Stakeholder perceptions of the South African Sugar Association's cane testing service division.
In today’s changing environment, corporates are forced to be customer orientated and customer satisfaction determines customer loyalty. The quality of service quality is a major differentiator for ensuring customer satisfaction. There is a need for service quality and customer satisfaction to form part of an organisations strategy because of the role it plays in corporate environment and on the company’s profitability. The Cane Testing Service division of the South African Sugar Association provides a specialist service under contract to individual Mill Group Boards to determine the quality of individual grower cane deliveries to the mill for cane payment purposes. It is for this reason, there needs to be a relationship between Cane Testing Service and the Mill Group Boards. The aim of this study was to determine the perceived levels of satisfaction that Cane Testing Service provides to the Mill Group Boards as well as compare these perceptions to a study conducted in 2003. The study was conducted via an online questionnaire to all the Mill Group Board members who comprised of 70 miller members and 79 grower members. The questionnaire which comprised of thirty six statements which measured the sixteen service attributes that was defined for Cane Testing Service. The total population of this study was 149 members. The population size was small and it was decided to sample the entire population. The response rate of this study was 59 completed questionnaires which made up 40% of the population which was lower in comparison to the 2003 study of 63%. Statistical analyses revealed there was no significant difference between the overall perceptions of Mill Group Board members in both these studies although there was a decline in the 2013 study for five of the sixteen Cane Testing Service attributes that was measured. It was recommended that the Cane Testing Service management draft a strategy to eliminate the reasons for the decline in these attributes. Cane Testing Service should conduct a customer survey at least every five years to evaluate if the management strategy implemented has been effective.
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