Quantification and evaluation of customer travelling experience using quality management tools

Skuce, Emile (2011-12)

Final year project (BEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Technical Report

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: "There are approximately 3,9 million public transport commuters. The 2,5 million taxi commuters account for over 63 percent of public transport work trips, bus services account for another 22 percent of public transport commuters and the balance are carried to work by train." [arrivealive.co.za, June 2011]. This study was done in 2005, today there are much more train commuters. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA)/Metrorail Management in Maintenance Management is a newly established research team in the Department of Industrial Engineering. During an initial planning session, various projects were identified, many ideally suited for final-year projects. One such project is the quantification and evaluation of the experience of passengers onboard the PRASA coaches with the aim of improving quality. One of the mission statements of PRASA is to give their passengers an experience they will never forget. It is therefore important to PRASA management and staff to be able to quantify this experience. Not only is the comfort and service of importance, but also the reliability, adherence to schedules and overall safety. The current customer satisfaction index is around 66% and with different actions taken by PRASA it has not improved as much. The information from this project will be valuable to align all of the customer and coach aspects. During the project, a study of certain services within PRASA, to ultimately improve the overall efficiency of PRASA and its employees, at the customer levels will be undertaken. The project helped in determining the PRASA coach and service factors that are most important to the commuters and that require improvement. Firstly, the research and study of various techniques and principles used to evaluate customer experiences was done to ensure a successful collection, translation, and use of the collected data through surveys. It was required to determine all the boundaries of the project in order to work within the given scope. The study on surveys and questionnaires was done next, to understand all the principles, steps and procedures involved for a successful survey. A study on the use of a Quality Function Deployment (QFD) model and a scoring system was undertaken and used to ensure that the collected data from the surveys can be interpreted to relevant results and recommendations. For the most effective use of the results, the Pareto principle was studied and used to ensure that the best results on the improvement of the customer experience would come from the least amount of improvement features. Department of Industrial Engineering Page vi Whilst the survey was undertaken, various observations and comments from the commuters were noted. These observations and comments were further studied to retrieve additional information on the commuter experience and were used to give more relevant recommendations. Most of the observations and comments refer to the questions asked and the results obtained within the survey. Data verification was done, to ensure that the data collected from the survey are reliable and useable. It showed that the data is usable, without large margins of deviation. Next the data analysis was done, to get results and suggest recommendations to improve on the results. The results and recommendations of all the most important features, which were obtained by using the scoring system and the Pareto principle, of the coaches and service are given within the report. These most important aspects are; the timeliness of the coaches, the safety onboard the coaches and on the platforms against criminal offences, the cleanliness of the coaches, and no technical failures or train breakdowns. Most of these important aspects can be overcome if an effective maintenance plan is in place.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: "There are approximately 3,9 million public transport commuters. The 2,5 million taxi commuters account for over 63 percent of public transport work trips, bus services account for another 22 percent of public transport commuters and the balance are carried to work by train." [arrivealive.co.za, Junie 2011]. Hierdie studie is gedoen in 2005, vandag is daar veel meer trein pendelaars. Die Passenger Rail Agentskap van Suid-Afrika (PRASA)/Metrorail Leerstoel in die Instandhoudignsbestuur is 'n nuutgevestigde span in die Departement Bedryfsingenieurswese. Gedurende 'n aanvanklike beplanningsessie was verskeie projekte geïdentifiseer, baie van die projekte ideaal geskik vir finale-jaar projekte of skripsies. Een so 'n projek is die kwantifisering en evaluering van die ervaringe van die passasiers aan boord die PRASA waens, met die oog op verhoging van kwaliteit. Een van die missiestellings van PRASA is om hul passasiers 'n ervaring te gee wat hulle nooit sal vergeet nie. Dit is dus belangrik vir die PRASA bestuur en personeel om in staat te wees om hierdie ervaringe te kwantifiseer. Nie net is die gerief en diens van belang nie, maar ook die betroubaarheid van die waens, die nakoming van die treinskedules, en die algehele veiligheid van die passasiers. Die huidige tevredenheidsvlak van die kliënte is ongeveer 66% en die verskillende stappe en aksies wat deur PRASA geneem is om dit te verbeter, was nie suksesvol nie. Die inligting vervat in hierdie projek, sal waardevol wees om al die kliënte en waens aspekte in lyn te bring. Tydens die projek word die dienste van PRASA bestudeer, om uiteindelik die verbetering van die algehele doeltreffendheid van PRASA en sy werknemers op die kliëntevlak te bewerkstelling. Die projek het gehelp met die bepaling van die PRASA waens en diens faktore wat van belang is vir die pendelaars en wat verbetering vereis. Eerstens is navorsing en studie gedoen van verskeie tegnieke en beginsels, wat gebruik is om die ervarings van die kliënt te evalueer, om te verseker dat 'n suksesvolle versameling, vertaling, en gebruik van data, deur middel van opnames, effektief is. Dit was nodig om al die grense van die projek vas te stel om binne die gegewe opdrag te werk. ʼn Studie oor die effektiewe gebruik van opnames en vraelyste is gedoen om al die beginsels, stappe en prosedures, wat vir 'n suksesvolle opname belangrik is, te verstaan. Daarna is 'n studie oor die gebruik van 'n Kwaliteit Funksie Ontplooiing (QFD) model en 'n puntestelsel onderneem, wat gebruik was om te verseker dat die versamelde data van die opnames geïnterpreteer kan word om relevante resultate en aanbevelings te maak. Vir die mees effektiewe benutting van die resultate, was die Pareto beginsel bestudeer. Dit was gebruik om te verseker dat die beste resultate, vir die verbetering van die kliënte se ervarings, vanaf die kleinste hoeveelheid verbeteringe van die dienste en wa kenmerke sou kom. Terwyl die opname onderneem is, is verskeie waarnemings en kommentaar van die pendelaars opgemerk en genoteer. Hierdie waarnemings en kommentaar is verder bestudeer om bykomende inligting oor die pendelaars se ervaringe te verkry, en wat gebruik was om meer toepaslike aanbevelings te maak. Meeste van die waarnemings en kommentaar verwys na die vrae gevra in die opname en die resultate wat in die opname verkry is. Dataverifiëring is gedoen om te verseker dat die data wat versamel is uit die opname betroubaar en bruikbaar is. Dit het gewys dat die data wat gebruik is, sonder groot marges van afwyking, betroubaar is. Vervolgens was die data-analise gedoen, wat resultate gelewer het en waarop aanbevelings toegepas is om te verbeter op die resultate. Die resultate en aanbevelings van al die belangrikste kenmerke, wat deur die gebruik van die puntestelsel en die Pareto beginsel verkry is, van die waens en diens word in die verslag gedoen. Die belangrikste aspekte is; die tydigheid van die waens, die veiligheid aan boord die waens en op die platforms teen kriminele oortredings, die netheid van die waens, en geen tegniese falings of trein rit onderbrekings. Meeste van hierdie belangrike aspekte kan oorkom word indien 'n doeltreffende instandhoudingsplan in plek is. Gebaseer op die PRASA komitee en pendelaars se terugvoer en kommentaar, het PRASA 'n baie swak pendelaars tevredenheid en dit nodig is om te verbeter op hierdie en ander ernstige aksepte, soos uiteengesit in die aanbevelings. Vanuit die projek is dit bepaal dat daar geen rede is om die hipotese stelling te verwerp nie.

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