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Results with Baldrige in Small Business

(links are to organization profiles)

Integrated Project Management Company, Inc.

  • Integrated Project Management’s total annual revenue increased by 62 percent over the four years preceding its 2018 Baldrige Award, while the ratio of annual revenue per consultant outperformed a national comparison by 50 percent. 
  • The company’s ability to pay short- and long-term obligations was four times greater than industry comparisons, as it boasts a current ratio of 6.1 in 2018, outperforming the benchmark of 1.5. Over the preceding five years, the company’s debt-to-equity ratio (of 0.2) also outperformed the industry average (of 2.2) for the same period.
  • Demonstrating the company’s success in retaining clients while building new business, its revenue from existing clients has increased for several years, for example, growing at a rate of 4.1 percent in 2017 while revenue for new clients grew 22 percent that year.

Bristol Tennessee Essential Services

  • As of 2017, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services offered the fastest Internet available in the United States at 10 Gigabits per second, while outperforming regional, industry, and best-in-class comparisons for service reliability as measured by outage minutes per customer.
  • The utility company implemented operational efficiencies that saved its customers approximately $70 million over the 40 years preceding its 2017 Baldrige Award, contributing to high customer satisfaction.
  • With 68 employees serving 33,000 customers in 2017, the company achieved a workforce retention rate of 100 percent, beating the industry benchmark of 91 percent and the national industry average of 82 percent. The percentage of employees with perfect attendance, a measure of engagement, reached about 75 percent, compared to the industry average of about 20 percent.

Stellar Solutions

  • Stellar was named a Great Place to Work by Fortune magazine in 2017, as well as in the previous three years leading to its Baldrige Award. At the same time, it ranked above the 95th percentile compared to Great Place to Work benchmarks for its employees’ satisfaction with benefits; perceptions of a good working environment; and perceptions of feeling physically, psychologically, and emotionally healthy at work.
  • Customer surveys for each of the four years preceding the company’s 2017 Baldrige Award revealed that 100 percent of respondents would recommend it to others. Customer satisfaction scores for those surveys averaged 4.7 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 4 indicating “Very Satisfied” and 5, “Extremely Satisfied.”
  • The rate of annual revenue growth for Stellar over the four years preceding its Baldrige Award increased from 1.18 percent to 6.81 percent, despite constraints in government funding that the company identified as a key business challenge.

Don Chalmers Ford

  • Don Chalmers Ford has received the President’s Award—the highest national recognition for customer satisfaction and market share available to Ford dealerships—13 times over the last 17 years. This feat has only been accomplished by 4 percent of domestic Ford dealerships.
  • Don Chalmers Ford’s total sales volume increased from $109 million in 2012 to $126 million in 2015. Total dealership gross profit increased by 13 percent during the same period, with the percentage of gross profit growth in 2015 exceeding Ford’s national benchmark level by 8.4 percent.
  • New employees at Don Chalmers Ford (DCF) are mentored by senior leaders and work with the general manager using the firm’s “How I Connect” guide that aligns each individual’s role to the company’s core values and to delivering the “DCF Experience.” This has helped the dealership increase its retention rate for sales consultants from 56.3 percent in 2011 to 71.4 percent in 2015, which is significantly higher than the national average of 26 percent for non-luxury brand dealerships.

Momentum Group

  • In support of its core value of “bettering the world around us,” Momentum Group was the first in its industry to offer a full textile product line of reduced environmental impact fabrics. A forerunner in the research, testing, and introduction of innovative, sustainable and environmentally friendly materials in coated fabrics, Momentum Group’s unique products include Naked Nylon®, the first recycled and recyclable nylon textile; and Silica, a revolutionary sustainable alternative to traditional vinyl with no polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
  • In just over two decades, Momentum Group’s sales have grown more than 400 percent and outperformed the industry for 19 years out of the 22 that the firm has been in business.
  • Momentum Group has invested in process upgrades that have reduced sample production time by 50 percent and improved sample yield per yard by 20 percent.


  • Over the past 11 years, MidwayUSA has been one of the fastest-growing firms in the outdoor and recreational sport equipment industry, sustaining a 43.8 percent average annual growth rate in net income and a 21.3 percent average annual growth rate in gross sales.
  • Midway USA’s customer satisfaction rate has exceeded 90 percent since 2006, compared to the Bizrate (comparison online shopping site) customer satisfaction rate of just over 90% and the 86 percent satisfaction rate of the company’s #1 overall competitor, Amazon, for the past two years.
  • MidwayUSA’s customer retention rate of 52 percent compares favorably to the Forrester Research’s benchmark rate of 40 percent.
  • The rate of satisfaction and engagement of MidwayUSA employees improved from 76 percent in 2004 to 84 percent in 2015.

MESA Products, Inc.

  • From 2006 to 2012, MESA more than doubled in size, demonstrating a growth rate during this period that exceeded that of its closest competitor by almost 40 percent.
  • MESA's entry into new markets created more than $26 million of annual revenue over a nine-year period leading to its 2012 Baldrige Award. This small business (which also won a Baldrige Award in 2006) increased its profitability as a percentage of its revenue from 5 percent to more than 10 percent from 2006 to 2012.
  • MESA led its competitors in customer satisfaction, outperforming its closest competitor in 20 out of 20 performance attributes in 2012 and resulting in an industry benchmark placement in the top 1 percent that year.
  • Employees share in MESA's financial success through a profit-sharing program that has provided individuals with cash distributions of between 7 percent and 15 percent of their annual compensation.

Freese & Nichols, Inc.

  • Freese and Nichols achieved revenue growth between 12 and 16 percent over the four years leading to its 2010 Baldrige Award, exceeding the industry benchmark by 10 percentage points in 2009.
  • With total revenues of $80 million in 2010, this small business remained profitable while the rest of the engineering industry saw minimal growth and modest profit over the preceding four years.
  • This company's debt-to-equity ratio decreased 6 percent over the four years leading to its Baldrige Award, reaching 3 percent, compared to the industry benchmark of 8 percent.
  • Freese and Nichols also demonstrated a strong ability to build long-term client relationships, retaining 42 percent of its key accounts for more than 30 years and 71 percent for more than 10 years.

K&N Management

  • In sales, K&N Management's restaurants significantly outperformed local competitors and national chains in the years leading to the small business's 2010 Baldrige Award. Its total revenues that year reached approximately $50 million.
  • Gross profit for Rudy's "Country Store" & Bar-B-Q exceeded the industry standard of 40 percent in every year from 2001 to 2010, reaching nearly 47 percent in 2010. Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes exceeded the industry standard starting in 2008, with a gross profit of 44 percent in 2010.
  • In 2009 alone, K&N Management added approximately 100 jobs to its area market, employing 450 people in 2010.
  • For K&N restaurants of both concepts, guests rated their satisfaction with food quality, hospitality, cleanliness, speed of service, and value at least 4.7 on a 5-point scale, outperforming the best competitor. Overall guest satisfaction ratings are over 4.7 for both, also beating the best competitor.

Studer Group

  • Key innovations helped this small business grow its annualized revenue from less than $5 million during the period from 1999 to 2001 to $45 million in the year preceding its 2010 Baldrige Award.
  • Studer Group's revenues grew more than 30 percent annually from 2001 to 2010, exceeding the Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF) average of 10 percent annual growth.
  • Studer Group's customer satisfaction ratings from 2006 to 2010 ranged from 4.6 to 4.9 on a 5-point scale, exceeding the Service Performance Insight (SPI) Best Benchmark of 4.3.
  • Studer Group was named as one of the "Top 25 Best Small Companies to Work for in America" by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Great Places to Work Institute in 2008, 2009, and 2010.


Baldrige Excellence Framework
Testimonials From Small Business
Baldrige Case Study


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Created February 23, 2010, Updated November 15, 2019