David H. Goodman博士, 美国Maharishi管理大学（Maharishi University of Management ）市场营销学教授，曾数次来中国访问教学，今年夏季携夫人来北京访问时，愉快地应约特别撰写本文。
Wainwright公司，总部位于美国密苏里州的St. Peter市，就在St. Louis市的北边。这家公司获得了1994年美国Malcom Baldridge（波得里奇）国家质量奖。这个奖项象征着优异的质量。Wainwright公司由于独创性地使用了质量管理的原理，并且取得了引人注目的成就，因而获此殊荣。Wainwright公司主要提供高精度的冲压零件和配件给汽车公司和航空公司的客户。Wainwright公司生产极其优秀的产品。但更重要的是，这个令人惊异的公司是一种理念的活的实验室。这种理念是Wainwright公司文化的鲜明特征：“真诚地信任并相信别人。”公司对于这个理念的承诺每天都在被实行和评测。
Wainwright Industries, headquartered in St. Peters Missouri, USA, just north of St. Louis Missouri, won the 1994 Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in the United States. The Baldridge Award signifies quality excellence, and was given to Wainwright for its innovative use of quality principles with impressive results. Wainwright Industries supplies high precision stamping parts and assemblies to automotive and aerospace customers. Wainwright manufactures excellent products, but more importantly, this amazing company is a living laboratory for a concept that is fully a signature of its corporate culture: “sincere trust and belief in people.” Wainwright’s commitment to this concept is measured and acted upon in the firm every day.
There are five main strategic priorities at Wainwright. The first priority is safety, followed by employee (internal customer) satisfaction, then external customer satisfaction, product quality and finally, financial results in terms of business performance. Mike Simms, Wainwright’s plant manager comments: “how can General Motors be satisfied if the workers making parts for General Motors are dissatisfied?” Note that financial results are considered a by-product of having the process working properly and not the other way around. To Wainwright, the following question is obvious: how can you know if you have satisfied employees or customers unless you regularly measure this satisfaction, and how do you know if you have trust if you cannot both measure and train for it? At Wainwright Industries, trust, quality, and customer satisfaction are regularly measured and training is provided to employees to continuously improve their effectiveness.
The key issues of both internal and external customer satisfactions are communication, delivery, quality and responsiveness. These issues are graded on a frequent and regular basis. A survey is offered to customers to measure their level of satisfaction. The customer chooses how often to complete the survey, which takes about five minutes to answer. If external customer satisfaction scores less than 95% on the survey, then an action team is convened to address the problem with a recovery plan that is faxed to the customer within 48 hours. A central room called “mission control” displays information and data about each customer on the wall. Above each customer’s name is either a green or red flag. Green flags indicate 95% or more customer satisfaction. The flags are almost always green at Wainwright. However, if a customer survey shows a satisfaction response of less than 95%, a red flag is placed above the company name, the action plan is created to address the situation and the plan is implemented immediately.
The ability to consistently score above 95% with external customers depends fully on a highly trained and motivated workforce. Wainwright has added the dimension of training and trusting the employee as its contributions to total quality management. Seven percent of payroll is spent on employee training so that employees can realize their highest potential to do their job well in a team environment. This employee training has boosted morale, productivity and profitability. Moreover, employees share in profits of the firm and are encouraged to make continuous improvements in their work areas. Trusting the employee is not simply a matter of giving the worker the tools to do the job, but also involves offering the training necessary so that the employee can do the job well and is a master of the task at hand. Then the worker, who is closest to the job, is capable of understanding how to improve efficiency and effectiveness by creating and implementing systematic plans for improvement, which are reviewed by a supervisor. This employee involvement creates greater alignment with the company goals. Moreover, other strategies are implemented in Wainwright, which promote employee involvement with the company including profit sharing, and also regular surveys of employee satisfaction. Managers analyze these surveys and seriously consider ways to improve morale and employee satisfaction in the company.
Wainwright Industries believes that each employee can make a positive contribution to improving the organization given the opportunity and skills to make change happen. The company encourages employee involvement through individual and team work. Recognition of contributions based on team performance is consistent. Individual initiative is also supported through the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP). A CIP is any employee’s idea, which has the potential to improve the workplace. The employee is responsible for documenting and implementing improvements. The supervisor acknowledges the contribution, and a random drawing of all CIPs selects a winner for gift certificates or free movie passes, dinners or sporting events. There are also quarterly luncheons and quarterly drawings.
The ingredient of trust in employees provides the emotional support to a focus on product quality, continuous improvement and external customer satisfaction. Teamwork is highly viewed in the corporate culture, and this team culture is supported by the following stories taken from the Wainwright literature. For example, teamwork is supported by the analogy of a sandbag team. Sandbag teams have workers filling burlap bags with sand and passing these filled sandbags from person to person on a line until the bags are positioned to make a wall, or levee, high enough to stop the flood waters. Two visual cues, the water level of the river and the level of the sandbags creating a levee to protect against the flood, keep the team focused on the task at hand. Any individual trying to go faster than the group process cannot improve the process but he or she only creates havoc. Similarly teams have to work together and understand the speed and process of group work.
Another image of teamwork that is used at Wainwright is the bus. Everyone is on the same bus driving to the future. The workers are riding the bus; the bus is driven by middle management, with top management at the rear of the bus focusing on long term strategy. Workers are aligned to the strategic direction by clear common goals, which are measurable and attainable, consistent with the cultural values of the firm.
A third analogy involves the goose, the mascot of the firm, which symbolizes teamwork. As each bird flaps its wings in the “V” formation, it creates uplift for the bird following. By flapping together in formation, the whole flock adds 70% more flying range than if each bird flew alone. The analogy is used to support the concept of community and shared direction and purpose. When the lead goose gets tired, it falls back into the pack and another goose flies at the lead position. The geese in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. If a goose falls, a group of birds will drop out of formation and help the sick or wounded bird. They will stick with the wounded or sick bird until it regains its strength, or dies. Then they start out again in their own formation until they catch up with the main formation.
The lessons from Wainwright are many but the main point is that the pursuit of quality and customer satisfaction can be found in treating others as you treat yourself. This means starting with your employees, training and measuring all levels of customer satisfaction, both internal and external, and then trusting employees to do the job that they are paid to do. Training and trusting the internal customers, the employees, and being responsive to external customer satisfaction at Wainwright has yielded a compounded 15% return on investment, and the high quality output that has satisfied and delighted customers such as GM and Boeing.