Ford Dealership Earns Highest Quality Award in the Country
Don Chalmers Ford in Albuquerque, N.M. is one of only four businesses to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Car dealerships have a bad rep for many things, but typically for choosing profits over morals. Don Chalmers Ford is different from most dealerships. According to a report by the Albuquerque Journal, the Ford dealership received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which is one of the highest awards a dealership can earn at national level.
Don Chalmers sadly passed away three years ago, but sources say that obtaining the achievement was his main and only goal throughout his entire career. “We started with a design and a vision,” stated Don Chalmers Ford President Gary Housley. “Don was a big believer in quality.”
Pushing quality first has paid off for the dealership, as it recorded $126 million in gross sales in 2015. And the award, which is an incredible achievement, was only given to three other businesses that year.
Winning the Malcolm Baldrige Award is an excruciating process. The award was established in 1987, and is currently managed by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in cooperation with the private sector.
The process starts at the state level, where the dealership was required to submit a 50-page application to Quality New Mexico, a non-profit organization that handles the Quality Awards for the state. A “Zia Award” is given to companies that only receive the highest marks. Don Chalmers Ford received the aforementioned award in 2005.
After receiving a “Zia Award,” businesses are then required to send an application in to NIST for review, where a panel of judges examines the application and grades it against the Malcolm Baldrige Framework. The framework involves a variety of items, including workplace safety and cybersecurity. Receiving enough points ends in a site visit from NIST volunteer inspectors.
The tedious process doesn’t end there, though, as inspectors are required to submit a report to NIST judges. The judges then select a winner in each of the following categories: service company, manufacturing, healthcare, education, small business, and non-profit. Don Chalmers Ford won in the small business category, and became the first domestic car dealership to receive the Malcolm Baldrige Award.
Housley ties the prestigious award to the happiness of his employees. The dealership currently employs 182 people and has a 71.4 percent employee retention rate. That figures makes the national average for non-luxury car dealerships look pitiful at just 26 percent.
Clearly, if you’re interested in a Ford and live close to Don Chalmers Ford, it’s the prime location to purchase a vehicle. Heck, even if you live a few hours away, it may be worth the drive!
Story and photos via:[Albuquerque Journal]