We began to focus on Volkswagen (VW) when our son joined them a few years ago. We quickly discovered that one of their goals was to be the No. 1 automobile manufacturer in the world. We never have understood why companies would set a certain sales level as their goal, and we have watched as two great car companies with this same goal fell on difficult times. To our pleasant surprise, there was more to the story. We had an opportunity to hear a presentation by Tom Loafman, VW Director of USA Purchasing, who referred to VW’s four “pillars” (you could call them goals or strategies). The company’s first goal was to be the world leader in customer satisfaction, as measured by J.D. Power. Second on the list was attaining annual vehicle sales of 10,000,000. Third (which may be my favorite) was to become the top employer; Tom went on to say that if you were to interview the “man on the street” (say, in Chattanooga), they wanted him to say VW is the best place to work. Finally, the fourth pillar was to achieve earnings before tax of 8 percent. We thought, “Eureka! Someone is focused on profits!”
Can you articulate your goals as clearly as VW does?