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Measuring Customer Perceptions: A Follow Up Collaborative Project Conducted By Students For A Midwest Trucking Company

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Manufacturing Capstone and Design Projects

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1041.1 - 12.1041.12



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Paper Authors

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Sorraya Khiewnavawongsa Purdue University

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Kathryne Newton Purdue University

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Edie Schmidt Purdue University

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Patrick Green Purdue University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Companies are recognizing the benefits of working with universities on a variety of collaborative projects. The benefits, however, accrue to more than just the companies. The students, faculty, and companies all benefit from such partnerships, educationally and economically. 1, 5 The purpose of this paper is to share the results of a follow-up study with an industry partner, and to validate the benefit of collaboration between educational institute and industry. The first study was implemented in 2005 to identify customer perceptions related to key success factors for the trucking industry in general and the company in particular. The survey was conducted by Purdue University senior and graduate students, and was designed to collect customer responses rating a combination of qualitative and quantitative questions.

This study is the follow-up project of the previous study.6 For consistency, the methodology used to conduct the survey was similar to the previous study. Although some survey questions were adapted, the questions used to rate performance were kept the same as the first to allow for comparison of results. The survey was completed by telephone interview, fax, and email, and descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. This paper describes the process that was used to develop the survey and the methodology used to implement the survey. It also describes the advantages the company gained from the previous project in improving the operation and customer service.

The results of this study will be shown to verify that the company has improved their operation and customer service in efforts to improve customer satisfaction. The comparison of results of the two studies will be shown in graphic format. This paper will also delineate the benefits of the project; both the educational institute and industry partner have benefited from the collaboration.



In spring 2005, a Purdue University graduate course conducted a project for a trucking company in the Midwest. Recently, the management team at the company was more concerned about customer service. They realized that service was becoming more important in the trucking industry. Therefore, they initiated a project aiming at improving their customer services by conducting a survey from current customers. They preferred that the survey be conducted by a third party, which are likely to be impartial because they have no stake in the results. At the same time, a company had close contact with a faculty member at Purdue University. Faculty of the Industrial Technology Department at Purdue University brought students in several classes to the plant for a tour of operations. After that, the company contacted faculty in Purdue University seeking possible assistance with small project; this was how the collaboration started.

Simultaneously, Purdue University offered a graduate level course titled Global Supply Chain Management. Celadon’s administrator had an agreement with a faculty member to let students in this class be responsible for this project. About the second week of the semester, one of a company’s administrators visited a class and introduced a company. He explained what the

Khiewnavawongsa, S., & Newton, K., & Schmidt, E., & Green, P. (2007, June), Measuring Customer Perceptions: A Follow Up Collaborative Project Conducted By Students For A Midwest Trucking Company Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2469

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