The Ups and Downs in an Evolution of Excellence

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, an evolution is a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state. Here’s a story of an organizational evolution that includes a recession, natural disasters, and growth—and the excellence that came out of it.

At the upcoming, 29th Annual Quest for Excellence conference, Jamie Capehart, Performance Improvement Specialist at Baldrige Award recipient Park Place Lexus, will be sharing a story of how the car dealership used the Baldrige Excellence Framework to propel itself through a recession, the loss of product due to a natural disaster, complacency, and massive growth. The session will outline the ups and downs of the service organization’s evolution of excellence.

Park Place Lexus, which sells and services new and pre-owned Lexus vehicles, and sells Lexus parts to the wholesale and retail markets at its two locations in Plano and Grapevine, Texas, began its journey to excellence in 1994, benchmarking business practices outside of the automobile industry, with the intent of emulating the best business practices staff could find and bringing innovation to the industry. Four years later, the company conducted its first internal assessment using the Baldrige Criteria (now part of the Baldrige framework) to identify areas for improvement. But a lot has happened since 1994.

Capehart said using Baldrige resources guided the organization to solidify its internal teams “to propel us into the future with sustainable processes and plans,” adding that the process has created a “Baldrige bond.” Park Place Lexus is even being honored this year with a best practice recognition for its focus on customers.

“Since going through the Baldrige process, we have been able to break down walls and look at our business from a whole perspective versus a siloed perspective,” she said. “Our performance improvement teams have realized more success in one year than they had in the previous three years utilizing the knowledge gained through the framework, as well as through other [Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award] MBNQA recipients.”

As a Baldrige Award recipient, Park Place Lexus, through Capehart, will be sharing other tips to help U.S. organizations improve and evolve. For example, Capehart suggests

  • Do a very honest gap analysis using the Baldrige framework and other available Baldrige assessments.
  • Thoroughly understand the Baldrige Criteria, attend state/national Baldrige conferences, network with recipients, and invest in a coach.
  • No matter how far from being “recipient worthy” you may feel along the way, follow the Baldrige process as far as it can take you. Then, do it again!

Capehart said Park Place Lexus has continued to use Baldrige resources since its win in 2005. “Our industry/sector is highly competitive, and the [Baldrige] framework helped us think strategically through each category and facet of our business to uncover blind spots, including segmentation of our Clients/Members, the effective use of data, and understanding what true innovation and risk taking can do.”

And such thinking has certainly contributed to its evolution of excellence.

What could such an evolution look like for your organization?

To learn more, register now for the 29th Annual Quest for Excellence Conference, which will feature the 2016 Baldrige Award recipients and many more national role models sharing their best practices.

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This entry was posted in Award Process, Events, and Training, Award Recipients, Baldrige Excellence Framework (Criteria), Impact of Baldrige, Sector Focused, Self-Assessing. Bookmark the permalink.

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