Concordia Publishing House: Modeling Fact-Based Management

Posted by Christine Schaefer

Concordia Publishing House (CPH), publishing arm of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), aims for 100 percent overall customer satisfaction. In 2011, when the St. Louis, Missouri-based nonprofit was honored with the Baldrige Award, its overall customer satisfaction scores were at 98 percent plus, exceeding levels set forth by the annual Purdue University Benchmark Study of U.S. Call Centers.

What’s more, for 2012, CPH has set a goal of receiving favorable responses (“strongly agree” or “agree”) from at least 82 percent of its customers on each of six key measures of performance. Already this year, the organization is performing at 81 percent for that high standard.

During the 24th Annual Quest for Excellence conference, Stephen Harris, the organization’s executive director of innovation and technologies, showcased how CPH leverages technology to monitor its progress toward its lofty performance goals. In particular, the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) dashboard, which is accessible from employees’ desktops, supports the organization’s mission focus. Color-coded sections of the dashboard reflect four components of performance that support execution of the mission—cost, cycle time, quality, and customer engagement.

The dashboard’s customer engagement feature, among others, is fully automated, which means that data do not need to be manually entered by employees in order for them to monitor current performance. With data available in real time, employees can take action in time to prevent shipping delays or address other issues that may dissatisfy customers.

No wonder CPH recorded revenues of $35 million last year, among other role-model results. And no wonder management by fact is a core value of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

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