Many years ago I had the opportunity to visit the facilities of the Xerox Corporation in Rochester, New York and so for me today X is for Xerox. This is a proper noun , one of the few I may add, which has become a generic word for a copyrighted name and one which has become so well-known as to be used as a verb! “I’ll send you a Xerox” is as commonly heard as, ” I’ll Xerox this for you.”
Xerox was started some 75 years ago when Chester Carlson seventy-five years ago, Chester Carlson created an easier way to duplicate information on paper. Named “xerography,” his invention revolutionized how information is shared and, ultimately, how office work gets done. The process, like many others devised over the years by the Xerox Corporation has made our lives so much easier.
I went to Xerox primarily because they were a winner of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 1989. I was part of a group visiting to understand how they incorporated the best quality practices in their operations. The Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award was still relatively new in those days. We were impressed by the high emphasis paid to the quality of their processes. Many years have passed by since that visit, but there is one thing I still remember very distinctly. They had an excellent system by which the most successful of their sales force was brought in on deputation to train fresh salesmen before they hit the field. This enhanced the quality of inputs provided to the fresh salesmen. It also showed how much importance Xerox placed on training their personnel. Not many companies spare their best salesmen for training activity. Xerox did, with excellent results.
75 Things You Might Not Know About Xerox throws light on some of the astonishing achievements made by the company over the years.