Customer wishes and expectations in the management of assets

ISO 55000 defines asset management as the coordinated activities of an organization to realise value from assets. Drinking water utilities translate this realisation of value from assets into their main objective, namely, the continuous provision of reliable drinking water, at sufficient pressure, to customers, within the framework of a sustainable relationship with the environment. In fulfilling this objective, it is important to have knowledge about customer wishes and expectations.

The expectations of the customer, as a consumer, were placed at the centre of this project. This involved distinguishing between different groups of domestic and non-domestic customers. The project’s objective was to develop knowledge about the desires and expectations of different customer groups, and about how to optimally tune asset-management decision-making to them.

Combination of qualitative and quantitative research

Insight into the wishes and expectations of customers were acquired in this project through a combination of qualitative and quantitative research. This included using quantitative online surveys for domestic customers and small business consumers, focus groups with domestic customers with different customer perspectives, and interviews with large business consumers. Lastly, in order to translate the findings into asset management terms, two workshops were organised with asset managers from drinking water utilities.

What are the deliverables?

  1. Exploration of different perspectives of domestic customers and the relation with asset-management decision-making (costs, performances, risks.
  2. Exploration of different perspectives of small and large business consumers (non-domestic customers) and the relation with asset-management decision-making (costs, performances, risks).
  3. Overview of the possibilities open to water utilities to respond to the wishes of non-domestic customers through asset management.