A companyÆs mission statement goes a long way toward telling the outside world what that company wants to do - or at least what it wants the world to think it wants to do. Execution is often another story altogether. Moving a company from mission statement to mission accomplished requires a company-wide understanding of and belief in the values behind the mission. That task is usually the challenge.
Mitchell, Best & Goldsborough has tackled that task and accomplished it. Its mission statement has captured the values of the company in such a way that corporate culture revolves around the desire to fulfill that mission. The companyÆs strategy is held up as a benchmark by the Research Center of NAHB and helped the company win a National Remodeling Quality Silver Award.
"We donÆt force employees to memorize the mission statement," says Mark Goldsborough, president. "But every process we have is based on it." The mission statement: Mitchell, Best & Goldsborough will be regarded as the best full-service remodeling firm in the Washington (D.C.) Metro area.
Goldsborough has assembled 10 Commitments to customers that support the mission statement. These 10 Commitments are posted around the office and on every jobsite, discussed during construction meetings, and given to clients in sales brochures and at jobÆs start. The company uses the 10 Commitments as touchstones, as guiding principles. "When something goes wrong, we point to the 10 Commitments and see where they went wrong," he says. "Every problem relates to the 10 Commitments."
|Mark Goldsborough, CGR
These commitments are to the customer, and employees are taught that with a primary goal of customer satisfaction, the onus will often fall upon them to make the relationship work. "If [an employee] says a client is a pain, we ask why," Goldsborough says. "Whatever it is, we have to deal with it. The overall goal is that we have a happy customer."
Goldsborough sets the tone at the preconstruction meeting. In addition to the 10 Commitments, the company provides the client with the post-construction survey. That way, Goldsborough says, the client is keeping an eye out for the things that the company recognizes as important to achieving customer satisfaction. "We ask homeowners to read the survey," he says. "TheyÆll see the questions and then theyÆll look for that during the job. After the final inspection, we ask for the survey. [I tell clients,] we canÆt improve if we did something wrong. Everyone who had anything to do with the project sees it and signs off on it."
In addition to the 10 Commitments and the upfront attention to excellence, Mitchell, Best & Goldsborough has a process that shows clients the companyÆs commitment to quality. The company performs five inspections during a project. These are in addition to the building inspections that are done by the municipality. For example, the construction manager has a list of what makes an excellent framing job. He walks the project. "ItÆs more than just checking it off," Goldsborough says. "The list says if itÆs done right. ItÆs focused on quality." A copy of this checklist is then given to the homeowner. "We want to get the customer out of the process of watching us," he says.
The corporate culture of fully servicing the client has strengthened, Goldsborough says, because the management leads by example. "It comes from me and it comes from [our construction manager,]" he says. "The customer is our customer, and weÆre dedicated to giving them the best. WeÆre fair with the customer, and everybody in the company knows that."
For an application for the 2001 National Remodeling Quality Award competition, call (800) 638-8556, Ext. 714, or fax your request to (301) 249-0305.