Magazine article Management Today

Progress on the Excellence Road: Entries Have Flooded in and the Short List Is Ready for the Management Today/Arthur Andersen 1994 Best Practices Awards for Service Excellence

Magazine article Management Today

Progress on the Excellence Road: Entries Have Flooded in and the Short List Is Ready for the Management Today/Arthur Andersen 1994 Best Practices Awards for Service Excellence

Article excerpt

Entries have Hooded in and the short list is ready for the Management Today/Arthur Andersen 1994 Best Practices Awards for Service Excellence

Organisations as diverse as schools and carmakers are currently chasing the title of Britain's best service excellence provider. More than 220 companies and institutions entered the Management Today/Arthur Andersen 1994 Best Practices Awards for Service Excellence, launched last October. Entries have now been whittled down to a short list of 44, and the eight regional category winners and two national awards of Best Service Excellence Company of the Year and Best Service Excellence Small Company will be announced in the June issue of this magazine.

Entrants are spread throughout the UK although the response from Northern Ireland was disappointing. London and the South East was best represented with 22% of entries, closely followed by Thames Valley and the South's 20%. The UK's further flung regions also responded to the challenge with 7% from Scotland and 11% in both the North East and the Wales/South West regions.

Competitors are also drawn from a wide range of size and sectors. In the North East the mighty Bass Brewers competes with Spennymoor School. It is a state-run comprehensive with 740 pupils between the ages of 11 and 18, and has undergone a revolution in its service provision since 1989, according to headmaster Brian Ogden. A four-year development plan aimed at improving the school's resource base has this year been followed by another four-year project of investment in people. Ogden believes the school has a wide range of customers: children, 68 staff, parents, local industry and the community. Measuring their satisfaction, he believes, is no easy task. |We are trying to add value to children during their time with us and that's very hard to measure,' he admits. But indicators as diverse as examination results and parent satisfaction surveys are being used to track Spennymoor School's progress down the service excellence road.

Bass North, one of Bass Brewers' six regional companies, has more traditional industry performance indicators available to track the satisfaction of its 3,000 customers. Over the past 18 months all 750 employees of the Leeds-based company have attended two days of customer focus workshops - the origin, says sales operations manager John Polglass, of a |heavyweight customer focus campaign of signed to ensure the latter part of Bass's "great brands best service" slogan'. …

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