20 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017
This case provides an opportunity for students to assess a management system that focuses on the quality of employee involvement, customer service, and continuous improvement in a restaurant setting. A teaching note (OM-0721TN) is available.
The first time you tolerate anything other than a movement toward 100% customer satisfaction, you're on the road to mediocrity.
—Frederick W. Smith, Federal Express chair& CEO
Federal Express Corporation (FedEx) was founded in 1973 by Frederick W. Smith. A former military pilot with a vision to create the air express industry, Smith started his company with 14 small planes. Some 17 years later, FedEx had a fleet of 419 planes delivering packages all over the world. At the end of fiscal year (FY) 1990, the company employed 90,000 people, processed 1.5 million shipments daily, and totaled $ 7 billion in revenues.
Since 1973, FedEx had received 195 awards, but the most prestigious was received on December 13, 1990, when Smith accepted the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) from the President of the United States, George H. Bush. Federal Express was the first company to win in the service category, since the award was established in 1988. In 1990, the U.S. Department of Commerce received 160,000 requests for MBNQA applications, but only 97 companies completed the rigorous application process. (See Exhibit 1 for MBNQA application headings.)
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Keywords: employee involvement, customer service, continious improvement
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