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Greyhound Lines Inc.: Quality Management Initiatives

3277 words - 14 pages

Abstract

Greyhound is an intercity bus carrier serving over 3,800 destinations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1914, and taking the name The Greyhound Corporation in 1929, the company has been based in Dallas, Texas since 1987 (Greyhound, 2015). In 2007, Greyhound's parent company Laidlaw was purchased by British transit company FirstGroup, who agreed to take on Laidlaw's $700 million of debt. It may be assumed that Greyhound may have been committed to reducing this debt by initiating Lean management practices. For these reasons, it may be assumed that these Lean management practices may have negatively impacted the company’s ...view middle of the document...

Departmental Problems
Operations
Greyhound has been experiencing quality problems resulting from their on-time performance. Before, the acquisition, the company received several complaints of delayed schedules and missed connections (Thomas, 1995). After the acquisition, the company began to see improvements in their on-time performance; which they attributed to an ongoing introduction of new and refurbished coaches and improved processes. However, it is believed that these improvements would be challenged by natural phenomenon like severe weather. (First Group, 2015)
Greyhound has been experiencing quality problems resulting from the limited powers of local station managers. Currently, Greyhound operates under a centralized management. During holidays and inclement weather, Greyhound can experience fluctuations in the number of drivers and buses available at local stations. Due to a centralized management structure, local station managers must obtain permission from a remote management team in regards to the deployment of drivers and equipment. These actions can cause serious delays in departures and can create shortages in drivers and equipment.
Maintenance
Greyhound has been experiencing quality problems resulting from mechanics not following up on defects reported by drivers; causing road failures. Company and Federal regulations require drivers to document any defects they find with their equipment. These defects must be corrected before they cause road failures or other safety related problems.
In addition, the company has also been experiencing drivers not documenting defects; leaving other drivers and mechanics unaware of potential equipment problems.
Customer Service
Greyhound has been experiencing quality problems resulting from customers being forced to pay extra if they missed their bus. Before the acquisition, a Greyhound ticket purchased today would be valid for one year. This means that if a passenger missed his or her bus, that passenger could catch another schedule going to his or her destination at no charge. Currently, a ticket purchased today must be used today. If a passenger misses his or her schedule, that passenger must pay an additional $20 rescheduling fee (Greyhound, 2015).
Greyhound has been experiencing quality problems resulting from tickets being oversold; leaving stranded passengers. Although Greyhound has a policy of “first come first serve”, the company often fails to guarantee seating even for those passengers who paid for their tickets in advance (Greyhound, 2015). Overall, this reduces customer satisfaction which may lead to passengers migrating to other carriers that can guarantee seating (Reddit, 2014).
Literary Review
Deming' 88. Part 2: The 14 points revisited
This article discusses three themes on which Edward Deming laid great stress during his presentations in 1988. His three themes, Joy in work, Innovation, and Cooperation revisits the 14 Points. This article may be useful to Greyhound’s...

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