When it comes to maintenance, quality isn't defined by the tools or the facility. Rather, quality is a product of the people who perform the work. Few companies understand that concept better than Duncan Aviation Inc. Specializing in business-aircraft maintenance, Duncan knows its reputation hinges on its employees. Consequently, when Duncan approached Mitchell Mauk of Mauk Design Inc. to design the firm's exhibit for the 1986 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) show, employees were the axis around which all other ideas revolved.
The 20-by-40-foot exhibit for NBAA 1986 featured four metal pillars, which held eight photographs of Duncan employees. Meanwhile, a black aluminum tower featured the Duncan logo along with metallic-gold signatures of each of the company's 350 employees.
Up With People
For 30 years, Duncan Aviation Inc.'s exhibits at the National Business Aviation Association show have shined a bright light on the company's employees. From photo-adorned pillars and walls to an overhead element featuring 2,200 pictures, the employee-centric focus helped to convey the quality of the company's workers who watch over clients' aircraft.
In 1995, Duncan challenged Mauk to fit 760 employees into a 30-by-40-foot space. Duncan also wanted to incorporate its tagline "Experts in the Art of Time Management." Thus, the 1995 NBAA exhibit housed a 100-foot-long wall with photos of all of the company's employees and a 4-by-15-foot wall of etched glass that bore the time-management tagline and 60 12-inch-diameter clocks.
By 2005, Duncan's staff had grown from 760 employees to 2,200. Mauk's solution was a cloud-filled canopy featuring 5-by-7-inch employee photos, which communicated the message that Duncan's workers are constantly watching over their clients' aircraft.
What's the secret to Duncan's consistency? "These designs are exceptional because of the continued emphasis on employees," said one Exhibit Design Awards judge. "Each conveys this message in simple, sophisticated ways."