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AVIS NAMED WINNER OF AUSTRALIA'S 1992 NATIONAL QUALITY AWARD

 GARDEN CITY, N.Y., Nov. 17 ~PRNewswire~ -- Avis has been named by Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, as a 1992 winner of the prestigious Australian Quality Award (AQA). Citing speed, time saving service and the applications of state-of-the-art technology to the rent a car business as key considerations, the announcement was made simultaneously to an anxious group of applicants in various parts of Australia who were linked to Sydney via a satellite TV transmission. This is the first time that a tourism company has won the AQA. The AQA process is comparable to the U.S. Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.
 Gordon Howlett, regional vice president-Asia~Pacific accepted the award for Avis.
 "I am very proud of the people who work with me at Avis as I accept this award knowing full well that it would not have been possible without the efforts of each and every one of you," said Howlett as he addressed employees when receiving the award.
 "Over the next few hours and days as you celebrate this recognition, I also ask you to bear in mind the responsibility that goes with it -- that this is not the end of our effort but the beginning of a journey of sustained improvement in quality and customer service. Our customers will accept no less and I know that you will accept no less of yourselves."
 Avis Australia is a subsidiary of Avis, Inc., the worldwide car rental and travel service company, long known for "trying harder", to provide high quality service and technology. Avis, Inc. is active in the global quality movement. In the United States, Avis actively participates in the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award process and the company has received a site survey for the award in 1991 and 1992. In Europe, Avis Europe received a site survey for the European Quality Award, Europe's counterpart to the U.S. Malcolm Baldridge Award. These awards were developed to improve quality and efficiency through competition.
 "We're proud of what Avis Australia has been able to accomplish, something that we have yet to achieve in the U.S. and Avis Europe operations," said Joseph V. Vittoria, chairman and chief executive officer of Avis, Inc.
 "To be runner up in the Malcolm Baldridge and European Quality Award to world-class companies such as Rank Xerox, AT&T Universal card and Ritz Carlton is hardly a negative experience," said Vittoria. "The feedback we'll receive and the experience of competing in this arena are invaluable to any company who wishes to remain viable and competitive into the 21st century."
 In getting the site visit and winning the AQA, Avis was able to demonstrate continuous improvement in its standards, both internal quality assurance and measurement of customer satisfaction over the past three years. Avis accomplished this by focusing on two major areas of operations: technology and people.
 Avis Australia is part of the company's worldwide on-line Wizard reservation, rental and information system that provides world-class customer service benefits such as Avis Preferred Service, Avis Express, Roving Rapid Return and Shuttle Express.
 Avis' practice of total quality management in Australia is demonstrated by the adaptation of employee participation group (EPG) meetings that were created and are an integral part of the U.S. employee-owned parent company, Avis, Inc. operations. EPGs are monthly employee meeting that include employee and management representatives from all job categories throughout the company.
 Avis employees are empowered to act through the EPGs to improve customer service and productivity and in any way that they will feel will improve their company. Through a form of profit sharing called Employee Performance Participation Program (EPPP) Avis Australia employees can see the results of their efforts reflected in their pay checks.
 "Customers have always demanded more from Avis," said Howlett. "The recognition by the Australian Quality Council means that customers will now expect an even higher standard from Avis. We will have to improve our existing standards. Our quality assurance standards now are 95 percent compliance, but that jumps to 97 percent beginning Jan. 1, 1993."
 Four companies were awarded the 1992 AQA in two of the three award categories: Large Organizations, Subsidiaries and Divisions. There were no awards made in the Small Enterprises category this year. Avis shared the Large Organizations category honors with the National Road and Motorists' Association (NRMA).
 As cited in the application guidelines, the purpose of the AQA is to "...acknowledge outstanding achievements in the organization-wide implementation of the Quality culture and its direct link to productivity and international competitiveness."
 Qualification for an AQA requires submission of a 50 page application covering evidence of a company's commitment to quality and the continuing improvement of all processes and services, the degree of that commitment in day to day activities, and the contribution that quality improvement has made to the success of the organization.
 Six areas of evaluation and quality processes are covered in the application: Leadership; Policy and Planning; Information and Analysis; People; Customer Focus; and Quality of Process, Product and Service.
 After the applications are reviewed, qualified entrants are selected to receive a site visit from the award examiners to verify and clarify the contents of the application. Winners are then awarded based on both the application and the results of the site visit.
 All entrants receive a feed-back report assessing their organization's performance against the evaluation criteria which are designed to establish areas of improvement and opportunity for all entrants in the pursuit of quality goals.
 -0- 11~17~92
 ~CONTACT: Russell James of Avis, 516-222-4605~


CO: Avis, Inc. ST: New York IN: LEI SU:

TM -- NY097 -- 2113 11~17~92 19:21 EST
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Date:Nov 17, 1992
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