Company plays its way to customer satisfaction

Dec. 13, 2005

Quality/Productivity Bingo, which uses the power of suggestion and incentives, improved shipping operations at Trico Manufacturing.

Trico Manufacturing Corp. needed to reduce the amount of its products being returned because of defects, assembly or shipping problems and order-processing errors. The provider of heat and friction-reducing products, such as mist coolant and microdispensing equipment, also wanted to boost the amount of customer orders it shipped within 24 hours of receiving the request. However, accomplishing these goals hinged on getting the Pewaukee, Wis., company's employees excited and involved in the project. Playing Bingo did the trick.

Larry Jurss, quality assurance manager at Trico, initiated the "game" called Quality/Productivity Bingo from The Gest Group ( As a result, the amount of returned goods dropped from 51 per month to 46, and products shipped within a 24-hour period jumped from 35 percent to 45 percent to often exceeding 90 percent.

Quality/Productivity Bingo is the brainchild of DeWayne Gest and consists of random drawings with custom card holders displayed in the workplace. Individual reusable playing cards serve as a promotional and educational tool and list quality-related terms in place of bingo numbers that enhance employee awareness of those terms.

The game works just like bingo but adds the power of suggestion and incentives. Numbers are drawn, and each employee has a chance to complete a row of numbers to win a prize or other type of incentive. Employers then draw additional numbers as "thank yous" for such things as special accomplishments, ISO certification, successful audits and the like. Ideas and suggestions can also win an employee a free bingo number.

Target areas/topics for Quality/Productivity Bingo include downtime, absenteeism, safety, defect reduction and more. The topics are virtually unlimited.