Rail is the backbone of the Indian transportation system
Main Train terminal in Mumbai, World Heritage Site
Consulting Technology Services (CTS) provides cleaning, on board housekeeping, and other passenger comfort consulting services to Indian Railways, which delivers more passenger miles of service than any other company in the world. Every year, it moves more people than the population of the entire earth. The scope of the system is staggering. Its passenger system boasts of
- 65,808 km of track
- 8.4 billion passengers per year
- An increase of 456% in the number of passenger miles delivered while the number of miles of track increased by only 8%
- More than 65,000 coaches
Indian Railways needed Quality Management, and CTS Delivers
Servicing such a vast system requires professionalism, attention to detail, and dedication. To keep the trains clean and to provide other peripheral services, Indian Railways made the decision in 2005 to hire CTS Management. Led by a group of professionals with decades of experience in railroad management, general management, and academia, CTS is dedicated to providing the best possible passenger experience on Indian trains, often under challenging conditions of high passenger volume and low fare rates. The core values at CTS are economic sustainability, a commitment to quality, environmental sustainability, and service to the people who rely upon them.
CTS takes an integrated approach to servicing Indian Railways, and is one of those companies willing to think outside the box in order to provide greater value to its client. One notable example is the introduction by CTS of vinyl wrapping of trains. These wraps allow Indian Railways to customize the looks of all of its coaches, and provide an environmentally friendly and attractive alternative to painting.
Since vinyl wraps can be made in any design, CTS proposed that they be used for advertising. With more than 65,000 potential billboards circulating throughout the vast nation of more than 1.2 billion people, the opportunities were enormous.
Especially on higher end express trains, vinyl wrapping gives the message a feeling of exclusivity and constantly engages potential consumers. Well heeled passengers are exposed to advertisers’ messages for a continuous and extended period of time. Space inside the train was also made available, and CTS made partnerships available allowing companies to offer on board services where they can interact with passengers long enough to develop brand identity and trust. Given the popularity of trains in India, advertising on this medium of transportation also provides an efficient platform to reach less affluent consumers who nonetheless have money to spend on more basic items.
Regular surveys done by CTS staff with passengers allows the company to also learn about preferences regarding messaging, and has enabled CTS and its media partners to more effectively target passengers. The result has been an increase in passenger satisfaction as targeted services are provided on board, and increased service budgets from advertising revenues have increased passenger comfort.
The only way to handle such a volume of passengers over such a huge system is with an Integrated Management System. CTS has obtained IMS certification in three areas: ISO 9001:2008 for Quality, EMS 14001:2004 for Environmental Stewardship, and OHSAS 18001:2007 for Safety. Once earned, these certifications must be maintained by passing rigorous internal and external audits.
In order to maintain its Quality Certification, CTS follows systematized principles of constant quality improvement by engaging in a continuing conversation with its clients, the passengers on Indian trains, performing more than 350,000 surveys in the last year. Through its website, the people who CTS serves are allowed to have a conversation with the company, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Customer satisfaction improves every year as CTS listens and responds. Because of its performance and expertise, CTS has become a reference in the field of Facility Management.
Commitment to the environment is a core value at CTS and in India. CTS only uses cleaners which are biodegradable and otherwise friendly to the environment, in strict compliance with EMS 14001:2004. Not only that, but CTS has made a commitment to making their transactions as paperless as possible, and encourages its passengers to do the same.
Workplace safety and the health of the people who make CTS a success is paramount to the company. From making sure that everyone has personal protective gear, to enrolling them in insurance and training them in first aid, conscious steps are taken to ensure that CTS facilities and Indian Railways trains are as safe as they can be.
In addition to obtaining three EMS certifications for Quality, Environmental Commitment, and Safety, CTS has won the Golden Peacock Innovation Award in its segment. Whether it is innovation in creating new revenue streams, or setting cleaning and hygiene benchmarks for the world’s most intensely utilized passenger rail system, CTS has demonstrated that a company based on the values of Creativity, Service and Quality can succeed. No one maintains more coaches under more challenging conditions than CTS, a record for which the company is justifiably proud.
Because of its commitment to continuous quality improvement, CTS Management has been selected to receive the BID International Star Award for Quality for 2015 at the convention in Geneva.
About BID and the International Star Award for Quality:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries.
The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level.
Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.