Monday, August 8, 2011

Mimeo Level of Service

The July/August edition of Inc. magazine contains an article entitled No Time To Spare.  This article describes the operations of a printing company called, Mimeo.

"It was already late afternoon when the call came in...a client needed 250 financial analyst presentations...printed and delivered to a conference in Houston by 8 a.m. the next day. The problem: The content for the books wasn't ready yet. And the client wouldn't be able to send the information until 11 p.m.

When it became clear that the order wouldn't be done in time for FedEx's cutoff for overnight delivery, Mimeo's employees scrambled to book a private plane...Mimeo's employees worked into the night, printing and assembling the books. At 2 a.m., they drove the boxes of books to an airport in Memphis and loaded them onto the plane, which landed in Houston with just two hours to spare."

One may expect this from a small company trying to get the big client, or maybe a once in a business occurrence, but for Mimeo, this is normal operating procedures.  Customer service is king.  The client is happy to pay extra for this service, and Mimeo is happy to do this (even sometimes taking a loss for this type of service).

The fire service should strive for this mind set.  How can we best serve the community?  Perhaps, if we went above and beyond more often, operated outside of our normal job descriptions, the communities we serve may not fight so hard to cut our budgets and benefits.  Perhaps, they would even be happy to pay a little (or a lot?) extra for "all we do".