Business Strategy – BAD 4013 – SUMMER 1999 Case Study Southwest Airlines I. Strategic Profile and Case Analysis Purpose The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit. Twenty-seven years ago, Rolling King, owner of floundering commuter airline, and Herb Kelleher, King’s lawyer, got together and decided to start a different kind of airline that would provide a short-haul, low-fair, high-frequency, point-to-point service in the United States. The company began service on June 18, 1971 with flights between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio (“The Golden Triangle” as Herb called it). Southwest Airlines is the fourth
When Herb Kelleher and Rollin King founded Southwest Airlines in 1971, their mission stated the “dedication of the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit” (Smith, 2012). With that mission in mind, Herb Keller and Rollin King managed to make Southwest the only profitable airline in the United States (Smith, 2012). Southwest’s mission is not the only reason why the airline continues to grow. Without the way, Herb Kelleher former CEO of Southwest, had developed a particular leadership style, power base, and a set way the organization motivates its’ work force, the company would not be as successful as it is
Southwest Airlines is a major US airline established in 1967 that services a multitude of cities in all 50 states and beyond. The company is known for its outstanding quality in providing services and it 's cost effective ticket prices to its many passengers throughout the nation. This airline is based in the southwestern United States, in the city of Dallas Texas, and due to the tremendous number of airplanes that it has and the timely service that it provides to its passengers, this airline services more US passengers than any other airline. This airline also has the largest fleet of planes of any economical or low-cost airline service in the world and employees more than 45,000.
At Southwest Airlines, the company’s business strategy has a positive effect on the training they provide to their employees. Southwest Airlines is a Texas based airline that started up in 1971 (Corporate Fact Sheet). Over the years the airline has been recognized for its outstanding customer service and its low airfare fees. Due to their excellent customer service, the company has been ranked number one in customer satisfaction in 2013 by the U.S Department of Transportation. In. 2015, Southwest airlines was recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award. The reason that Southwest airlines is recognized for all these great things is because they obtain a good organizational control over the airline.
Southwest had an edge over its competitors because of its people and their people management. The culture practiced at Southwest ensured progress towards their primary goal of customer service and low cost. The HR programs at Southwest were based on the preserving the values and special culture of Southwest Airlines (SWA).
Southwest Airlines was formed in 1967 by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher and started service in June of 1971. The airline is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and originally operated flights within the state of Texas. The company has since expanded and now operates flights from Dallas to almost all major cities in the United States and is considered the largest low-cost carrier in the country. “Southwest seeks to offer a travel product that is built around flights targeted to specific demographics and ticket pricing that is simplified so that passengers know
Southwest Airlines Co., established in 1971 by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher, began its operations with only three Boeing 737 aircrafts. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas(Hawkins, Misra, & Tang, 2012). Southwest is well known as one of the largest low-cost carriers. With this strategy, the company has dramatically grown up and deeply rooted in the US airline industry. Now, Southwest Airlines Co. operates 633 aircrafts to 93 domestic cities and the highest number of passengers used Southwest Airlines to fly around U.S in Jan 2014 (Hawkins, Misra, & Tang, 2012). To accomplish more than 40th consecutive years of both profitability and competitiveness, Southwest Airlines Company is constantly trying to find the routes to differentiate itself from other domestic carriers (Hawkins, Misra, & Tang, 2012).
Southwest Airlines Co. began its operations in 1971 and has been serving the industry for the past 43 years now (Southwest Airlines, n.d.). It is the major domestic airline, and ranked number one in 2014 by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (United States Department of Transportation, 2014). Back in 1971 the airline began its services in Texas in the cities of Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. The company has been ranked as the nation's largest low cost carrier (Mergent, 2012). It offers the lowest fares, and has the lowest cost structure in the industry.
Southwest Airlines' strong organizational culture is reflected in its mission statement "dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit" (Southwest, 2012). Southwest serves not only as a prime example of a company that excels in customer service and profitability, but as one that has utilized employee development as a means to meet these ends. Southwest makes a strong commitment to foster ongoing relationships with human resources. They demand that their employees are responsible members, however
During the rapid globalization, being one of the topmost and sustainable airlines is not easy due to the highly competitive airlines industry. Southwest Airlines, founded by Rolling King, Herbert Kelleher, and Lamar Muse in 1967, is considered a very long history of success following its goal that emphasizes on customers’ satisfaction. The key of organizational success relies on human value of Southwest CEO, managers, and employees who try to help each other in order to reach the customers’ best service because these people are the major factors to justify their own images that represent their organization. Furthermore, Southwest has motivated its employees to be more creative and improvable by allowing suitable norms and
The five universal competitive plans include overall low-cost provider strategy, broad differentiation strategy, focused low-cost strategy, focused differentiation strategy and best cost provider strategy (Bethel, 2017). Southwest Airlines popular competitive strategy is keeping customers happy by being low cost, employee driven, future-minded, and differentiated. The overall low-cost provider strategy that is being used at Southwest is a low-cost airline that focuses on no-frills service (Investopedia, 2015). Southwest Airlines diligently follows the strategy of a differentiated low-cost carrier. [They do this by providing the lowest possible fare in the industry, and do so by focusing on consistent service, reliable operations,
Southwest Airlines (SWA) maintained a low-cost, low-price and no frills strategy. The small Texas carrier began as a concept, its business plan detailed on a cocktail napkin in 1971 and grew into the nation’s fourth largest airline. Known as an innovator with low operating costs, dominating smaller airports, with a humorous customer service, SWA saw its 40th profitable year in 2013. Like all companies, SWA underwent leadership changes in 2001, and said goodbye to the company’s founder in 2008. Unfortunately, the changes in leadership were not the only changes; the organization proceeded to alter their beliefs and activities.
Southwest Airlines: Culture, Values and Operating Practices (in Thompson, A. A., Strickland. A. J. and Gamble, J. (2005) Crafting and Executing Strategy (Fourteenth Edition), McGraw-Hill, New York, pages C-636– C-664).
Southwest Airlines was incorporated in 1967 and founded by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher. However, due to lawsuits, Southwest was unable to fly their first commercial flight until 1971. Southwest founded their business on the quote: "If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly yourairline5." Southwest focused on a point-to- point operational system and a low cost pricing strategy that is currently used today. The organization is very centralized due to its point to point emphasis. The centralization of the company requires very strategic route utilization. The company for instance, selects routes to airports with low competition and overall traffic. This allows the company to be more price competitive as competitors are reluctant to venture into less travelled routes. In order to make decisions regarding these routes a centralized organizational structure is warranted. In addition to the centralized organizational structure of Southwest, many committees, teams, and task forces are designed with the sole purpose of reducing waste and cost control. The airline industry is predicated on cost containment, particular those related to fuel and other commodity prices. Task forces are designed with the purpose of providing a sustainable means of reducing costs without a corresponding decline in customer experience. The centralized
Southwest Airlines was created in the late 1960’s by a businessperson Rolling King, and law school graduate Herb Kelleher, who sought a faster travel time between Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas (Dess, et al., 2014, p. C137). After overcoming all of the antagonism and legal problems of many major airlines, Southwest was able to take its first flight in 1971 (Dess, et al., 2014, p.C137). With a dedication and will power to grow the company, King and Kelleher sought out ways to increase growth.