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  1. 1. 1198 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF MAINTENANCE CONTRACTORS IN ROYAL MILITARY AIR FORCE: EXPLORING THE GAP Mohd Mukhlis Jaya Bin Abdullah and MaimunahSapri Collaborative Real Estate Solution (CRES) Faculty of Geoinformation and Real Estate Universiti Teknologi Malaysia mukhlisj@jkr.gov.my and maimunahsapri@utm.my Abstract Measuring service performance is one of the major issues within public or goverment office. The attributes of customer expectation and the level of service quality is still the issues of face for the public building. However, the demand from the client keep changing even the buildings is old. This paper present the research output that derived from the study of old Royal Military Air Force Complex (RMAF) that constructed in early eighties and started it facility maintenance work since 1986. The scope involves maintenance of office and residential buildings; infrastructures, electrical and mechanical utilities and hangars. The client of RMAF has emphasized on providing a good living condition to its personnel which in turn could lead to increase in productivity and organisational performance. A new maintenance scheme was introduced where contractors was appointed for a term to carry out the maintenance works. This paper aims to assess the contractor service quality performance by using SERVQUAL approach that deal with the perceptions and expectations of the client. This approach was adopted in order to measure and analysed the service quality gap of maintenance contractors for RMAF. The paper outline the outcome of the research and identified the weaknesses of maintenance contractors. The findings providing a basis of decision in addressing the shortfall of the service quality. In addition, recommendation for improvement on the maintenance scheme executed in Royal Military Air Force Airbase are proposed. Key words: Service Quality, Performance Measurement, Maintenance, facilities, service ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1.Introduction Globally, asset and facilities are built to provide services to the public. Assets which comprise of infrastructures such as roads, water reticulation system, electrical and mechanical system; and buildings are constructed by local and private sectors to provide public services to enrich modern civilizations. Over the time, these asset and facilities will be subjected to wear and tear and their condition will
  2. 2. 1199 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my deterioriate. Hence, maintenance has become an important component in Asset and FacilityManagement.A proper maintenance program would prolong asset and facilities functional life span. Leong, K.C. (2004) states that maintenance is the process by which these assets are maintained so that their condition remains at a level that allows them to continue providing the service for which there were designed. Maintenance will ensure the services provided through asset and facilities are maintained at the highest level and confirming with all safety and health standard. Public confidence will be obtained and preserved thus providing a good living conditionPlease provides some literatute on maintenance. The strategic thinking of achieving a good living environment through a good facility maintenance to enhance the producitivity coincide with the statement made by Heidi and Nils (2007) cited from Wireman, (2004):“ The way facilities maintenance is conducted effects the effectiveness of user organisations and increase productivity and well being of their employees – and through that the financial performance of the user organisation”. Within the public building maintenance literature, it is apparent that there is a little research has been carried out that focus on the effect of good maintenance program and service quality. Myeda et. al (2011) citing from Natasha claims that in Malaysia context, the government is yet to implemement any guidelines for maintenanace management and also the performance management of the system applied. Therefore, maintenance agents or companies from both the public and private sectors have no systematic guidelines to be followed and no specific compliance to be adhered to in order to deliver the best possible service. The purpose of this paper is to measure the performance of maintenance contractors. The Public Works Department (PWD) located in the Royal Military Air Force (RMAF) Airbase, Subang, Selangor is the responsible goverment agency tasked to provide facilities maintenance. PWD embarked on a new maintenance scheme to provide acustomer eccentric services which will lead to higher level of service quality and greater customer satisfaction. This paper aims to evaluate and assess the service quality performance of appointed maintenance contractors under the new maintenance scheme The paper starts with a brief introduction on service quality in general and in the facility management context. It will then proceed to relate how service quality contributes to the increase in productivity. Subsequently this paper will look into the measurement of service quality through performance of maintenance contractors. This result or findings form the opinion that performance measurement of maintenance contractors can determine the level of service quality received by the public. Shorfalls and weakness of service delivery can be identified and recommendations and proper actions can be taken to address the problems thus improving the maintenance scheme 2. Service Quality Service quality is a concept that has aroused considerable interest and debate in the research literature because of the difficulties in both defining it and measuring it with no overall consesus emerging either
  3. 3. 1200 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my (Parasuraman et al., Lewis and Mitchell 1990; Dotchin and Oakland, 1994a, 1994b; Gaster, 1995; Asubonetng et al.,1996; Wisniewski, 2001). There are anumber of “definitions” as to what is meant by service quality. One of that is commonly used defines service quality as the extent to which a service meets customers’ needs or expectation ( Lewis and Mitchell, 1990; Dotchin and Oakland, 1994a; Asubonteng et al., 1996; Mik and Donnelly, 1996). Service quality can thus be defined as the difference between customer expectations of service and perceived service service. If expectation are greater than performance, then perceived quality is less than satisfactory and hence customer dissatisfaction occurs (Parasuraman et al., 1985; Lewis and Mitchell, 1990). Providing service with a high level of quality has not been easy especially in the public sectors. Adapting and applying quality management standards such as Total Quality Management and ISO Standards to public services have been a challenge because these standards are all applicable to construction, manufacturing and other established fields rather than the service industry. Edvardsen et. Al (994) cited by Brysland et. Al (2001) claimed that a basic problem with service provision is the difficulty of controlling how the service is provided and experianced. These statements signify that service quality must be measured to determine whether the service provided met public expectation standards In Malaysia, the Government has streessed on quality in the delivery of services to the public. Most of the services are rendered through assets and facilities. Thus, meeting and exceeding public expectations and aspirations in term of service quality has become an important agenda. Transforming the public services through efficient and effective delivery system has become the main focus. 3.Service Quality In The Facility Management Context Cotts (1999) described facility management is the practice of coordinating the physical workplace with the people and work of the organizations; integrates the principle of business administration, architecture, and the behavioral and engineering services. It can be said that facility management profession aimed to provide quality environments which also can be related to providing a good service quality to the stakeholder. It is realized that not much research has been done to explore the relationship between the service quality and facility management concept although both diciplines interrelated to each other (Wan Zahari and Maziah, 2008). Shaw and Haynes (2004) further cited by Wan Zahari and Maziah, (2008) did the study in applying service quality theory to facilities management, resulting in a more customer-oriented approach to Facility Management. This has aroused the debate about Facility Management performance metrics more towards measuring and understanding customer perceptions and ultimately to customer management startegies. 4. Facility Management Increases Productivity All infrastructure and buildings – be they public or private such as roads, bridges, water supply works, hospitals, schools, refuse centers, or shopping centers are important and valuable asstes of a society. They are important because they are the basic facilities from which we get the services to enhance our quality of life (Leong, 2004). Leong, (2004) further added:“.... the quality of life we enjoy depends one’s
  4. 4. 1201 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my own home improvement, it is essential that we ensure physical assets are well managed and maintained so as to optimise their function at all times”. Hermen, (2006) have broaden the idea of facility maintenance by stating that high quality FM services have the potential to consecutively improve employee satisfaction, loyality and productivity, ultimately leading to profitability and growth. All this suggest that the good quality facilities maintainenance can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of personnel occupying a particular building. It also can be concluded that a well maintained facilities will contribute to quality environments and a greater quality of life. Hence, it can be said that a good service quality by maintenance contractors in RMAF Air Base in Subang, Selangor will increase the productivity of RMAF workforce which in turn can can contribute to organisational performance. 5. Measuring Service Quality One of the key management activity is measurement. It provides the necessary information for management to make effective decision, monitor performances and effectively allocating the needed resources. To promote continuous improvement, measuring quality must be a continuous activity (Webster and Hung, 1994). In current scenario, PWD is engaged in a variety of innovative approaches to capture the ‘voice of the customers’. Under the Quality Management System which is based on MS ISO 9001:2008, requires State and District PWD to distribute Customer Satisfaction Form to customer or clients after completion of any projects. The customer or client department will evaluate the project delivered to them based on five criteria such as cost, time, quality, communication and customer satisfaction. These type of measurement are often a useful first step for services trying to capture data on current level of customer satisfaction with services provided. While such survey reports level of satisfaction with public sector service they do little to assess whether customer needs and expectations are actually being met (Accounts Commission, 1999b; Wisniewski, 2001). This is because many of these surveys tend to focus solely on customer perceptions of service they are currently getting. Such an approach fails to measure customer expectations of service delivery and adequate understanding of customer expextations is essential for performances improvement (Wisniewski, 2001).As Skelcher (1992) and Wisniewksi (2001) commented :-“ The limitation of this type of market reserach, however, is that it has tended to focus on satisfaction with existing services rather than identifying customers’ needs, whether these are being met and, if not what steps the authority might take to fulfill them”.Donnely and Shiu (1999); and Wisniewksi ( 2001) also stressed that:“......the expectations of ....... citizens generally arecontinually shifting upward, with a greater emphasis palced on the quality of services. Levels of service which may have been tolerated only a few generation ago are now regarded as unacceptable”.Without adequate information on both the quality of services expected and perceptions
  5. 5. 1202 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my of serviecs received then feedback from customer surveys can be highly misleading from both a policy and operational perspective (Wisniewski, 2001). 6. Measuring Contractor Performance Always there exists an important question to be answered : why should service quality given by contractor be measured?. Measurement allows for comparison before and after changes, for the location of quality related problems and for the establishment of clear standards for service delivery (Arash). Edvardsen et al. (1994) state that, in their experiance, the starting point in developing quality in services is analysis and measurement. Time, cost and quality are the three basic project goals and project peformance is a function of how well these goals havee been accomplished (Chang and Ibbs, 1998; Lai and Pang, 2008). Performance measurement in construction has predominantly focused on project performance in the form of time, cost and quality (Ward et al. 1991; Love and Holt, 2000; Kagioglou et al., 2001; Lai and Pang, 2008). Kagioglou et al., (2001) and Lai and Pang, (2008), emphasized that the traditional measures of the performance of construction projects are not sufficient to assess their true performance. Performance measurement does not adopt the result-orientated approach, i.e. the concern on the quality of the end products only, but also focuses on the process of delivering the product. According to Yasamis (2001) and Lai and Pang, (2008), a construction quality approach is proposed to deal with both the service (as received by the owner) and product (as received by the end user). This suggests that quality from the maintenance scheme should be looked into two areas: a) the services perceived by the owner’s organisation; and b) the product perceived by the user or occupants. Evaluating the quality performance of the contractor will improve the quality of the construction process and the level of customer satisfaction. Thus the same evaluation can be extended to maintenance contractors. Evaluating the service quality of maintenance contractor will enhance the quality of maintenance services and works. A good quality life resulting from high quality maintenance work in turn will increase the productivity of occupants and organisational performance. Terence, (2007) concluded that performance monitoring and measurement is necessary to ensure the best service quality. This implies that maintenance contractors have to be measured in attempt to provide a very good service quality to the client. Quality of service is assessed not only on the end result but also on how it is delivered during the service process and it’s ultimate effect on consumers’ perception (Lesley and Robert, 2003). Lesley and Robert cited by Oakland (2000) stated :“ Quality is far wider in its application than assuring product quality or service quality. It is a way of managing business process to ensure complete consumer satisfaction at every stage, internally and externally”. Every owner expect facility maintenance is carried out to the highest standard and quality. This expectation means that the maintenance scheme should not only focus on the quality of maintenance works but also the quality of customer services. Hence, facility maintenance becomes more intangible in nature which cannot be counted, measured, standardised , inventoried or verified un advance to assure
  6. 6. 1203 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my quality (Lai and Phang, 2008). Sasser et. Al (1978) cited by Lai and Phang (2008) identified three different dimensions of service performances which are :- a) level of materials; b) facilities; and c) personnel.Thus it can be summarised that maintenance service quality involves both the maintenance products and its delivery process to the customer. This service quality concept relates with the quality model suggested by Heidi and Nils, (2007) cited by Gronors (1982) where service quality can be divided into two:- a) functional quality – service process quality (refers to technical outcome); and b) technical quality – end- product quality (Refers to quality of end product derived from the service. This may be tangible or intangible. Figure 2.2. Components of customer perceived quality. Source from Gronroos (1982) Quality occurs during service delivery, usually in an interaction between the client and contact person from the service firm (Lehtinen and Lehtinen, (1982); Lai and Phang, 2008). This implies that in term of maintenance works carried out, service quality occurs in the interaction between the user, occupants and maintenance contractor. Lai and Phang, (2008) have suggested three theme with respect to the facility maintenance scheme :- a) Maintenance service quality is no longer to be evaluated on the final maintenance product quality only; b) Service quality perceptions result from the comparison of client expectationswith perceived service performance; c) Quality evaluations are not made solely on the outcome of a service, but also involve evaluations of the process of service delivery, e.g. in the interaction between the client and service provider. 7. Related Works Lai and Phang (2010) carried out a research to measure the service quality performance of building maintenance providers in Hong Kong particularly those engaged by the Hong Kong Housing Authority. The maintenance providers or contractors are responsible in maintaining the Public Rental Housing (PRH). The objective of the study was to base on the expectation and perception to assess contractor performance on service quality issues. Technical quality Functional quality Customer perceived service quality
  7. 7. 1204 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my This study will be based on this research which has been successfully carried out. The same method will be applied to measure the service quality performance of maintenance contractors appointed by the Public Works Department in RMAF Airbase in Subang, Selangor. 8. Methodology The design of this study done through a structured survey that distributed to the case study which is RMAF Complex. A method of assessment is devised based on the SERVQUAL (a perceived service quality questionnaire survey) approach to measure the client’s expectation and perception of the contractors’ performance. This instruments comprises of 20 statements to assess service quality across five dimensions (Tangibles, Realibility, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy) with each statement used twice: once to measure the expectations and once to measure perceptions. Questionaires were deployed to target respondents comprise of quarters occupants and Complex Maintenance Officer (CMO) who is the client’s representatives. A total of 100 questionnaire were distributed and only 72 were fully answered and returned. Upon receiving the questionaires, analysis was carried out using Descriptive analysis technique. 9. RMAF Complex Maintenance Scheme And Service Quality The Public Works Department(PWD) is public organisation that responsible in monitoring maintenance contractor peformance. The departmnet engagged in a variety of innovative approaches to capture the ‘voice of the customers’under the internal set of Quality Management System (SPK) which is based on MS ISO 9001:2008. The SPK, requires State and District Public Works Department to distribute Customer Satisfaction Form to customer or clients after completion of any projects. The customer or client are responsible tol evaluate the project delivered to them based on five criteria,which are : a) cost (projection of cash flow satisfactory and project cost is value for money); b) time (project completed on schedule); c) quality (workmanship, finishes, aesthetic and functinality of building deliver as agreed); d) communication (PWD personnel are easily reachable and progress reports are sent periodically); and e) customer/client satisfaction (services offered by PWD met customer or client satisfaction) Realising the importance attached to PWD in ensuring and understanding the needs, expectations and priorities of client department, this research will be measuring maintenance contractors performance under a new maintenance scheme initiated by PWD. Term contracts were introduced in RMAF Base in Subang, Selangor to carry out the maintenance and repair work. The appointed maintenance contractors under the term contracts were:
  8. 8. 1205 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my  Piping Contractor: responsible with maintenance and repair of burst and damaged internal and external water reticulation pipes.  Sanitary and Clough Relieiving Contractor: dealing with maintenance and repairs of sanitary fittings and relieving of clough and blockages in floor trap, toilet, sinks, etc.  Door and Lock Set Contractor: providing maintenance and repairs of damaged doors and locks at residential units, including replacement where necessary;  Furniture Contractor: providing maintenance and repair of damaged furnitures comprise of cupboards, tables, chairs, fixed cabinets, etc.; and  Roofing Contractor:responsible with maintenance and repairs of leakages and distorted roofing system (including roof trusses, roof tiles, etc) 10. Analysis and Findings 10.1 Piping Contractor As can be seen in Table 1, the gap values are all in positive figures which indicate that the perceived service quality performance by the piping contractor does not match or exceed the tenants and client’s frontline expectation. Responsiveness has the highest score which will a definite point for service improvement. One of the variables that PWD should look into is giving a prompt service to tenants. The contractor is not setting up appointment with tenants as soon as expected which could be due insufficient workforce. Tangible score the lowest among the respondents indicating it to be of least importance to them, yet they expect most from this service dimension. Table 1 : SERVQUAL Values for the Five Dimensions for Piping Contractor Dimension Expectation Mean (E) Perception Mean (P) Service Quality Gap (G) G = E - P Rank Tangible 2.830 2.691 0.139 5 Reliability 2.894 2.744 0.151 4 Responsiveness 2.902 2.749 0.153 1 Assurance 3.009 2.861 0.148 2 Empathy 2.866 2.722 0.144 3 10.2 Sanitary and Clough Relieving Contractor The gap values in Table 2 the expectations of service quality placed on sanitary and clough relieving contractor are relatively high compared to level of service quality perceived from them. Tangible proves to be a big concern among the respondents. The onus is seen to be on the contractor part where contractor should make available of ancillary equipments and provide sufficient replacement
  9. 9. 1206 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my components and repair equipments. The contractor should administer and manage their work properly to meet tenants and client’s representative expectation. Empathy is to be less important to tenants having the lowest score. Table 2 : SERVQUAL Values For The Five Dimensions For Sanitary and Clough Relieving Contractor Dimension Expectation Mean (E) Perception Mean (P) Service Quality Gap (G) G = E - P Rank Tangible 2.875 2.708 0.167 1 Reliability 2.877 2.738 0.139 4 Responsiveness 2.912 2.768 0.144 3 Assurance 3.023 2.865 0.157 2 Empathy 2.880 2.740 0.139 5 10.3 Furniture Contractor All the SERVQUAL gap scores shown in Table 3 are all in positive figures thus indicating a shortfall in meeting tenants’ expectation. Assurance dimension has a high gap score which is relatively associated with human factor. The contractor should have some personal touch when dealing and communicating with tenants and client’s representative. Similar with other contractors, Empathyis not considered important among the tenants. Table 3 : SERVQUAL Values For The Five Dimensions For Furniture Contractor Dimension Expectation Mean (E) Perception Mean (P) Service Quality Gap (G) G = E - P Rank Tangible 2.895 2.733 0.163 3 Reliability 2.918 2.755 0.163 2 Responsiveness 2.912 2.749 0.162 4 Assurance 3.046 2.879 0.166 1 Empathy 2.912 2.782 0.130 5 10.4 Door and Lock Set Contractor The summaries of gap scores are shown in Table 4 with Reliability coming out top among the five dimensions. The tenants expect most from the reliability dimension from door and lock set contractor.
  10. 10. 1207 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my Quality and timeliness in delivering services are the element the contractor should improve in meeting tenants’ expectation. Again Empathy, which measures the caring and individualized attention the contractor to its tenants,has the lowest scores. Table 4 : SERVQUAL values for the five dimension for Door and Lock Set Contractor Dimension Expectation Mean (E) Perception Mean (P) Service Quality Gap (G) G = E - P Rank Tangible 2.920 2.754 0.166 3 Reliability 2.950 2.773 0.177 1 Responsiveness 2.944 2.773 0.171 2 Assurance 3.041 2.889 0.153 4 Empathy 2.903 2.763 0.140 5 10.5 Roofing Contractor The gap analysis scores for roofing contractor shown in Table 5 are all in indicating a shortfall in meeting tenants’ expectation. Tangible dimension incurred the highest discrepancies between expectation and perception of service quality received by the tenants. This is probably attributable to the fact that contractor did not have enough resources to carry out the maintenance and repair works. Roofing contractor should increase resources of materials and manpower to achieve higher customer satisfaction. Tenants allocated to Assurance the lowest scores indicating it to be least importance to them. Table 5 : SERVQUAL Values For The Five Dimension For Roofing Contractor Dimension Expectation Mean (E) Perception Mean (P) Service Quality Gap (G) G = E - P Rank Tangible 2.902 2.719 0.184 1 Reliability 2.906 2.747 0.159 3 Responsiveness 2.879 2.717 0.162 2 Assurance 3.028 2.889 0.139 5 Empathy 2.893 2.736 0.158 4 10.7 Summary of Service Quality Gap and Dimensions of Maintenance Contractors
  11. 11. 1208 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my The summary of service quality with the highest gap shows that roofing contractor incurred greater discrepencies between expectation and perception. These cleary indicates the lower performance by the contractor. There is an urgent needs for the contractor to take necessary action to remedy the service quality gap. Continuous supervision by RMAF PWD should also be carried out to monitor the performance of contractors to further reduce the service delivery shortfall and increase customer satisfaction Table 6 : SERVQUAL Values For The Five Dimension For All Maintenance Contractor Maintenance Contractors Dimension Highest Service Quality Gap Lowest Service Quality Gap Piping Responsiveness 0.153 0.139 Sanitary and Clough Relieving Tangible 0.167 0.139 Furniture Assurance 0.166 0.130 Door and Lock Set Reliability 0.177 0.140 Roofing Tangible 0.184 0.139 11. Recommendation and Conclusions The study shows that the contractors failed to understand tenants needs and expectations, which has contributed to thereason why all the SERVQUAL results are positive. Improvements are therefore required across all dimensions of service quality for each term contracts. It is apparent the priority for service improvements should be targeted in the following common variables:-  sufficiency and adequacy of replacement components and repair equipments;  availability on ancillary equipment and tools (e.g. digital camera, computer);  provide their services at the time they promise to do so; and  give prompt services to tenants (e.g. setting up appointments quickly). To further address the problem, PWD should hold a detail briefing and discussion with each maintenance contractors. The contractors should be exposed on the requirement of contract and the degree of service quality expected from them. This will give an insight for the maintenance contractors to understand and realise the expectation level on the various service variables. It will help the contractors to identify their weakness and shortfall that require improvement. Public Works Department is the technical arm for the government. The department is determined to provide a customer focused services and that continuous performance improvement is being delivered. Hence to improve service quality, the current level performance of maintenance service quality must be measured. SERVQUAL was used as a tool to measure the performance. The objectives of this study are met where by the expectation and perception of tenants and client’s representative were determined. The quality
  12. 12. 1209 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my gap was then produced based on the differences between the expected and perceived level of service quality. The outcome of quality gaps obtained from this study has revealed the weakness and shorfall of maintenance contractors appointed to carry out the repair works in the Royal Military Air Force base in Subang, Selangor. Recommendation were made to improve the gap in certain variables and service quality dimension in order to meet and exceed tenants and client’s frontline expectation. Overall the results generated from this study have proved extremely useful in terms of the future design and prioritisation of service improvements. It is hoped that it will open a new dimension and awareness in facility maintenance service quality and serve as a benchmark for future research particularly in improving service delivery by Public Works Department 12. References Avinandan, M., and Prithwiraj, N (2005),“An empirical assessment of comparative approaches to service quality measurement”, “Journal of Service”, Vol 19, No.3, pp. 174-184. Bourner, T. (1996), “The research process: four steps to success”, In Greenfield, T. (ed), Research Methods Guidance For Postgraduates, Arnold, London Bruce, C. S., (1994), “Research student’s early experiances of the dissertation literature review”,Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 217-229. Brysland, A. and Curry, A (2001), “ Service Improvements in public services using SERVQUAL”, Managing Service Quality, Vol 11, No.6, pp. 389-401 Burns, N. and Grove, S. (1993), “ The practice of nursing research: conduct, critique and utilization”, (2nd ed). W.B.Saunders Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Cotts, D.G (1999), “The Facility Management Handbook”, United States of America, AMACOM Cooper, H. M., (1988), “The structure of knowledge synthesis”, Knowledge in Society, Vol. 1, pp. 104-126 Davies, B., Baron, S., Gear, T. and Read, M. (1999),“Measuring and managing service quality”, Marketing Intelligence & Planning”,Vol 17, No.1, pp. 33-40. Donnely, M and Wisniewski, M (1995), “Measuring service quality in local government: the SERVQUAL approach”, Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol 3, No.7, pp. 15-20. Douglas, L. and Connor, R., (2003), “Attitudes to service quality- the expectation gap”, Nutrition and Food Science, Vol.33, No. 4, pp. 165-172. Ingham-Broomfield, R., (2008), “A nurses guide to critical reading of research”, Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 102-109.
  13. 13. 1210 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my Israel, G.D, (1992), “Determining Sampling Size”, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida. Lai, Anthony W.Y and Pang, Peggy M.S., (2010),“Measuring performance for building maintenance providers”, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol 136, No.8, pp. 864-876. Lam, Terence Y.M., (2007),“The validity of quality practices on performance of outsourced professional housing services”, The TQM Magazine, Vol 19, No.6, pp. 590-603. Ledner, S, (2008), “Sampling in qualitative and quantitative research: a practical how to”, Retrieved on September 1, 2010, from http://www.slideshare.net/sladner/sampling-methods-in-qualitative-and- quantitative-research-presentation Leong, K.C. (2004), “The Essence of Asset Management- A Guide”, Kuala Lumpur, UNDP-TUGI Kuala Lumpur. Murphy, P. (1999),“Service performance measurement using simple techniques actually works”, Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science ,Vol 5, No.2, pp. 56-73. Myeda, N.E and Pitt, M (2011), “ Measuring the performance of office buildings maintenance management in Malaysia”, Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp 181-199. Nunnally J.C. (1967), “Psychometric Theory”, New York, McGraw-Hill Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A and Berry, L.L (1985), “A conceptual model of service quality and its implication for future research”, Managing Services Marketing, London Business School, pp. 122-35. Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A and Berry, L.L (1988), “SERVQUAL: a multiple item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of service quality”, Journal of Retailing, Vol 67, No .1, pp. 12-40. Rasila, H.M and Gersberg, N.F (2007), “Service quality in outsourced facility maintenance services”, Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol 9, No. 1, pp.39-49. Ree, H.J.van. (2006), “FM service quality indicators-benefiting supplier and customer”, Construction Innovation, pp. 1-15. Shahin, A. (2006). “SERVQUAL and model of service quality gaps: A framework for determining and prioritizing critical factors in delivering quality services”, In:ParthaSarathy V (Ed) Service quality – An introduction (pp.117-131). AndhraPradesh: ICFAI University Press. Shaw, D. and Haynes, B. (2004), “An evaluation of customer perception of FM service delivery”, Facilities, Vol 22, , pp. 170-7.
  14. 14. 1211 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (4TH ICBER 2013) PROCEEDING 04 - 05 MARCH 2013. GOLDEN FLOWER HOTEL, BANDUNG, INDONESIA ISBN: 978-967-5705-10-6. WEBSITE: www.internationalconference.com.my Sridhar, M.S., (2010), “A guide to analysis, interpretation, drawing inferences and communication research work”,Retrieved on September 1, 2010, from http://www.scribd.com/doc/2184942/Research- Methodology-Part-7-Data-Collection-Methods-and-Techniques. Sui, G.K.W. and Bridge, A. and Skitmore, R.M. (2001), “ Assessing the service quality of building maintenance providers: mechanical and engineering services”. Construction Management and Economics, Vol.19, No. 7, :pp. 719-726. Wan Zahari, W.Y. and Maziah, I. (2008), “FM-SERVQUAL: a new approach of service quality measurement framework in local authorities”, Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol 10, No.2, pp. 130- 144. Webster, M. (1985), “Webster`s ninth new collegiate dictionary”, Meriam- Webster Inc. Webster, C. and Hung, L.C. (1994), “Measuring service quality and promoting decentering”, The TQM Magazine,Vol 6, No.5, pp. 50-55. Wisniewski, M (2001), “Using SERVQUAL to assess customer satisfaction with public sector services”, Managing Service Quality, Vol 11, No.6, pp. 380-388. Zeithaml, V.A., Parasuraman, A. And Berry, L.L. (1990), “Delivery Quality Service: Balancing Customer Perception and Expections, The Free Press. New York.

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