NetJets joins Center for Operational Excellence

A company renowned for its customer service and rich history in Columbus is stepping up its commitment to process improvement by joining the Ohio State University Center for Operational Excellence.

netjetsColumbus-based NetJets Inc. formally joined COE in February, with Jennifer Barlette, NetJets’ director of strategic initiatives, serving as board member.

NetJets’ forerunner, Executive Jet Aviation, was founded in Columbus in 1964. Two decades later saw the rollout of NetJets’ signature operational model, where customers – instead of buying an entire private aircraft – can purchase “fractional ownership” of an aircraft for a specified number of hours per year. Billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett joined NetJets as a customer in 1995 and the rest is history: Berkshire bought the company only three years later, propelling it to new heights as the worldwide leader in private aviation.

Today, NetJets has 7,500 customers – dubbed “owners” – around the globe and its fleet of 700 aircraft fly to more than 4,000 airports in more than 160 countries.

NetJets isn’t a stranger to COE: Executives Rich Wrona and Patrick Gallagher headlined a February 2013 seminar, giving an inside look at the processes that fuel its best-in-class customer service. NetJets’ debut as a member of COE steps up an already strong commitment to excellence.

“Process improvement is a priority at NetJets,” said Mindy Drummond, SVP of Human Resources at NetJets. “Every day we strive to maintain our position as the industry leader and that takes discipline and a commitment to continuous improvement. By joining COE, we will be able to learn from and collaborate with other industry leaders, pushing each other forward.”

COE Executive Director Peg Pennington said the addition of NetJets to the center’s roster further grows opportunities all members have to share best practices.

“COE has seen exciting growth in service-sector membership in the last several years, and we’re thrilled to bring NetJets on board,” Pennington said.

Click here for a look at COE’s full membership roster.

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