< PrevNext > Shawn Johnson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints support services director KPI Creator By Michael B. Baker / December 12, 2018 / Contact Reporter Share Johnson took hard data—such as on-time rankings, baggage handling performance and cancellation rates—and in tandem came up with a way to score airlines on more qualitative elements, such as how well airlines respond to travelers during irregular operations, what sort of benefits their frequent-flier programs offer and the quality of their sales teams. He factored all of that into standard metrics to create a new one: quality cost per mile and segment.Scott Gillespie, co-founder and managing partner of tClara and one of the consultants Johnson worked with in developing the metrics, this summer said the LDS Church program was the only one that "has really made substantial improvements to" standard airline metrics.The new metrics enabled Johnson to identify which airline partners were bringing value, allowing him to consolidate the travel program's list of partners. In turn, he's seen an uptick in satisfaction from his travelers. And airlines, knowing they are being measured beyond costs, have been more motivated to improve their product and service offerings for the church, he said.Of course, some airlines have been pushing to get quality recognized within travel programs for several years now. Delta, for example, led the U.S. industry in introducing its Edge reporting tool, as well as an operational guarantee that provides reimbursement should its performance drop below that of both of its key competitors, and other carriers have followed suit.Johnson, meanwhile, said his travel manager counterparts often are unsure how to start determining "quality" or how to get buy-in from internal stakeholders. "It has been helpful for us to be able to describe our journey and share ideas about how to overcome some of these challenges and concerns, and we have also learned a great deal from speaking to other organizations about how they might define quality, which has provided a platform to continually improve the effectiveness of our measures," Johnson said. "The typical response from most organizations, once they see the details of what we are doing and how we are doing it, is that they are surprised at the rigor of our measure and just how defensible and thorough it is. Hopefully, those we have met with have felt more empowered and equipped to start the process of tackling this initiative for themselves." Additionally, Johnson is looking to bring quality-measuring metrics to other parts of his travel program, such as "quality cost per average daily rate" for rental cars or "quality cost per night's stay" for hotels. "Those may not end up being exactly the measures that we will use moving forward, but we are moving in that direction," Johnson said.