Question

In the late 1970s, Kip Tindell (chairman and CEO), Garrett Boone (Chairman Emeritus), and John Mullen (architect) drew up plans for a first of a kind retail store specializing in storage solutions for both the home and the office. The vision that they created was realized when on July 1, 1978, the Container Store opened its doors in a small 1600-square-foot retail space in Dallas. The store was stocked with products that were devoted to simplifying people’s lives, such as commercial parts bins, wire drawers, mailboxes, milk crates, wire leaf burners, and many others. Some critics questioned whether a store selling “empty boxes” could survive. However, the concept took off, and in the past 33 years, the company has expanded coast to coast in the United States with stores in 49 locations. Now headquartered in Coppell, Texas, the Container Store has 4000 employees and annual revenues of over $650 million.
Besides their innovative product mix, some of the keys to the success of the Container Store are the enthusiasm with which their employees work, the care that employees give to the customer, and employee knowledge of their products. For 12 straight years, the Container Store has made Fortune magazine’s list of“100 Best Companies to Work For.”Generally rated in the top 40 of this list each year, the company was number 1 for the first two years that they applied for consideration.
Their current president, Melissa Reiff, credits the company’s devotion to recruiting and retaining a highly qualified workforce as one of the keys to its success. Company sources say that the Container Store offers more than 240 hours of formal training for full-time employees the first year of employment with the company and that this compares to about 8 hours of such training with other companies in the industry. According to company sources, the Container Store believes that their employees are their number one stakeholder and “The Container Store is an absolutely exhilarating and inspiring place to shop and an equally exciting place to work.”
In addition to innovative products and motivated employees, the Container Store has embraced a commitment to the environment. Chairman Emeritus Garrett Boone says that they firmly believe that there is no conflict between economic prosperity and environmental stewardship. The Container Company is embracing sustainability as a key to their economic future. As part of this effort, they sell eco-friendly products, use highly efficient HVAC units in their stores and warehouses, sponsor an employee purchase program for compact fluorescent lights, are switching from neon to LED lighting in all exterior signage, and offer an employee battery and light bulb recycling program.

Discussion
1. Among other things, the Container Store has grown and flourished because of strong customer relationships, which include listening to customer needs, containing products that meet customer needs, having salespeople who understand both customer needs and the products, and creating a store environment that is customer friendly both in layout and in culture. Suppose company management wants to formally measure customer satisfaction at least once a year and develops a brief survey that includes the following four questions. Suppose that the survey was administered to 115 customers with the following results. Use techniques presented in this chapter to analyze the data to estimate the population responses to these questions.


2. The Container Store is well known as a great company to work for. In addition, company management states that their employee is their number one stakeholder. Suppose in spite of their history as an employee-friendly company, management wants to measure employee satisfaction this year to determine if they are maintaining this culture. A researcher is hired by the company who randomly selects 21 employees and asks them to complete a satisfaction survey under the supervision of an independent testing organization. As part of this survey, employees are asked to respond to questions by providing a score of from 0 to 50 along a continuous scale, where 0 denotes no satisfaction and 50 denotes the utmost satisfaction. Assume that the data are normally distributed in the population. The questions and the results of the survey are shown below. Analyze the results by using techniques from this chapter. Discuss yourfindings.


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  • CreatedFebruary 19, 2015
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