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clearly with each other in the development of this exciting new service that hasproven to be highly valued by customers and an important source of growth andprofitability for Yellow.Service ImprovementYellow Transportation also used blueprinting to assess and improve itsexisting services. Although YRC has recently acquired a number of competingtruck transportation companies and has expanded its operations into China, itscore service remains ground transportation of less-than-truckload shipmentswithin the domestic USA. Early on, one of the innovative steps that the com-pany took on the path from worst to first was to carefully examine its core ser-vice by gathering input for how to improve the core service from both itsbusiness customers and its employees (including its 20,000 teamster truck dri-vers). A core service blueprint was created to examine how basic ground deliv-ery service worked and where there might be opportunities for improvement.Some of the most significant initial insights came in visualizing and recognizingthe importance of the “driver touch points.” The teamsters were really the “faceof Yellow” to its customers, so every time they interacted with the customerrepresented an opportunity to build loyalty and reinforce the Yellow brand.Changes in technology infrastructure, training, uniforms, and other aspects ofdriver support resulted from visualizing and communicating about the core ser-vice in this way. Through the core service blueprint, it also became very appar-ent how critical internal customer service, terminal personnel, and sales teamswere in directly supporting the company’s value proposition and core servicedelivery. Everyone could see their roles in the blueprint, and logical changes andimprovements ensued.Integrating a Customer Focus Across Sales, Operations, and Customer ServiceUltimately, YRC used blueprinting in a formalized way to inspire corpo-rate-wide change directed at integrating customer focus across the organization.Yellow recognized that despite its significant progress and awards, the companywas still operations-driven in many of its decisions and that a stronger customerand service orientation was needed. Working with the Center for Services Lead-ership at Arizona State University, Yellow formalized the use of blueprintingthrough executive and leadership training programs across sales, operations, andcustomer service functions. Initially, top management, all the way to the CEO
were taken through service blueprinting training workshops to guarantee thatthe method and its terminology were understood at the highest levels of thecompany. Then, in groups of fifty to sixty at a time, company executives andmanagers participated in workshops to first learn blueprinting and then apply itin small teams to specific, real challenges that the company faced. For example,one group of sixty addressed issues related to “missed pick-ups,” a perennial