CASE STUDY 5 – WAINWRIGHT INDUSTRIES: AN ENTIRELY NEW PHILOSOPHY OF BUSINESS BASED ON CUSTOMER
Wainwright Industries is a manufacurer of stamped and machine parts, which provides high quality products and services for the world’s leading automotive and aerospace. Their dedication to quality and consistently supplying customized customer solutions and their exceptional experience, last for more than half a century for which they win both the satisfaction of the customers and the Company the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Their worldwide customers benefit qualitative metal stamping, machining and logistics services due to company’s modern and specialized machinery together with the great job done by a team of experienced “designers, engineers, skilled tradesmen and quality-oriented associates whose focus is on exceeding our customers' expectations”. Having a total annual sales of about 30 million dolars, the company employs 275 associates at its headquarters and main manufacturing facility in St. Peters, Mo., and at a recently opened plant in Grand Prairie, Texas.
In 1980, Wainwright Industries faced a crisis. This was possible because of the fierce competition and the intensified customer control. Therefore, the company found itself in a position of re-designing its structure in order to face this challenge. The only solution to maintain its position on the market and to keep its customers loyal was to re-judge their capabilities and to understand what improvements they should make to be competitive on the long run. The radical changes that came after this crisis help them to remain an important actor in the economy, otherwise their position would have surely decline and would have lead probably to bankruptcy.
What was very clear for the Wainwright Industries was their considerable need for improvement, because minor changes would have only helped them for a short period. From that moment, Wainwright was constantly looking for ways to improve, searching inside and outside the organization for ideas and examples on how to reorganize processes, cut delivery times, make training programs more effective, or enhance its customer-focused operations. They changed their philosophy of doing things, focusing on quality and manners of satisfying their exigent customers. In constructing this philosophy, Wainwright followed the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award’s criteria. This award is given by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology and it recognizes quality service in the business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors, being inspired by the ideas of Total Quality Management. This is the only quality award that is actually awarded by the President of the United States and one of the two U.S. presidential awards given to corporations. The goals of this award are to recognize quality achievements of the US companies, to publicize successful quality strategies and to promote quality awareness. The company succeeded to build a new image by establishing key quality standards, setting aims and developing implementation strategies. The most important aspects that were taking into consideration were the employee empowerment, customer satisfaction and improvement on an ongoing basis. Nowadays, its empowered workforce is a rich source of ideas, with associates averaging more than one implemented improvement per week. Regarding the employee empowerment, associates are fully engaged in the company's quality efforts just from the first day of work. The new employees are explain the importance of the quality and customer satisfaction within the company from the very beginning. They are also provided with explanation regarding the approaches of the company to continuous improvement. Actually, the company put a great emhasize on the training programs and education, as they are spending up to 7% of their annual payroll. Training is regarded as one of the most important part of their...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document