PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Employees here are hopeful that a recent visit from a team of performance management experts will earn the Department of Defense its very first Malcolm Baldrige national quality award.

The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center is the first DoD agency to receive a Baldrige site visit in the award's twenty-year history.

ARDEC is among four finalists in the non-profit category receiving a site visit.

The non-profit category was added to the program this year making federal organizations eligible for the first time.

"Thank you for your great effort in presenting Team ARDEC in the best possible light during our Baldrige site visit," Dr. Joseph A. Lannon told employees in an email. "We are winners no matter what the Baldrige Team decides," he said.

"I am proud of each and everyone of you. Thanks for your great and continued support."

A seven-person team, accompanied by a National Institute of Standards and Technology representative, spent four days interviewing ARDEC senior leaders and employees about the center's business practices and performance.

NIST manages the award program for the government.

Two team members also visited ARDEC's Benet Weapons Laboratory in Watervliet, N.Y. as well as the center's Adelphi, Md. and Rock Island, Ill. sites to interview workers at those locations.

The examiners conducted approximately 300 interviews during their visit.

NIST previously announced in June that it received 84 Baldrige applications in 2007.

Winners will be announced later this month.

ARDEC is the Army's principal researcher, developer and sustainer of current and future armament and munitions systems.

Page last updated Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 15:09