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Last Update: Tuesday June 18, 2019

Key Idea: Measure Customer And Employee Satisfaction

The people part of every business has two components:  there are customers and there are employees. Knowing how all of these people feel is critical to your success. 

Key Question:


Ask customers what they think on a regular basis.

Q:  How  does Dale find out what customers and employees think of Texas Nameplate?

A:  He hires an outside group to run surveys.

Q:  What problems did the survey reveal regarding employee satisfaction?

A:   Employees felt there were not enough focused business communications between people in the company. They felt that they just came to work, did their job, and never knew what was going on with others -- especially with Dale.

Dale responded by offering everyone in the company a course in listening skills and he started the all-company monthly meeting.

Q:   Why do you think the meeting is so effective?

A: Dale demonstrates that he is committed to the task of getting people to talk to each other and to providing the opportunity for the departments to "show and tell." Everything stops one Thursday a month at noon time and people get together. Just being in the same room creates an esprit de corps. When any one employee receives recognition it is very motivational for everyone.

Think about it

Do you know what customers and employees think about  you and the company?

Clip from: Texas Nameplate


Dallas, Texas: Dale Crownover took Texas Nameplate from being just another print shop to become the first small business to be given the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. You will find their nameplates are on virtually everything. They print those specialized labels that out last the item to which it is attached. And because of quality controls, this group is the international supplier to the world's largest companies.

When he went to Washington to receive the Baldrige, the other two winners, Boeing and Solar Turbines, and all DC bureaucrats listened in awe; this man talked about the essence of quality, family and this nation's charter to achieve and to always do better.

We can all learn from Dale and his people. Yet, they did not stop working at it;  and six years later, they received the award again!
You will quickly see that this is an extraordinary work force. When we first taped this episode of the show, nobody including Dale had a college degree and some employees had just received their high school diploma. Notwithstanding, here you learn how they make world-class products and reap plenty of profits.

Oh yes, today, Dale and others have earned a college degree.

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Texas Nameplate

Dale Crownover, Owner

1900 E. Ervay
Dallas, TX 75215

Visit our web site:

Office: 2144288341

Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Measure Customer And Employee Satisfaction

DALE: Really, I hate to admit it, but I got a concern about the future. Very competitive -- the nameplate industry -- everything is very competitive, and I knew that we had to do something. I was concerned with my education and my background, and I think that somebody's going to overtake us. I got involved with a business plan. I needed to look at a lot of factors, and when I got involved with this quality thing, it was something that I felt like that even I could understand. And it was exciting and it dealt with people, and I knew we had good people. I knew I could portray this image to them.

The criteria which we have applied with our people is that you don't focus on results. And a lot of people want to jump into results. We look at approach and we looked at your deployment. If you work on the right approach, and you execute that properly, you will get the results.

HATTIE: So it's almost like saying, `Don't look at this, look at this and make this right.'

DALE: That's what happens. You will see even in our process of making nameplates, when it gets to the final--to the shipping, we do not have to inspect them. They have to just weigh them because the process, as you said, has been in control. And we looked at it from the front end, our approach on whatever process has been fully executed, and we know we had the result.

Customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. You have to have both. We survey, through third party, both our customers and our employees.

It seemed like a lot of the--our people felt like we were not communicating properly. And as a result of that, at a local consortium, Hogan Institute, we're sending a lot of our people to a four-day training on effective listening skills. In fact, even myself, I'm going.

Well, I hate to admit it, but that was one of my biggest problems because I...

HATTIE: Oh, all the employees went, `He doesn't listen.'

DALE: Yeah. Well, unfortunately, a guy in my position, you tend to not listen to people. And I'm trying. I'm learning that you need to listen and you can learn a lot from these people.

Unidentified Man #3: I want to commend everybody on another big month...

HATTIE: Each month, this company has a meeting everyone attends.

Man #3: ...excellent month again.

DALE: Our monthly meetings we started it about two and a half years ago, and we have never missed a meeting.

Man #2: If you get a product and it's up to you to process it and turn it to your next department, if that product does not meet your requirements, we need you to stop, OK? We need you to stop it, need you to call me, need you to call your supervisor or whoever, and we need to go back and we need to address what it takes to get that part out properly.

DALE: For a small business like us to shut down for 45 minutes to an hour, it is a very big expense, but I've never complained about it because it's very worthy. It does a lot for people. You go around these people and they feel like they're a part of the process.

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