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MESA 2020

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
2020 Award Recipient, Small Business

MESA 2020 Baldrige Award Recipient in Small Business employee working steel pipelines to prevent corrosion.
Credit: MESA

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Highest-Ranking Official*

Terry May
President and Owner  

Public Affairs Contact

*At time of award


For more information
https://www.mesaproducts.com

    MESA provides products and services to control or prevent corrosion and/or to maintain the structural integrity of assets, which are primarily steel pipelines, storage, and processing facilities supporting the nation’s energy infrastructure. Products and services are mostly related to an electrochemical form of corrosion control called cathodic protection (CP). With 2019 revenue of $90 million and a workforce of 260 employees, MESA is headquartered in Tulsa, OK.

    This is the third Baldrige Award for MESA; the company was a 2006 and 2012 recipient in the small business category.


    Highlights

    • New market growth has increased from $14 million in 2018 to $16 million in 2019. MESA’s cumulative growth relative to competitors has improved 40% over five years, with growth outpacing five separate competitors.
    • MESA’s overall revenue per employee has exceeded multiple benchmarks since 2016, improving from about $320,000 in 2014 to $370,000 in 2019, nearly $100,000 more than a competitive benchmark. 
    • MESA has retained 100% of key customers in its Services segment since 2018 and 97% of key customers in its Materials segment from 2017 to 2019.
    • Matching the Great Places to Work 90th percentile benchmark, 95% of MESA’s employees agreed that the safety culture was a top organizational priority.
    • Average customer satisfaction for services has trended at more than 4.5 out of 5 since 2017. 

    Leadership with Results

    • MESA cultivates a family-like, community culture called ONEMESA, in which the workforce views success as a single team working closely together with integrity. That approach embodies servant-based leadership principles while focusing the organization on profitability and excellence; employees can share in the profits, and the workforce is supported in being entrepreneurial.
    • Since 2017, according to Employee Engagement Survey results, more than 85% of the workforce feel that they are part of a team and MESA has a culture of integrity. Other survey results exceed benchmarks for “I am contributing to MESA’s Purpose” and “There is a culture of respect.” 
    • The Purpose, Principle, and Path statements (mission, vision, and values) are reviewed annually by senior leaders and communicated through multiple methods. In 2017, Rules of Engagement were adopted to emphasize personal accountability and reinforce a team-based attitude. 
    • Results from the 2020 Employee Engagement Survey show that 90% of the workforce recognizes safety as part of MESA’s culture. The objective of world-class safety is woven into the MESA culture and supports the Purpose to deliver safe, innovative solutions for the protection of people, property, and the planet. Every work process is embedded with a safety focus and a priority to protect the public and MESA’s employees, and every meeting starts with a safety moment. Safety is an identified workforce, subcontractor, and customer requirement. A safety team is responsible for creating preventive programs and tracking leading indicators. 
    • In addition to an open-door policy, senior leaders commit to the Code of Conduct and Standards of Behavior and promote these values during town halls, performance appraisals, and other forms of communication. Employee engagement surveys, supplier satisfaction surveys, voice-of-the-customer gathering methods, and bi-annual performance reviews incorporate opportunities for learning through feedback.
    • As a strategic priority, diversity and inclusion are embedded in MESA’s culture, workforce and leadership processes and polices, and actions. Cycles of learning led to Principle Moment discussions at meetings, and a diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiative led to changes in communication styles and awareness of the importance of D&I conversations to shape the desired culture. 
    • To ensure responsible governance, MESA uses its 6D process framework (a strategy development process and software tool) to integrate and deploy its Purpose, Path, and Principles across the organization, as well as ensure their alignment with the Vital Few Objectives: World-Class Safety, Exceptional Customer Experience, World-Class Performance, being a Great Place to Work, and Opportunistic Growth. The 6D process is also used to ensure that the core competencies meet strategic objectives and address the organization’s threats and weaknesses. 
    • Reinforcing its principle of valuing people, MESA responded quickly to the COVID pandemic by offering a Pandemic Bonus, Pandemic Pay Program, and generous leave options, as well as committing to no layoffs. Senior leaders prioritized workforce safety by providing transparent communication; implementing temperature checks and mask requirements; providing guidance for safe practices; deploying personal protective equipment crew kits; and making values-based decisions while balancing the needs of the business, the workforce, customers, and communities.
    • • Relationship building is woven into MESA’s culture through a focus on its principles of valuing people and working as a team and its objectives of exceptional customer experience and long-term relationships. Workforce actions are aligned to the needs of key customers, and methods to build customer relationships are proactive and measurable. Relationship building includes engaging suppliers who are vetted and integrated as members of the crew. 

    Financial Results

    • New market growth has increased from $14 million in 2018 to $16 million in 2019. MESA’s cumulative growth relative to competitors has improved 40% over five years, with growth outpacing five separate competitors.
    • Identifying and taking intelligent risks in new markets has produced over $250 million in revenue from 2009 to 2018. As it has grown, MESA has maintained a trusting, key, banking relationship, showing positive trends for six years in its line of credit growth.
    • MESA’s long-term market growth has increased almost 5,950% since 1980, compared to U.S. gross domestic product growth of 850%. Short-term market growth has improved almost 150% from 2008 to 2019; in 2017, industry growth was at just about 2%. 
    • Overall revenue has continuously grown nearly $30 million since 2015, with base revenue reaching $90 million in 2019. The small business has achieved a 10% average revenue growth since embarking on its Baldrige journey in 2002. 
    • Materials revenue has shown consistent growth from under $30 million in 2016 to $40 million in 2019. In addition, MESA’s return on equity of more than 10% in 2019 has outperformed major industry competitors since 2016. 

    Customers with Results 

    • Average customer satisfaction for services has trended at more than 4.5 out of 5 since 2017. Customer satisfaction correlated with engagement for services and materials has been sustained at 100% from 2017 through 2019, exceeding competitor benchmarks since 2015. MESA’s 2019 customer satisfaction index rating outperformed the American Customer Satisfaction Index benchmark by 15%. 
    • An on-time rate for service deliverables has been maintained at 100% for the years of 2017, 2019, and 2020 (year to date [YTD]), with a slight dip to 98% in 2018. 
    • MESA has retained 100% of key customers in its Services segment since 2018 and 97% of key customers in its Materials segment from 2017 to 2019. Revenue from Materials’ key customers has improved from $20 million in 2016 to nearly $35 million in 2019. The percentage of revenue from Materials’ key customers also increased from 70% in 2016 to 80% in 2019. 

    Workforce with Results

    • Despite an increasingly challenging labor market, days to fill open positions have consistently stayed around 40 since 2015, dropping to about 30 days in 2019, outperforming a small business Baldrige Award recipient benchmark. 
    • Hires from referrals—an indicator of workforce engagement—improved from 16% in 2015 to 41% in 2019, exceeding national, competitor, and small business Baldrige Award recipient benchmarks.
    • In 2020, 80% of MESA’s workforce reported satisfaction with the health benefits provided. In 2019, 97% of employees participated in a 401(k), an 11% increase from 2018.
    • Matching the Great Places to Work 90th percentile benchmark, 95% of MESA’s employees agreed that the safety culture was a top organizational priority in 2019. In addition, in 2020, 94% of employees considered themselves highly engaged, exceeding the TLF loyalty benchmark by 24%, and 90% considered themselves highly satisfied, surpassing the TLF satisfaction mean by 22%. (TLF is a customer research firm based in the United Kingdom.)
    • Since 2014, in overall workforce retention, MESA has exceeded industry competitors and benchmarks, including the benchmark for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2020 (YTD), MESA retained 78% of its workforce, a 3% increase from 2019.

    Operations with Results

    • MESA’s total recordable incident rate is significantly better than the construction industry comparison. MESA outperforms the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics rate from 2013 to 2017 and in 2019 is equal to the top performer in a North American trade industry survey.
    • MESA’s rate of five material inventory turns in 2018 outperforms a small business Baldrige Award recipient. In addition, cost of quality and total non-conformance reports show a five-year improving trend.
    • MESA’s overall revenue per employee has exceeded multiple benchmarks since 2016, improving from about $320,000 in 2014 to $370,000 in 2019, nearly $100,000 more than a competitive benchmark. This level exceeds the Society for Human Resource Management benchmark of just over $300,000 in 2017. 

    Citizenship with Results

    • MESA supports its key communities, such as NACE International, as well as state and national quality programs, through corporate sponsorships; hosting classes; and leadership at local, regional, and national levels, including board service. Senior leaders participate in industry associations, while employees support industry endeavors by attending conferences and training. MESA matches employees’ charitable donations and uses a defined process to vet sponsorship of employee passion projects. 
    • Community support contributions have exceeded $35,000 annually since 2013. A premier sponsor for more than 25 years, MESA contributes $12,500 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation annually; in 2017, 2018, and 2019, MESA met its fundraising goals and was able to send children with life-threatening illness to either Disney World or a Disney cruise. Since 2015, MESA has also contributed more than $6,000 annually to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In support of employee-matching projects, MESA funded 10 national organizations, in addition to contributing $150,000 to the NACE Foundation. Employees serve in leadership roles on ten charitable or professional boards. 

    Strategic Planning

    • The strategic planning model, which incorporates short- and long-term planning horizons, facilitates organization-wide deployment and alignment to the Vital Few Objectives with related measures and targets. Frequently reviewed and updated, this process allows for flexibility to address the need for transformational change, prioritization of change initiatives, and organizational agility.
    • Annual, quarterly, and weekly 6D planning meetings are consistently used to review organizational performance to goals. MESA uses findings from performance reviews and key comparative data to project the organization’s future performance. Measures along with rolling targets for VFOs (strategic objectives) are cascaded to managers as appropriate through the 6D. Progress on these measures and targets are regularly reviewed, and operational or customer issues have driven new solutions and learning, such as new wire types and electronic dashboards. 
    • Multiple sources of data shared on electronic dashboards—including the capacity viewer for Manufacturing, the business bingo dashboard for Support Services, and Salesforce—inform the identification of initiatives at the organization and operational unit levels, enhancing MESA’s ability to execute its strategic plan. 

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    Created November 16, 2020, Updated April 14, 2021