A study on the quality of service provided by a testing laboratory

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

A study on the quality of service provided by a testing laboratory


Author: Lee, Kai-wei
Title: A study on the quality of service provided by a testing laboratory
Year: 1999
Subject: Laboratories -- China -- Hong Kong -- Quality control -- Case studies
Quality assurance -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Institute of Textiles and Clothing
Pages: x, 127 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1484657
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/243
Abstract: The study described hereinafter was to examine the service quality provided by a testing laboratory in Hong Kong, and to establish a strategy for the improvement of the laboratory system. In this study, the organization was internally and externally examined by means of conducting a System Review and the use of the Customer Questionnaire Survey technique to determine the customers' expectations. In both investigations the results were categorized into three areas of test categories, namely: Chemical, Physical and Field Group test categories. This allowed a more accurate analysis of the results. In the system review the laboratory system was examined starting with the test analysis of construction samples right through to the despatchment of test reports during the period from January to June 1997. The study provided an extensive picture of the internal performance of the organization and an opportunity for the employees to discuss the common problems encountered in their work. The results indicated clearly that there were inconsistencies in the service quality provided to clients and improvements must be made to increase customer satisfaction. In particular, improvements should be aimed at reducing the number of days taken for the computer processing and despatchment of test reports for both the Physical and Field Group test categories, where results indicated that they performed the poorer of the three test categories. By contrast, the organization was examined externally with the use of Customer Questionnaire Survey technique. Firstly, the service attributes considered relevant to the industry was identified with the help of Gavin's 'Eight Dimensions of Quality.' Then twenty-one quality statements were formed based on the service attributes. A modified version of the SERVQUAL Model was used in the design of the Customer Questionnaire Survey and in the analysis of the results. Once again the findings indicated deficiencies in the service quality provided to clients. In the service attributes identified, Conformance and Performance were considered by customers as the most important attributes in determining their expectations. However, the results indicated that it is these areas that the organization scored the weakest in, especially in the Physical and Field Group test categories. The study led to the conclusion that improvement must be made to increase the consistency of the service quality provide by the organization, hence increase customer satisfaction. The service quality improvement strategy considered appropriate for this organization is a combination of TQM and Continuous Improvement. Finally, in order for the improvement strategy to be implemented effectively it must be supported by quality elements like leadership, education and training, communication, and reward and recognition.

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