Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
Dr. Bruce Kintz
President and Chief Executive Officer
Public Affairs Contact:
Manager of Corporate Communications
Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the St. Louis, Mo.-based publishing arm of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). CPH was founded in 1869 to provide members of the LCMS with Christian ministry resources for worship, education, and nurturing of their faith. Today, the company provides over 8,000 products in a variety of formats and languages. CPH has a workforce of 247 employees and revenues of $35 million.
Overall customer satisfaction scores are at 98 percent plus, exceeding levels set forth by the annual Purdue University Benchmark Study of U.S. Call Centers.
CPH’s Customer Call Center—ranked as a “Center of Excellence” by Purdue University in 2009, 2010, and 2011—provides same-day response to customers through separate phone queues for product lines, multilingual customer representatives, and e-mail contacts.
CPH uses Voice-of-the-Customer (VOC) procedures to gather input from customers for compliments, product ideas, and complaints. Core Product Teams analyze customer data, prioritize product/service offerings, and design products to meet customer requirements and exceed their expectations.
CPH uses technology to support the building of customer relationships, provide superior customer service, and facilitate product development. Through the Center for Client Retention, CPH addresses market shifts in loyalty by collecting and analyzing data from customers of competitors, and then categorizing sales and customer trends in more than 50 different ways to identify relationships between certain products sales and types of customers.
The Emerging Products team explores the use of state-of-the-art technologies to deliver new and innovative products such as eBooks, iPhone/iPad releases, church management software, and Web-based curriculum builders that can be customized. The number of electronic products (eProducts) offered by CPH increased from 457 in 2008 to 1,927 in 2010.
Over a four-year period, CPH customers consistently spent two times more per church member than the customers of a primary competitor.
CPH continues its success despite difficult times for the publishing industry. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization as a percentage of net sales were at plus-5 percent in 2010 compared with the minus-10 percent recorded in the same year by other comparable church publishers.
The annual planning process at CPH is continuously improved through multiple review cycles that engage both management and employees.
Employee personal goals are aligned with their department and corporate goals through the CPH’s Goal Keeper System. Employee accomplishments, communications with management, and performance reviews are documented by the Goal Keeper, which, in turn, supports the company’s pay-for-performance workforce system.
The CPH resource allocation system protects financial resources for current and emerging product development by setting minimum unrestricted cash balances and investment reserves. This allows CPH the financial resource flexibility to create and invest in new products or products that support the mission of the church but otherwise may not be financially viable.
CPH’s Vendor Certification Program rates vendor performance at bronze, silver, and gold levels for metrics such as product quality, timeliness of delivery, and overall performance. Scores are shared with vendors semi-annually; immediate feedback is provided to acknowledge excellent performance or document problems. The percentage of vendors moving from bronze to silver level has nearly doubled since 2009 and the number of gold vendors has been consistent at 70 percent since 2009.
In CPH’s distribution area,the company’s“Pick-to-Light” packing system yields a 99.85 percent accuracy level for orders shipped.
CPH encourages work process improvement through numerous initiatives, including training employees as Baldrige Examiners and/or continuous quality improvement (CQI) representatives within their departments. The total number of Examiners and CQI representatives has increased from about 10 in 2008 to almost 50 in 2011 in an organization with just under 250 employees.
CPH was named among the ”Best Christian Workplaces in the United States” in 2009, 2010, and 2011 by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute, a research-based organizational development and human resources corporation.
Workforce satisfaction with senior leaders has been above the AAIM (formerly known as the American Association of Industrial Management for Employers Association) national benchmark since 2007.
Overall workforce engagement has exceeded the AAIM benchmark in 7 out of 8 categories for the past three cycles.
CPH focuses on improving the workplace environment in four areas: safety, health, security, and mission engagement.
The Employee Activity Committee sponsors monthly fun events, including a “CPH 500” mimicking the Daytona 500 but with model race cars, “Cardinal Day” when employees can wear St. Louis Cardinals apparel, and “Washers” (a game of skill similar to horseshoes) tournaments.