations. The organizations which give value for continuous improvement alone will apply for this award. Annually, three awards may be given in these sectors, namely, manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, and nonprofit. The Baldrige award works on a seven category assessment model which includes

  • Leadership
  • Strategic planning
  • Customer and market focus
  • Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management
  • Workforce focus
  • Process management


These criteria are now accepted widely, not only in the United States but also around the world, as the standard for performance excellence. The International Organization for Standardization created ISO 9000, which is a series of five international standards. It was created in 1987 in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO 9000 is mainly used by organizations to determine the maintenance of an efficient quality conformance system. It verifies whether an organization acts by its quality system.

The five criteria for assessment include:

  • Quality management and quality assurance standards
  • Quality systems – quality assurance in design, production, installation, and servicing
  • Quality systems – quality assurance in production and installation
  • Quality systems – quality assurance in final inspection and test
  • Quality management and quality system elements.

“The ISO 9000 series standards have been adopted by some 45 countries and its equivalent standard in the Indian context is the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) 14000 series.“ (ISO 9000 standards, n.d., para.2)

(Frequently asked questions about the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, 2008).

Trident Precision Manufacturing Inc

Trident Precision Manufacturing Inc was the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award 1996 Winner. It was founded in the year 1979. They manufacture sheet metal components, electro-mechanical assemblies, and custom products mainly in the office equipment, medical supply, and computer and defense industries. It is a well-established local supplier and now diversifying to serve regional and international markets too. Trident has time-honored “quality as its basic business plan” to accomplish short-term and long-term goals for each of its five key business drivers: customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, shareholder value, operational performance, and supplier partnerships.” (Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award 1996 winner trident precision manufacturing Inc, 2001, Satisfying customers, para.1).

It was a firm with three persons at first, and now has turned into an employer of about 167 people. The total revenue of Trident Precision Manufacturing Inc. for the year 1995 was $14.5 million. In 1998, under the leadership of its CEO, Nicholas Juskiw, the firm implemented “Excellence in Motion,” a strategy designed to sharpen Trident’s focus on its customers and to instill a commitment to continuous improvement throughout the organization.” (Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award 1996 winner trident precision manufacturing Inc, 2001, About trident, para.1).

Each step of improvement in Trident aims in meeting the customer needs in major four areas – quality, cost, delivery, and service. Trident also takes care of keeping up regular contact with their customers and suppliers and uses technology to strengthen the customer and supplier links. Trident has a well-equipped human resource department to take care of the training, employee empowerment, reward systems, ensuring a safe environment, etc. Improvements in Trident’s total quality strategy have benefited in many ways like catalyzed performance level, decrease in employee turnover rate, increase in productivity, increased customer satisfaction, etc. (Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award 1996 winner trident precision manufacturing Inc, 2001).


Overall, ISO 9000 registration covers less than 10 percent of the Baldrige Award criteria. Even though ISO 9000 proves to be an accepted registration, Baldrige’s assessment framework includes a wide variety of parameters to evaluate an organization’s performance in the market.


Frequently asked questions about the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. (2008). Fact Sheet from NIST: NIST: National Institute of Standards and Technology.

ISO standards. (2009). ISO: International Organization for Standardization.

ISO 9000 standards. (n.d.). MSME Development Institute.

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award 1996 winner trident precision manufacturing Inc: Satisfying customers. (2001). Baldrige National Quality Program. Web.

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award 1996 winner trident precision manufacturing Inc: About Trident. (2001). Baldrige National Quality Program.

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award 1996 winner trident precision manufacturing Inc. (2001). Baldrige National Quality Program.

Quality ISO 9001: What is ISO 9000. (2007). BSI.

Transform your organization. (n.d.). Web.

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