Based out of the United States, Delta Airlines operates both locally and internationally. Delta Airlines makes its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and situates its primary maintenance hangars at Tulsa International Airport. Delta Airlines works with British Airways to coordinate scheduling and fare services for its passengers, and competes against American Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. In terms of fleet size, income, and sheer volume of passengers, Delta Airlines enjoys the titles of one of the largest worldwide airlines. Since 1980, Delta Airlines has become trusted by more passengers due to its quality of service and employee, contrasted with other airlines, and this steady flow of customers has allowed it to enjoy steady growth. Delta Airlines is a leading competitor in the world of aeronautics.
A Customer Profile
Frequent travelers are most likely to patronize Delta, or those passengers that must ship cargo, which fits neatly with Delta’s offerings of varying services that include commercial flights, as well as cargo transportation. Cargo flights are usually within the continental United States, while commercial flights range from domestic to foreign, with direct corridors employed by Delta to countries like Japan, China, and France that are some of the most time-consuming express or direct flights in the world.
A Service Profile
Delta Airlines has began to enjoy a higher rate of popularity among its customer base due to its improved services. Delta offers free WiFi, tasty meals, craft beers and coffees, and healthy snacks to its passengers, served with an eye to the continuing comfort of its patrons. This commitment to service helps Delta to stand out from the airline crowd, and often brings back high rates of customer satisfaction. With the rise in passenger attendance, Delta has had the ability to purchase new airplanes, which in turn allows it to keep up an exemplary level of service while keeping flights comfortably populated.
Total Quality Management and Its Impact
Benchmarking with Major Competitors and Participants with an Eye Towards Quality
One of the biggest competitors for Delta Airlines is United-Continental, having won more recognition in the shape of awards and reviews from its patrons (Stolowy, Ding, ; Baker, 2003). United-Continental features as first in the airline industry, with Delta being a front-running contender. In response to United-Continental’s success, Delta determined that it needed to up its level of performance by a fair margin, and garner more employee satisfaction so as to keep morale at high levels, which translates to improved customer experience. While the Chief Executive kept employee satisfaction at high levels, a plan was formulated to raise the pay for employees, as well as rewards and bonuses, based on customer satisfaction with employee performance.
Investing in Employees to Maintain Quality of Services
Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Airlines, released a memo in 2013 that there was a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and company achievement in 2012. He went on to promise that Delta would continue to invest in its employees through on-time and better payment. Anderson also related that the company had spent upwards of $264 billion to stakeholders by including the workers as profit sharing kitties, as well as pay increases for workers. Delta also spent over $91 million in shared rewards for Delta employees. Grants in the Delta Care Fund totaled $1.2 million (Subcommittee, 2008).
Creating a Global Image
Delta hopes to expand its presence in the airline industry market by establishing footholds into major population centers throughout the world, by targeting regions that are more likely to have the economy to support commercial passenger flight. Delta strives to be able to maintain a global image by developing a worldwide network that allows it to maintain service levels, while keeping long-time customers happy and attracting new customers. By initiating mergers and partnerships, Delta utilizes a matrix management operation type that allows it to improve and expand operations, which can be strengthened by maintaining partnerships with new partners that have the clout to meet Delta’s needs. Delta shares a joint venture with Air France – KLM, which dominates the France route, allowing Delta to enjoy the advantage of having access to Air France’s customer networks. Delta has investments in GOL, Virgin Atlantic, and Aero-Mexico (Subcommittee, 2008), as well as having a strategic partnership and merger with Alaska Airlines, all while maintaining its partnership with China. By using friendly means to network, Delta enjoys a very wide presence on the world airline stage, with more revenue streaming in with each strategic partnership and merger.
Essentials of Quality Management
Fighting Business Recessions and Losses
Delta Airlines has demonstrated a very well honed instinct for coping with business threats in a strategic way. In 2005, Delta suffered through a bankruptcy, due to having to pay sky high fuel costs while charging low prices for flights. Because Delta could not expect to raise flight prices due to stiff competition from rivals, the business suffered a $20 billion loss, leading to a bankruptcy declaration in 2005 (Isidore, 2005). This was not a collapse, however; instead, Delta used the bankruptcy as impetus to set new recovery strategies.
After two years, Delta shed the brand of bankruptcy and announced new profits in 2007, showing that Delta was a force to be reckoned with. It wasn’t long before Delta began to make noise about purchasing Northwest Airlines, with an eye to showing the global stage that it was still a leading contender. As Delta/Northwest merged, it would be the largest airline in the world, which would in turn, through careful management and husbanding of resources, generate large amounts of revenue.
Improved Organization Structure
Delta Airlines has an external organization structure, which has helped to raise expansion and growth levels for the business’ revenue and cash flow. This rise in cash flow allowed Delta to increase capacity for incorporating new technology in its airline services, helping it to stand out from the crowd. By merging and engaging in worldwide partnerships, Delta has learned to incorporate new customer preferences, allowing it to remain attractive no matter the culture or society. In turn, this diversification has been enacted within the services and fleet of Delta, allowing it to impress customers enough to generate repeat business. Each merger opens new doors the world over, allowing Delta to expand its repertoire of customer accommodation even farther and enter into more opportunity explorations. CEO Anderson reported that, because of its initiative in seeking partnerships and expansion through merges with some of the largest companies in the world, Delta was able to increase its production and customer capacity. A partnership with these companies means more revenue from the wide range of customer networking (Sercer, 1975).
Projected Market Growth and Market Share Objectives
Under CEO Richard Anderson, Delta has earned many awards and recognition for its exemplary service and continual striving for improvements in the airline industry. Compared to other airlines’ performance, Delta had favorable onward and upwards movement in its quest to provide an awesome experience to its customers. Delta has the goals of continued hospitality exhibited by staff towards clients, maintenance of its cheerful, courteous, and helpful attitude to those selfsame clients, keeping the ambition of constantly keeping their performance better than rivals’, and rotating out small jets in favor of larger ones, and increasing revenue made while keeping all expenses as low as possible, including fuel (Davies, 1990).
Customer Expectations and Their Importance
Product, Services Offered, and Expectation of Customers
Delta Airlines offers baggage transportation for both domestic and international luggage. The airline also provides check-in services, allowing a customer to choose any option and have it respected and enacted. Delta offers and e-certificate program, which includes the giving of eCredits, eGifts, and other non-cash transactions and incentive programs. Delta Comfort, Delta One, and reasonably priced entertainment and meal services are all on offer for in flight services to customers. Delta also has societal institutions, such as Delta University and Delta Vacations, that keeps it in the public eye and attracts more customers and revenue, furthering its reputation.
Building Customer Satisfaction Through New Technology
Delta Airlines constantly improves its services through the use of cutting edge technology. With modern entertainment technologies to provide individual experiences, Delta continues to provide for its customers in a more than satisfactory level. By maintaining a sophisticated level of service, Delta guarantees its clients as relaxing and stress-free environment as possible, which, in turn, generates repeat and new clientele. By catering to customers’ needs to feel cutting edge, Delta ensures that the customer remembers every part of their trip with fondness.
Introducing new technology, both in the cabin, as well as in the form of new and more streamlined planes, will help Delta to keep its cutting edge image. While others rest on their laurels, Delta is constantly looking for new ways to improve customer and employee satisfaction, and it goes the extra mile to do so. By cross appraising commonly available technology and planes, Delta can use its rivals’ practices and come out ahead through taking the best of all worlds, which will help to counter any aggression exhibited by competitors.
Developing and Evaluating Strategies for Change
Improving Quality of Service to be Consistently Better than Competitors
Delta has always strove to be better than its competitors. It commits to ensuring customer and employee satisfaction by constantly evaluating the industry, and eyeballing any trends and changes to see if it needs to make any. By maintaining a record of completed flights and improvements in on-time arrivals, Delta met and exceeded client expectations, with even baggage handling being targeted with an eye to impressing customers, meaning that handlers would be encouraged and trained to always be courteous and polite to customers while handling their personal belongings. Delta stays true to its commitment to dedication and devotion in service to its customers.
Achievement for Their Strategies
The strategies that Delta has followed since its bankruptcy in 2005 have seen it rewarded with multitudes of awards and recognition for its outstanding performance. Delta often boasts that its strategies have helped it to see improvement in leaps and bounds, achieving and exceeding goals. Its strategies have seen customers flocking to its terminals, boosting profits to amazing heights. Delta received thirty-three awards in 2013, including awards given from the Secretary of Defense Freedom, a government branch. Delta’s improved service saw it have a reduction of thirty-seven percent in customer complaints.
Well-crafted and attainable goals helped Delta to achieve its greatness. CEO Richard Anderson has said that many Delta competitors were interested in emulating Delta’s achievements, in order to keep pace with the steamroller that Delta has become. Anderson promised to set higher bars for the competitors who would dare compete for the same position (Sercer, 1975). Anderson clearly indicated what methods he intended to employ to keep Delta ahead of its rivals.
Strategy of Mergers and Partnerships
Going from strength to strength, Delta made partnerships and mergers in order to have more doors open across the world. Airlines like Air France, GOL, Virgin Atlantic, and Aero-Mexico helped to give access to previously unattainable areas, allowing Delta to expand its profile to new client pools. Even its merger with Alaska Airlines was strategic, opening a door in the north to new custom.
Organizational Strategies Recommendations
Upgrading Its Technology
With the goal of expanding its customer base, Delta Airlines determined that it needed to assign teams to assess customer desires and expectations. The ultimate determination was to expand coverage for WiFi while in flight for all customers of Delta. Technological development of this nature would ensure that customers could enjoy their services and get their utmost expectations (Johnston & Clark, 2008). WiFi access can be used beyond the continental U.S., which would extend to customers within the bounds of the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean. By watching the ease of use metrics, Delta should be able to get a good idea of how happy its customers are with the range of the services.
Increasing International Ventures
By continuing to employ mergers and partnerships internationally, Delta Airlines should penetrate even further into foreign markets. Delta should keep an eye open for any means to capitalize on international openings, which would help the company maneuver into better positions on the international scene. By expanding internationally, Delta can use its contacts and expansions as a weapon, per se, against its competitors, by breaking into markets and establishing a foothold before others get there. In this way, Delta can set the bar almost un-attainable high, forcing competitors to start off on the wrong foot, or spend large quantities of money on upgrading their services to match what Delta offers.
All in all, Delta has done what it set out to do, which is to provide high quality service both domestically and internationally. By using savvy deals and mergers, Delta has attained a reputation for doing whatever is necessary to take care of its customers. With cutting edge technology, new jets, international contacts and markets, and the backing of some of the largest companies in the world, Delta is set to treat the world as its oyster, but it doesn’t let that go to its head. Instead, Delta maintains excellence in all of its dealings, and puts its customers and employees first. This promise of excellence ensures that Delta will be an airline of choice for a long, long time.