Creation of Customers’ Service Satisfaction forPWA Kabinburi Branch
Provincial Waterworks Authority

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
“Creation of Customers’ Service Satisfaction for PWA Kabinburi Branch” For the development of any country across the world in order to become developed ones, the first thing that has to be developed is the country’s infrastructure. Thailand is one of the developing countries which have given top priority to this issue for decades, aimed at its population’s well-being. The water supply is thus a first-ranking necessity which the Thai government has given importance and assigned 2 government agencies to take charge of this affair, namely, the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA), which is responsible of water supply in Bangkok and its 2 neighboring provinces of Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan, and the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA), which is in charge of the water supply business in the country’s 74 other provinces and supervises its 233 waterworks branches throughout the country. PWA Kabinburi branch is one of the branches under PWA’s supervision and responsible for the water supply service in Kabinburi district, Prachin Buri province, totaling 8,500 households or around 50,000 population. Based on a previous survey of Kabinburi waterworks’ customer service satisfaction and complaints on its services, conducted on a large number of Kabinburi branch’s customers or water consumers, it was found that there was often a delay in services, poor water quality, low-pressure water, and a few channels of communications between PWA and its customers. In addition, sometimes a solution to the problem in response to customers’ demand was delayed or not taken care of by PWA’s staff. The above shortcomings, if not corrected in time, would affect customers’ satisfaction of PWA’s operations and services, and negatively impact its image in terms of reliability and trustworthiness, causing damages on the economic growth and investment, and social problems to PWA’s service users and the general public in the service area. It has also been found that most problems occur within the organization (PWA Kabinburi branch) in respect of inefficient management system which was not improved and developed along with the rapidly changing economic and social growth, for instance, the inefficient water supply production process, degrading water treatment plants due to their old lives, obsolete work processes that did not live up to standard, staff’s lack of awareness of the responsibility and knowledge and skills, poor working environment unresponsive to sound services, old and out-of-date offices and unsystematic work process within the offices, all combined to cause a delay in providing services to customers or water users, which is not in compliance with PWA’s requirements and standards, finally resulting in ineffective services and staff’s conflicts in their work procedures, for example, staff’s requisitioning of supplies from stock, job command closure and solution to any problems, apart from affecting PWA’s operating income and its public relations work, making customers unable to understand PWA’s staff’s steps and procedures of work performance and causing dissatisfaction of services among customers and PWA’s disability to solve problems as anticipated.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Based on the structure of PWA Kabinburi branch’s management and administration, the branch manager is responsible for work administration consisting of 3 lines of work and having a section head taking charge of each section, namely, the production section head, services and non-revenue water control section head and administrative section head, all of which are in charge of the branch’s business management, under the supervision of branch manager, including proposing a guideline for the solution of any problem that the branch may encounter. Similarly, the staff of each section are implementators of work. In early 2012, staff of PWA Kabinburi branch studied problems they were confronted with in the previous years in respect of water production and service provision. Based on a study of data on such problems including problems of services faced by current PWA’s customers or water consumers, apart from a change in PWA’s policy on its organizational management in conformity with the newly defined strategy and vision intending PWA to be a universal leading agency providing the water supply with a high standard and excellent service, aimed at becoming a high-performance organization (HPO) in the near future, PWA Kabinburi branch has therefore defined a guideline and procedure for a solution to problems based on PWA’s new strategy in order to fulfill PWA’s Kabinburi branch’s established goal. Kabinburi branch then starts to make a SWOT analysis of itself first to find possible strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with an aim to define a guideline and find an appropriate option for the branch’s working process and mechanism, besides separating the responsibilities of the branch’s 3 sections in line with PWA’s defined strategy, which has assigned each PWA branch manager to define a guideline for the branch administration in a way that will lead it to an HPO in a few years. In this regard, the ‘10 S’ strategy is earmarked as a principal strategy while the organizational development plan with respect to creating satisfaction among PWA’s customers is used as a supplementary strategy of the operating guideline. In addition, the established water safety plan (WSP) project is applied as a standard water supply production tool through PWA’s manual for standard operating procedure (SOP), aimed at defining an operation control method through plan formulation and work implementation based on the plan, following up and controlling the water supply production system, including steadily making an evaluation of project implementation, and making a preventive plan by resorting to the quality control (QC) system for the water production process and service provision, intended for maintaining water standard and generating trustworthiness in PWA’s service. Likewise, the balanced scorecard (BSC) and competency concept has also been applied for controlling the management process and assessment of staff’s efficiency and potential based on the key performance index (KPI) as a main mechanism, in addition to generating motivation and loyalty to the agency among staff. After implementing this project of improvement of the branch’s performance for some time, it has been found that an accomplishment is derived and a concrete evaluation can be made through an independent and reliable agency (Third party)’s survey in 2012 on PWA Kabinburi branch’s customers’ satisfaction in services provided to them. It is found that 79.0 % of respondents of the survey were satisfied with the branch’s services, resulting in a good impact on the branch and other stakeholders.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Due to a lack of confidence and trustworthiness in its operation among customers, poor standard of the branch’s management, a shortage of staff’s commitment to the agency, and unsystematic services to customers, all damaging the branch’s image and inevitably negatively impacting its management and operators as a whole. All factors referred to above have inspired all PWA Kabinburi branch’s staff to initiate a project to improve its performance efficiency with a hope to make the branch reputation with a good image and systematic management in compliance with PWA’s policy and goal and in response to the need of all stakeholders to generate service satisfaction. With this in mind, the branch’s management team, particularly the manager, started to define a guideline for a solution to the problems by setting an order of priorities and focusing on the heart of the problems. In this connection, the branch has viewed that the production of clean and standard water in an amount sufficient to the demand of the public or water consumers in the service area is the highest priority and is the first problem to be solved, while other aspects of services, though significant, are less important than efficient water production.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
For a project on the creation of customers’ service satisfaction for PWA Kabinburi branch, the following tactics and management tools for improvements and changes have been defined. 1. The management technique of SWOT analysis has been applied to investigate the branch’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with an aim to define a guideline and mechanism for operational processes and an option appropriate to the branch, apart from separating the responsibility of each of the 3 branch sections determined by the branch’s manager and section heads based on PWA’s defined strategic plan, aimed at leading PWA to a sustainable high-performance organization (HPO) and effectively in response to customers’ need. 2. The branch has implemented the water safety plan (WSP) project, as a tool for the production of standard water supply, by writing a manual for standard operating procedure (SOP) aimed at defining a production control technique through formulating a work plan and implementing based on the defined plan, including following up the operation of and well maintaining the system so as to obtain continuous standard water supply production acceptable to all customers. 3. The quality control (QC) system has been used to control water quality in the water supply production process and service provision in order to maintain the water standard and generate confidence among customers. Besides, the balanced scorecard (BSC) and competency concept has been introduced for controlling the branch’s management process and evaluation of staff’s efficiency and potential, based on the key performance index (KPI) as a major mechanism, aimed at generating staff’s operating standard and a guideline for their work performance and operating consequence assessment indicators. 4. PWA Kabinburi branch’s main tactic of ’10 S’ is utilized in order to command service satisfaction among its customers and be a guideline for development and improvement of staff’s awareness of standard services. The tactic of ’10 S’ includes the following. 4.1 Smooth – All staff will retain their equanimity despite customers’ bad temper. 4.2 Smile – All staff will provide services with a smile on their faces. 4.3 Speak – All staff will speak sweetly and with a respect to customers. 4.4 Small – All staff will perform with humility or do not think that they are better or more important than other people. 4.5 Smart – All staff will have sound and stately personality. 4.6 Special – All staff will treat each customer as a special person. 4.7 Spirit – All staff are willing to listen to customers’ opinions. 4.8 Speed – All staff are prepared to provide a prompt service. 4.9 Super – All staff are firmly determined and ready to provide better services than customers anticipate. 4.10 Save – All staff are ready to save customers’ time and expenses during the latter’s service reception.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
For PWA Kabinburi branch’s work management, there are both direct and indirect stakeholders comprising people living in Kabinburi district, PWA’s customers or service users, the private sector or business persons and traders using water supply in their business transactions, NGO members responsible for the envirionment, the staff of the Department of Health, the Ministry of Public Health, and other agencies of both the public and the private sector. This is due to the fact that water is a significant and major factor influencing the different respects of the country’s development. In this regard, water sources used for water supply production are precious assets that have to be taken good care of by all parties concerned. PWA has to receive good cooperation from all stakeholders for mutual interests based on the mechanism of increasing the role in their responsibility to society and the environment and the collaboration of all parties concerned, leading to the development of a process generating sustainable mutual interests. PWA believes that the need of all stakeholders results in the accomplishment of the project to be implemented based on PWA’s Kabinburi branch’s defined plan. The people in Kabinburi district of Prachin Buri province directly benefit from this project since water is natural resources are valuable to them all and have to be taken good care of by them so that the amount of water will always be sufficient to everyone’s demand. This must be carried out without damaging or contaminating natural water sources, helping maximize the limited government budget and natural resources. Furthermore, the initiated project also helps develop knowledge and capability of personnel resources of both the government and private agencies concerned.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
PWA Kabinburi branch has implemented its solution to the problem of inefficient operation and management through use of the branch’s limited resources and generating worthwhile investment, compared to the benefits derived, in response to customers’ or water consumers’ service satisfaction while creating the branch’s good image and customers’ confidence in the branch’s performance. Resources used to implement the project include the following. 1. Finance or budget, It is a significant factor influencing an achievement of the project. Without a supportive budget, an implementation of the project would not have been possible. PWA Kabinburi branch’s budget increased by 3.94% in 2013, compared to 2012 but its operating income rose by 22.41% in 2013, compared to the previous year. 2. Techniques and tactics used, For the techniques and tactics used for the implementation of the project, they must be suitable to the branch’s limited existing resources, especially its budget. The techniques used to implement the project include the water safety plan (WSP), arranging for a manual on standard operating procedure (SOP), use of the quality control (QC) system to supervise and control the water quality in the process of water supply production and distribution, and use of the balanced scorecard (BSC) and competency principle for the branch’s management and operation aimed at an appraisal of staff’s efficiency and potential applying the key performance index (KPI) as a main mechanism. 3. Personnel resources, Personnel resources are a significant machine pushing forward the branch toward its success. Though there are operating budget, work plan, as well as techniques and tactics of implementation, without experienced and skilled personnel, it is not possible to fulfill the goal or target defined by PWA or Kabinburi branch. As a consequence, the branch has to continuously develop its staff’s knowledge, skill and capability by making a study trip to water production stations and treatment plants of other PWA branches, including studying their management techniques in order to share experiences and knowledge with those branches’ staff. In 2013, PWA Kabinburi branch’s staff consist of 17 members.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
For non-concrete output, which is a real-time learning from actual situations, and an experience which can’t be found in any textbook. For concrete outputs, they comprise the following. 1. The technique of SWOT analysis was applied to find Kabinburi branch’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats prior to project implementation, while a strategic plan appropriate to the branch’s limited resources was formulated, which led to the goal and target established. An economical budget could be allocated for project implementation. This was reflected in the branch’s operating income, which rose from Baht 16.87 million in 2012 to Baht 25.18 million in 2013, or 49.26%. 2. For an implementation of the water safety plan (WSP) in water supply production process through a manual on standard operating procedure (SOP) aimed at defining a controlling approach by formulating a work plan and implementing based on the defined plan so as to follow up the control of and maintain the production system, a standard water production is achieved throughout. 3. The quality control (QC) system has been utilized to control the quality of water in the water supply production and distribution process, and service provision in order to maintain the standard and generate confidence among all stakeholders, particularly consumers. 4. As to the supervision of the process of staff’s management and evaluation of their efficiency and potential using the balanced scorecard (BSC) and competency system based on key performance index (KPI) defined as a major mechanism, operating staff have an apparent guideline for their duty performance while the operating consequence can be concretely evaluated, creating equity within the branch. 5. Concerning the creation of service satisfaction among customers using the branch’s major tactic of ‘10 S’ as a supplement to the guideline for staff’s operation and improvement of service, it helps promote the branch’s good image in the eyes of customers or service users. The accomplishments referred to above have enabled PWA Kabinburi branch to produce water supply of WHO standards of 15 parameters defined in 3 aspects, namely, physical, chemical and bacterial aspects, with steadily increasing average water pressure between 2011 and 2013, which equals 7.7, 9.5 and 10.5 meters, respectively (PWA’s water pressure standard must be = or > 5 meters). Similarly, there has been no suspension of water distribution owing to leaking pipe or pipe burst for 2 years in a row, or in 2012 and 2013.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
PWA Kabinburi branch has defined a system of closely and contantly supervising and following up the project implementation, including formulating a preventive plan on maintaining the sustainability of the branch’s standard operation and service, which comprises the following details. 1. The quality control (QC) system has been used to control the quality of the water production and distribution process and service provision so as to maintain the water standard and create the confidence in service among customers, as defined in PWA’s requirements, including its corrective action when the production process and service provision do not go in accordance with the requirements, which means the damage or problem has taken place and will negatively affect consumers. 2. The balanced scorecard and competency system has been applied to supervise and control PWA’s management and staff’ and employees’ operation and evaluation on the efficiency and potential of performance based on the key performance index defined, apart from being a management tool which helps strategic implementation based on an effective measurement, generating solidarity and coherence within the organization and concentrating on the issues necessary for the agency’s achievements in order for steady and efficient services. 3. There has been a plan defined for following up and assessing the performance both at the organizational and branch level, compared to the monthly plan all the time, for instance, operating consequences and complaints from customers in each month, quarter and year, which definitely impacts PWA’s and branches’ management. 4. A preventive plan has been defined to develop PWA Kabinburi branch’s staff’s knowledge and skills and create the organization culture, aimed at raising the awareness on their love and commitment to the organization and service, including maintaining the organization’s interests through the training and development of staff with respect to services so that they have knowledge and skills necessary and relevant to their duties and responsibilities.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1. Prior to an achievement of the project, Kabinburi branch’s staff’s lack of knowledge and understanding of a guideline and tactic for a solution to problems they were confronted with was a major hindrance to project implementation. To solve this problem, the branch’s management convened a meeting to constantly generate an understanding among staff at least twice a month and applied the balanced scorecard and competency system to the supervision and control of staff’s assessment on their efficiency and potential based on the defined key performance index. 2. Previously, Kabinburi branch encountered the problem of maintaining water supply production standard and steady distribution of stable-pressure water due to its obsolete production system and dilapidated water treatment plants. To solve the problem, the branch attempted to make the most of its limited resources by setting an order of priorities, giving highest importance to customer services and using the quality control system to control the quality of water in the water supply production process and service provision with an aim to maintain a high standard and generate confidence among customers. 3. Due to a rapid economic growth in Kabinburi district stemming from a transfer of an industrial base to the area in compliance with the strategy, causing a rise in demand for water supply and a shortage of raw water for water supply production during the dry season. To solve the problem, the branch manager has convened a meeting of all parties concerned to find a guideline for a problem solution, after which there has been an agreement that the Provincial Irrigation Office will allocate water (Water quota) from Praprong reservoir, in the dry season each year, in the amount of 9,000 cubic meters per day, in order to relieve the hardship of getting raw water for water supply production.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Based on PWA Kabinburi branch’s implementation of the efficiency enhancement project, the achievement of its service improvement goal can be measured concretely and obviously, reflected in customers’ feedback in the branch’s survey on customers’ service satisfaction, which benefits the branch and all stakeholders as the following. 1. The branch has modern water production stations incurred by its water safety plan project, making the water supply quality live up to standard and the water distribution made with stable water pressure, meeting customers’ demand round the clock. 2. All stakeholders obtain a much better service and get satisfaction from it. PWA had hired an independent and reputable agency (Third party) to conduct a survey in 2012 and found that 79 % of respondents (PWA’s customers) were satisfied with the improved service. 3. The branch possesses a concrete and reliable monitoring and evaluation system. 4. Customers’ complaints regarding substandard water quality, low-pressure flow, and a delayed problem solution have significantly diminished, compared to the period prior to project implementation. There has been no complaint on water quality and low-pressure flow, resulting in PWA’ Kabinburi branch having its water supply quality passing all 15 parameters of WHO Standard defined in 3 aspects, namely, physical, chemical and bacterial aspects, with steadily increasing average water pressure of 7.7, 9.5 and 10.5 meters in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively (PWA’s water pressure standard must be = or > 5 meters. Furthermore, there has been no suspension of water distribution to the public due to leaking pipes or pipe bursts for two years in a row, or in 2012 and 2013. 5. The branch has a clean and modern office with a better standard of work system. Staff perform their work systematically and quickly besides having flexibility in their performance. 6. With regard to a work process, staff perform more systematically and have knowledge and skills relevant to their work, apart from having an awareness of their duties and commitment and loyalty to the branch, as well as more flexibility and swiftness in their services. Similarly, staff have morale, harmony and accord in their performance and are willing to save the branch’s time and expenses. 7. The branch has a much better image and is able to command confidence among its customers, while its operating income rises and operating consequences improved, which meet the branch target. The branch’s operating profit has increased from Baht 16.87 million in 2012 to Baht 25.18 million in 2013, or 49.26%. The branch has better image as well as more trust and confidence among its customers or water consumers, increasing more income for the branch while operating consequences meet the branch’s target. 8. Owing to its achievement, PWA Kabinburi branch has been awarded 2 outstanding PWA branch awards, comprising “The First Outstanding Customer Service Award for 2012” and “The Second Outstanding Operating Consequence Award for 2012”.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Based on its project implementation, PWA Kabinburi branch has generated sustainability and continuous development of the project introduced, which can be used as a model of performance for other PWA branches, while other government and private agencies may apply the branch’s devised activities to their performance in conformity with the following guidelines. 1. All PWA Kabinburi branch’s staff and employees are determined to provide customer service of the same standard, which is a strict implementation of the branch’s management policy (The tactic of ‘10 S’), with the awareness of “Our care is your care”. The branch’s operating consequences thus come out of staff’s mind in direct response to customers’ needs, while staff always recall that they will provide a better service. 2. There has been effective management of the branch’s service system, ranging from acknowledgement of customers’ demand and expectation, and systematic storage of customer data in database, to preparing for and improving service standards which are higher than ones imposed by PWA, and reducing steps and time of services so that they are compact, convenient and fast. 3. The branch always thinks of its customers by communicating with them every month through “Caring for others” project, in which the branch provides assistance to and helps solve problems of customers, apart from constantly investigating customers’ demand. 4. The branch has continuously made public relations with local agencies based on PWA’s policy of 3 circles of CSR (Corporate social responsibility), namely, within the home, around the home and outside the home. 5. The branch has made the effort to perform more accurately and quickly than the service standard defined by PWA, while having a service standard of its own. 6. Government agencies, local authorities, schools in the service area, as well as both large and small customers are all satisfied with the branch’s services, besides its assistance in various activities for those agencies. 7. The branch has solved the problem of no flow or low flow for areas located on the highland or at the end of water pipes, through raising its production capacity and water pressure. 8. The branch has paid much attention to the quality of water distributed to its customers by monitoring and presenting a certificate for sound drinking water quality in “Monitoring PWA’s drinking water for our brothers and sisters” project. 9. The branch has an access to its customers during the flood crisis in Kabinburi by providing an assistance to flood victims and distributing necessities to them, apart from providing a ceaseless water service. 10. The branch has a project on generating customer service satisfaction. In 2013, the branch has been awarded “Thailand Public Service Awards” for excellent service development.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The lesson learned from the project is that, for any management within an agency, the generation of framework and guideline for management has to take into consideration the overall issues, while all staff walk and perform together. Any change or adjustment within the agency will inevitably affect staff acting as operators since personnel resources are a driving force for any action. In case of a conflict or different opinions among staff, there would generally arise a discord, non-cooperation or resistance among them, resulting in a failure in any activity implementation and an unsuccessful goal. Therefore, it is very necessary to create an understanding among staff before an implementation of any project due to their different attitude, opinion and behavior. Some staff members may be selfish and think of only their own benefits without regard to the organization’s interests or development. Others have a strong determination but lack human relations in working with other people. Others have no working stance of their own because the old working culture has been transferred from generation to generation and so they are not ready to accept a change or new challenge, making it difficult for everyone to think in the same way and resulting in conflicts of opinions. As a consequence, for organizational management, it is extremely necessary to create an efficient and acceptable organizational culture in which leaders have to be a role model well accepted by their subordinates and treat the latter fairly and equally, apart from giving importance to all staff, whether they are executives, operators, janitors or gardeners, since all staff members in an organization contribute to its accomplishments. If all staff have a determination and accord to develop their organization and collaborate in their performance, it is certain that achievements can be made in any activity targeted for. Hence, the generation of motivation and relationships among staff is a key factor and theory that should be applied to organizational management because staff members all need advancement in their career beside a higher standard of living. So, working as a team will definitely bring a strength leading to achievements established as an agency’s goal, as a saying goes, “We have to create an inspiration to perform, not command to perform”. PWA Kabinburi branch’s success story has created a good image for it and is accepted by society and customers, apart from being used as a model for other PWA branches and local governments that want to study the branch’s management system in order to apply it to the development of their agencies, besides being a source of learning and knowledge for students of educational institutions of all levels.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Provincial Waterworks Authority
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Ms.Pimolluk Kasetkasem
Title:   Head of Management for Create Value Added Section  
Telephone/ Fax:   +(66) 2-551-8428/ +(66) 2-552-6031
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   72 Soi Chaengwattana 1 Chaengwattana Road
Postal Code:   10210
City:   Laksi District
State/Province:   Bangkok

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