Saturday, November 8, 2008

Driving License Renewal

I had to renew my driver's license this morning which meant a trip to the KRA Banking Hall in Times Towers. 

Firstly, I have to say; the banking hall is a really great space. Its well designed(from this layman's point of view), very spacious and has many labelled (or label-able) service counters (32 on the ground level alone). 

Unfortunately, any raised expectations that this aesthetically pleasing environment causes are quickly dashed by what occurs within.

Firstly, of the 32 aforementioned counters, 14 were unmanned or manned by staff who were not dealing with the public. 

Upon walking into the hall, I asked for and was directed to the queue for driving license renewal. This is because the swanky labelling system that is in place is not really used as perhaps it could and should be. Many of the labels above counters are ambiguous or out of date. Some functions (like "Driving License Renewal") are not covered by the current signage. So virtually every single person who joined the queue behind me had to ask either a watchman or a fellow queuer(is 'queuer' even a word?) where they should go. FYI, for D/L renewals, you want the counters labelled "Free D/L", which I believe are 7 & 8. 

Ofcourse, in keeping with the staffing policy highlighted above, only one of those counters was manned. By the time I was next in line to be served, I had been waiting for about 20 minutes...then the person manning the counter had to leave to get cash for her till. That took about 10 minutes. 

The transaction itself took under two minutes. 

I have to say that there has been alot of improvement to the Times Towers banking hall in recent times but this is still quite a long way short of how efficient this place could and should be. 

Driving License renewal is probably one of the simplest tasks that they perform and it definitely should not take over half an hour to do on what was a rather slow day (there were only about 7 people ahead of me in the queue). 

One thing I always wonder about places like this is what are their performance benchmarks? Stuff like how many customers should be served per hour, how long each transaction should take etc. What if these benchmarks were made public and displayed above each counter? 

Hypothetically, based on the under 2 minutes that it took to process my D/L renewal, its not unreasonable to estimate that each window could serve 30 people per hour. KRA is open from 8-5 with a one hour lunch break. Assuming another hour for tea breaks, bathroom breaks etc (and thats frankly rather generous) meaning effectively a 7 hour workday, each service window should deal with 210 people daily at the very least. 

Spread over a 9 hour day, 210 people daily is 23 people per hour. Assuming the 8 people served during the half hour I was there is representative, that's working at only 70% efficiency for the single window. If the fact that there should be two windows working is taken into consideration the figure drops to an alarming 35%. Is that really good enough? 

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