Using Product Service System in the Study of Bike Sharing System-A Case of Kaohsiung City Public Bike (C-bike)

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Using Product Service System in the Study of Bike Sharing System

- A Case of Kaohsiung City Public Bike (C-bike)

Ting-Lin Lee, Yi-Hsin Chou

Graduate Institute of Asia Pacific Industrial and Business Management, National University of Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China Email: linda_lee@nuk.edu.tw

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Abstract

On the subject of global warming, each city of the world develops environmental protection which is the energy conservation to reduce the carbon to march towards the long-term objective of sustainable development. Complying with the fast urbanization of Kaohsiung City, the whole network of the Kaohsiung Bike Sharing System is about to be finished. Therefore, the aim of this article attempts to explore how and what extent the Kaohsiung Public Bike provides a quality and effective service to the passengers. Kaohsiung public Bike was chosen as the case study. This research involved a survey, firstly this study will be conducted to measure the public bike service quality from product orientated, use orientate and result orientated by using product service system. 297 users who has experienced in C-bike participated in the study. They quantitative analysis of the questionnaires was conducted through IPA and QFD in order to indicate the difference between importance and satisfaction of customers. Result of this study showed there are still has a big gap between the cognitive importance and real satisfaction of customers. To conclude, this study may be of importance in explaining top ten real voices/needs of customers are more centered on the issues of services which include Service Staff Education and Training (SOP), Marketing and Promotion, and A Diverse Pipeline for Complaints, as well as in providing C-bike with a better understanding of how public bike's service quality about C-bike relate to their strategy use.

Keywords: Product Service System, Public Bike Sharing System, Service Quality,

Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA), Quality Function Deployment (QFD), House of quality (HOQ),

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1. Introduction

On the subject of global warming, cities around the world are developing environmental protection policies which include energy conservation, to reduce carbon emissions in order to achieve the long-term objective of sustainable development. Over the past few years, a considerable number of studies have been made on environmental protection. Much ink has been spent on city public bikes; the Netherlands and Britain, for example, started metropolis bicycle system plans. Moreover, Germany and France proposed the concept of “Bicycle-Friendly Towns”. On September 22, 1998 France initiated an “In town, without my car” activity, forbidding automobiles in urban centers. Only pedestrians, bicycles, mass transportation and non-polluting transportation vehicles are permitted in this region. This activity has reverberated globally, facilitating non-vehicle days internationally; that’s the reason why the bicycle has becomes the symbol of green transport.

During the past 20 years, Taiwan has become globally renowned for its bicycle industry. In the last 30 years, with the flourishing development of Taiwan’s bicycle industry, the volume of exports has surpassed that of Japan since 1980 and has maintained its status as the biggest bicycle export state around the world. The simple Table 1-1 seeks to highlight the fact that Taiwan has become the world’s leader in bicycle exports.

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Figure 1-1: Taiwan's Bicycle Export Volume and Unit Price (2000~2008) Source: BOFT International Trade Information System Taiwan Bicycle Exports

In recent years there has been renewed interest in product service systems. A product-service system (PSS), also known as a function-oriented business model, is a business model developed in academia, which aims to provide sustainability in regard to both consumption and production (Cooka et al., 2006). The researches of modern scientists have thrown new light on the subject. According to the research background and motives, this research takes Kaohsiung city’s public bicycle sharing system as the observation object of study, discussing its construction according to the product service system; attention is focused on how the operation of the Taiwan public bike sharing system was realized, in order to offer means of improvement. Many big cities provide bicycle rental and related services in urban districts, to encourage people to ride bicycles instead of taking other transportation. For this reason the bicycle sharing system has already become the trend.

200 0 200 1 200 2 200 3 200 4 200 5 200 6 200 7 200 8 Bicycles exports 753 480 422 388 435 459 408 475 540 Average unit price 109 112 124 156 165 200 207 222 256 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800

Units

 Price

$US

Bicy

cle

 Exports

Million

Taiwan's bicycle export volume and unit 

price

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The purpose of the research presented in this article is to examine the effect of the public bike in Taiwan. In light of these concerns, this article has three purposes: (a) to provide a definition of product service system; (b) to report on trends in the global bike sharing system services; and (c) to suggest the strategies of C-bike. For one thing, as a beginning, we will examine successful overseas bicycle sharing systems. Taiwan may take one of these as its model. Three points seem to be helpful in attempting to explicate the purpose. The research areas include the following aspects/questions:

 How to plan Taiwan’s public bicycle sharing system and discover which problems need to be resolved and what service operation model to follow  In promoting Taiwan’s public bicycle sharing system, does the rental

method facilitate consumer (resident and tourist) use.

2. Literature

2.1 Product Service System

A recent surge of research on product service system (PSS) had given us new opportunities and challenges. Several studies (Goedkoop et al., 1999;Cook et al., 2006) have noted that Product Service Systems means that when a firm offers a mix of both products and services, in comparison to the traditional focus on products. A Product Service system (PS system or product service combination) is a marketable set of products and services, jointly capable of fulfilling a client’s need. By Table 2-1 the meaning of PSS will be clearly shown.

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Table 2-1 Popular Definitions of a Product Service System

Scholar Definition of Product Service-System

Goedkoop et al. (1999)

‘A product service-system is a system of products, services, networks of “players” and supporting infrastructure that continuously strives to be competitive, satisfy customer needs and have a lower environmental impact than traditional business models’.

Centre for Sustainable Design (2001)

‘A pre-designed system of products, supporting infrastructure and necessary networks that fulfill a user’s needs on the market, have a smaller environmental impact than separate product and services with the same function fulfillment and are self learning’.

Mont (2001)

‘A system of products, services, supporting networks and infrastructure that is designed to be: Competitive, satisfy customer needs and have a lower environmental impact than traditional business models’.

Manzini and Vezzoli (2003)

‘An innovation strategy, shifting the business focus from designing (and selling) physical products only, to designing (and selling) a system of products and services which are jointly capable of fulfilling specific client demands’.

Tukker (2004)

‘A product-service system (PSS) can be defined as consisting of “tangible products and intangible services designed and combined so that they jointly are capable of fulfilling specific customer needs”.’

Source: This Study

As frequently pointed out by Mont (2002), different concepts of product use into the use oriented and results oriented which may provide a common term of reference for studying and designing PSS. In subsequent years numerous studies were carried out on the systematization of PSS. The causes of PSS have been widely investigated

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(Tukker, 2004). These types of PSS suggest that, in theory at least, PSS provides opportunities to significantly improve resource productivity (Cook et al., 2006). In order to deepen our understanding of PSS type, Baines (2007) has called for further research in PSS. Several scholars from the classification can be clearly found, PSS classification gradually trend line.

Three general levels of PSS have been described in the literature to capture its multidimensionality. Tukker (2004) showed that PSS will be divided into three classification, including product orientated, use orientated and result orientated. This study also used the structure of the PSS concept, as the research and design dimensions. A more detailed understanding of this relationship can be gained from Figure 2-1.

Product content (tangible)

Service content (intangible)

Product-service system

Value

mainly

in

product

content

Value

mainly

in

service

content

Pure Product Pure service A: Product oriented B: Use oriented C: Result oriented 1. Product related 2. Advice and consultancy 3. Product lease 4. Product renting/ sharing 5. Product Pooling 6. Activity management 7. Pay per service unit 8. Functional result

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Figure 2-1: Main and Subcategories of PSS Source: Tukker, 2004

This research has identified three classes of PSS (Tukker, 2004): (1) Product orientated PSS

Within this type of PSS, the ownership rights of the material artifact are transferred to the customer and a service arrangement is provided to ‘ensure the utility’ of the artifact over a given period of time (Cook et al., 2006).

(2) Use orientated PSS:

The ownership rights of the material artifact are retained by the service provider in this configuration and the customer purchases use of the product over a given period of time or units of service, e.g. mobility schemes require fewer cars per kilometer travelled per person (Cook et al., 2006).

(3) Result orientated PSS:

While ownership rights of material artifacts are retained by the service provider, similar to use orientated PSS, the customer purchases utility as an outcome and not the use of a ‘product’ over a given period of time(Cook et al., 2006).

However, it is worth noting that the above-mentioned the type of PSS which the classification are fairly consistent across a wide variety of different scholars.

2.2 Bicycle Sharing System

Bicycle sharing systems (also known as: Community Bicycle program, Yellow Bicycle programs, White Bicycle programs, public bike, City Bike or free bike.) are increasingly popular and diverse systems whereby a number of bicycles are made

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available for shared use amongst individuals who do not own any of the bicycles. It is a new member in the public transportation system. It aims at establishing the rental system in major cities through widely setting the rental spots and payment sensing devices (that take membership card or credit card) by developing the electronic technique, and encouraging citizens to choose using bicycles for transportation with decent pricing.

As oil pricing increases, it also encourages people to use bicycles for short-distance trip, and furthermore, the public biking system also helps to reduce air pollution. The transportation scheme covers the city centre, major scenic spots, metro transit routes, as well as the main streets. It functions to combine both the leisure and city views in order to create a roadway system that is beneficial to the health of each citizen and global energy saving. The central concept of many of the systems is free or affordable access to bicycles for city transport in order to reduce the use of automobiles for short trips inside the city thereby diminishing traffic congestion, noise and air-pollution.

Table 2-2: The Main Bicycle Sharing System

Stared

Year City(Country) Name of Program Operator

1960 Amsterdam

(The Netherlands) White Bike

Promoter:Luud Schimmelpennink

1974 La

Rochelle(France) Yellow Bike Information not available late

1995

Copenhagen

(Denmark) Bycyklen Fonden Bycyklen

March 2000

Munich

(Germany) Call a Bike Deutsche Bahn (DB)AG, June

2000

Helsinki

(Finland) Cityräder Information not available March Berlin Call a Bike Deutsche Bahn (DB)AG,

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2003 (Germany) June

2003

Vienna

(Austria) Citybike JCDecaux

2004 London

(UK) OYBike OYBike Systems Ltd. May 2005 Lyon (France) Vélo'v Grand Lyon, JCDecaux April 2006 Stockholm (Sweden) Stockholm City Bikes Clear Channel Communications March 2007 Barcelona (Spain) Bicing Clear Channel Communications April 2007 Sevilla (Spain) Sevici JCDecaux, Ayuntamiento de Sevilla (Municipal Government) July 2007 Paris

(France) Vélib' JCDecaux,

May 2008

Hangzhou

(China) Public Bicycle

Hangzhou Public Transport Corporation August 2008 Washington, D.C.

(United States) SmartBike DC

Clear Channel Communications, District Department of Transportation October 2008 Changwon

(South Korea) NUBIJA Information not available December 2008 Milan (Italy) BikeMi Clear Channel Communications March 2009 Kaohsiung (Taiwan) C-bike Environmental Protection Bureau Kaohsiung City

Government, Tung Li Development Ltd,MERIDA March 2009 Taipei

(Taiwan) YouBike GIANT

May 2009

Montreal

(Canada) Bixi Stationnement de Montréal Source: This study

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Public Bicycles are not a new idea. There have been three generations of bike sharing systems over ­ the past 45 years (DeMaio 2004). The 1st generation of bike­sharing programs began on July 28, 1965 in Amsterdam with the Witte Fietsen or White Bikes. Problems with the ‘first generation’ on-street versions of these initiatives were largely linked to theft or abandonment (in rivers, trees, to other cities etc.) of the standard-spec bicycles, which were made freely available, or with minimal security built into the service.

Then in 1991, a 2nd generation of bike­sharing program was born in Denmark. But the programs were small, with having 26 bikes at four stations. It was not until1995, nearly thirty years after bike­sharing was invented that the first large­scale 2nd generation bike­sharing program was launched in Copenhagen as Bycyklen, or City Bikes, with many improvements over the previous generation.

The following 3rd generation systems were smartened with a variety of technological improvements, including electronically locking racks or bike locks, telecommunication systems, smartcards and fobs, mobile phone access, and on­board computers.

Table 2-3: Three Generations of Bike Sharing System

Generation characteristic

First generation bike sharing system, like this Dutch program, usually use donated mass-market bicycles, which are then all painted one color in order to stand out from other bikes. There are no specific locations where the bike sharing system must be returned, so one could find one or leave one propped up anywhere on the street. This type of bike sharing program would usually be free to the user. A community group,

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sometimes with the financial help of the local government, will administer the bike sharing program.

These bikes were specially designed and could be picked up and returned at specific locations (racks) with a coin deposit (like super market trolleys). This 2nd generation bikes still experience theft due to the anonymity of the user. The second generation of bike sharing system was more reliable than the previous generation. However, even with these improvements, tracking stolen bike sharing system was nearly impossible, as theft is still a big issue for Copenhagen and similar bike sharing programs. The advantage is it simplicity and low cost.

Smart Bikes

The third generation uses high tech solutions including electronically locking racks, or bike locks, chip cards, mobile phones and internet. Al third generation systems 'know' who uses the bikes. This relation with the customer creates options for more advanced pricing schemes and increases the responsibility of the user. The third generation bike sharing systems, or Smart Bikes, are very similar to the second generation bike sharing system. The main difference between the second and third generation is the tracking of the bike sharing system to prevent theft.

Source: DeMaio, 2003

It also has been launch of bike-sharing programs in Taiwan - the first in the southern port town of Kaohsiung City, called C-bike. In Kaohsiung, the system has been constructed on a build- operate-transfer (BOT) basis at a cost of NT$90 million ($2.58 million). Some NT$15 million ($444,000) was put up by both the EPA's air pollution control fund and the city government, and another NT$60 million ($1.77 million) came from the central government's economic stimulus package. Tung Li Development Co. has been commissioned by the government to operate the system over the next five years. The main management team are as follows:

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(1)Tung Li Development Co (2)MERIDA

(3)VSprite Technology Corporation (4) Other Manufacturers.

Kaohsiung Public bike rental station for equipment and personnel management style can be classified as automatic rental station, staff-assisted station, authorized stores and the temporary stations. The main scope of services currently has 20 sites for the MRT station: Red and Orange Line of station which are north from the Ecological District station, South to Kaisyuan station, west from the National Sun Yat-sen University station, and east to the Martial Arts Stadium station. Others such as Love River along the route, seaports and other public places such as along a total of 50 sites, a phased establishment of living area and the road network to cover the scope of services up to plans to more than 90% of the area.

3. Methodology

This chapter provides the conceptual framework based on the research motives and objectives described above. The main purpose of the study was to gain a better understanding of the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction. Moreover, the operational definition of variables and measurement, data collection, and analysis method will be described in turn. Based on the research motives, research objectives, and the literature reviews, the author illustrates the conceptual framework, as in Figure 3-1.

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Figure 3-1: Conceptual Research Structure Source: This Study

Sampling and Data Collection

On the basis of items used in the literature and the definitions established in our research, the author generated a pool of sample measures. All items were measured on a 5-point Likert-type scale, with anchors of 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree. The pretest used a judgment sample of 30 actual users, and was subsequently revised to improve readability and understanding.

The primary criterion for selecting subjects was experience in using the bicycle sharing system. This research uses convenient sampling to collect data. The data collection covers the period during 22nd of Jan., 2010 to the 30th of Apr., 2010. The

participants in this research were selected from the population at several rental stations: Central Park, Sanduo Shopping District, Film Archive, Singuang Zhengkong, Dream Mall, Love Pier, etc. A total of 320 questionnaires were issued, with 306 recovered, so the recovery rate was 95.6%. The valid samples were 297.

4. Analysis

Product Service System Customer Satisfaction Service Quality 1. Equipment Quality 2. Use Quality 3. The Quality of Service Staff

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15 4.1 Importance Performance Analysis

The average importance and satisfaction are 4.24 and 3.58, respectively. An Importance-Performance grid was established based on data obtained through a consumer survey on importance of service quality and satisfaction with the mean average of the procedures to standardize the calculation. For the sake of providing a visual picture of the distinction, consider the graphic representation in Figure 4-1.

The Z-score obtained will put it in the two-dimensional matrix, which is the satisfaction degree in the X axis, with the degree of importance in the Y axis, to establish the Importance-Performance Grid. Among them, the author derives the importance average of 4.2370 and standard deviation of 0.1500, satisfaction level average of 3.5759 and the standard deviation of 0.2240.

Figure 4-1: Importance-Performance Grid (C-bike) Source: This study

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 ‐3 ‐2.5 ‐2 ‐1.5 ‐1 ‐0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 ‐2.5 ‐1.5 ‐0.5 0.5 1.5 2.5

Import

ance

Performance

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Table 4-1: C-Bike Services of the 4 Quadrant Area Quadrant Ⅱ:

Concentrate here

(high importance, low performance)

Quadrant Ⅰ:

Keep up with the good work (high importance, high performance) These attributes are perceived to be very

important to customers, but performance levels are fairly low. This sends a direct message that improvement efforts should be concentrated here. C-bike must pay more attention to these projects, giving priority to improve their quality; otherwise, consumers will generally not be satisfied with its services, compared to other means of transportation. Many improvement attributes can be found for the quality of service staff, meaning that Tung Li Company should focus on staff training.

Attributes are perceived to be very important to respondents, and at the same time, the organization seems to have high levels of performance regarding these activities. The message here is: Keep up the good work. C-bike in these projects should continue to maintain its quality level, and make even more effort so that consumers are satisfied with the attributes. Because this area is where the consumers are most likely to feel unsatisfied, these attributes for the C-bike need to be improved first.

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 The public bike operating system failure rate is low.

 People feel comfortable when riding the bikes.

 The rental price of public bikes is reasonable.

 Customer service staff can answer customer questions in detail.  Customer service in emergency

situations (Ex. bike failure) is good.  Customer service staff members are

proactive in helping customers  Public bike services offer a full

pipeline for complaints or feedback.  Customer service staff can deal

with customer complaints immediately.

 Customer service staff members have the necessary expertise and ability.

 Customer service staff members can provide the promised services.

 I can rent or return the bike (C-bike) to the rental station anytime.

 The bike sharing system clearly explains how to rent or return bikes.  The charge method is clear and

easy to understand.

 The bike sharing system will clearly explain the content of service items (c.f., neighboring station locations and route indicators).

 The rental station locations are appropriate.

 The process speed of renting or returning a bike is very easy and fast.

 The public bicycle brake system design is easy to use.

 The public bicycle light

(dynamo-powered lamp) design is convenient.

 The public bike with a basket is convenient.

 People feel comfortable when riding the bikes.

 Customer service staff members are polite.

Quadrant Ⅲ: Low priority

(low importance, low performance)

Quadrant Ⅳ: Possible overkill

(low importance, high performance) These attributes are low importance and

low performance. Although performance levels may be low in this cell, managers should not be overly concerned since the attributes in this cell are not perceived to be very important. Limited resources should be expended on this low priority cell. Although consumers will not feel greatly dissatisfied when these projects have lower satisfaction, but if the business owner has the time and capacity, efforts should still be made to improve their quality.

This cell contains attributes of low importance, but relatively high performance. Respondents are satisfied with the performance of the organizations, but managers should consider present efforts on the attributes of this cell as being over-utilized.

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 The bicycle sharing system offers personalized service to customers. (c.f., bicycle height).

 The website offers related information.

 The public bike design is artistic, attracting customers to use it.  It is easy to apply for a membership

card.

 Customers can choose the form of payment by membership card or credit card.

 The payment (using the

membership card or credit card) is secure.

 Maintenance personnel on the processing speed of system failure are adequate.

 Usage information regarding public bikes is clear and easy to

understand.

 The bike sharing system has

multi-lingual operating instructions.  The distance between stations is

appropriate.

 The public bike with speed change control device is easy-speed.  The public bike handle is easy to

use.

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19 4.2 House of Quality

(2) Technical Requirement (Voice to Engineer) (1) Customer Attr ibutes (Voice to Customer) (9) Relationship Requirement (3) Customer Importa n ce (CI)

(4) Customer Satisfaction (CS) (5) Attra

ction Attitude (AA)

(6) Differen

ce Index (DI)

(7) Or

igina

l Weight of

Customer Demand (OWC)

(8) Normalised Weight of Customer Demand (NWC)

(10) Original Weight of Quality Improvement Strategies(OWT)

(11) Normalised Weight of Quality Improvement Strategies(NWT)

Figure 4-2: The QFD Model Source: This study

Quality Attribute Ranking

In this study, the questionnaire attributes regard service quality as the voice of the customer (VOC) in the main project. The author use quality attribute ranking to measure customer perception of service quality of C-bike. Before sorting, factors need to be converted. Table 4-2 provides the list of the data conversion of importance and satisfaction.

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Table 4-2: Data Conversion of Importance and Satisfaction

Dimensions Attribute Importance Satisfaction Pre- conversion Post- conversion Rank Pre- conversion Post- conversion Rank Service Quality of Staff Maintenance personnel on the processing speed of system failure are adequate.

4.23 1.23 23 3.35 0.35 30

Customer service staff can answer customer questions in detail.

4.3 1.3 15 3.52 0.52 19

Customer service in emergency situations (Ex. bike failure) is good.

4.3 1.3 15 3.41 0.41 26

Customer service staff members are proactive in helping customers

4.25 1.25 21 3.44 0.44 24

Public bike services offer a full pipeline for complaints or feedback.

4.33 1.33 8 3.47 0.47 23

Customer service staff can deal with customer complaints immediately.

4.31 1.31 13 3.41 0.41 26

Customer service staff members have the necessary expertise and ability.

4.3 1.3 15 3.48 0.48 22

Customer service staff members can provide the promised services.

4.26 1.26 20 3.5 0.5 20

Customer service staff

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21 Quality of

Public Bike

The public bicycle brake system design is easy to use.

4.38 1.38 3 3.71 0.71 8

The public bicycle light (dynamo-powered lamp) design is convenient.

4.24 1.24 22 3.62 0.62 15

The public bike with speed change control device is easy-speed.

4.17 1.17 28 3.86 0.86 4

The public bike handle is

easy to use. 4.22 1.22 25 3.81 0.81 5

The public bike with a

lock is secure. 4.35 1.35 4 3.89 0.89 3

The public bike with a

basket is convenient. 4.32 1.32 11 4.1 1.1 1

People feel comfortable

when riding the bikes. 4.32 1.32 11 3.23 0.23 33

The rental price of public

bikes is reasonable. 4.33 1.33 8 3.33 0.33 31

Quality of Bike Sharing System Equipment

I can rent or return the bike (C-bike) to the rental station any time.

4.35 1.35 4 4.05 1.05 2

The bike sharing system clearly explains how to rent or return bikes.

4.34 1.34 6 3.77 0.77 7

The charge method is clear and easy to understand.

4.33 1.33 8 3.8 0.8 6

The bike sharing system will clearly explain the content of service items (c.f., neighboring station locations and route indicators).

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22 Usage information

regarding public bikes is clear and easy to understand.

4.21 1.21 26 3.71 0.71 8

The bicycle sharing system offers

personalized service to customers. (c.f., bicycle height)

4.2 1.2 27 3.41 0.41 26

The public bike (C-bike)

failure rate is low. 4.41 1.41 2 3.57 0.57 17

The public bike

operating system failure rate is low.

4.44 1.44 1 3.33 0.33 31

Convenience

The public bike

operating system failure rate is low.

3.87 0.87 33 3.58 0.58 16

The public bike design is artistic, attracting customers to use it.

4.27 1.27 19 3.63 0.63 14

The public bike

operating system failure rate is low.

4.13 1.13 29 3.69 0.69 10

The public bike design is artistic, attracting customers to use it.

3.95 0.95 31 3.44 0.44 24

The public bike design is artistic, attracting customers to use it.

3.84 0.84 34 3.54 0.54 18

Easy to Use

It is easy to apply for a

membership card. 3.94 0.94 32 3.05 0.05 34

Customers can choose the form of payment by membership card or credit card.

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23 The payment (using the

membership card or credit card) is secure.

4.23 1.23 23 3.49 0.49 21

The process speed of renting or returning a bike is very easy and fast.

4.34 1.34 6 3.69 0.69 10

Source: This study

Attraction Attitude (AA) represents the attraction to the customer of the quality demand attributes provided by a Tung Li Company. The Difference Index (DI) represents the difference between the real levels of quality demand attributes provided by C-bike and the level required by the customer. The value represents the gap between performance of C-bike and the quality standards required by the customers. The assessment of these two indicators may decide the priority of customer demands and improvement in the service position. A more detailed understanding of this relationship can be gained from Table 4-3.

Table 4-3: Attraction Attitude and Difference Index of C-bike

Attribute Attraction

Attitude

Difference

Index DI Rank Maintenance personnel on the processing speed of system

failure are adequate. 0.4305 -7 27

Customer service staff can answer customer questions in

detail. 0.676 -4 24

Customer service in emergency situations (Ex. bike failure) is

good. 0.533 -11 28

Customer service staff members are proactive in helping

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24 Public bike services offer a full pipeline for complaints or

feedback. 0.6251 -15 31

Customer service staff can deal with customer complaints

immediately. 0.5371 -13 29

Customer service staff members have the necessary expertise

and ability. 0.624 -7 26

Customer service staff members can provide the promised

services. 0.63 0 19

Customer service staff members are polite. 0.8385 6 10 The public bicycle brake system design is easy to use. 0.9798 -5 25 The public bicycle light (dynamo-powered lamp) design is

convenient. 0.7688 7 9

The public bike with speed change control device is

easy-speed. 1.0062 24 1

The public bike handle is easy to use. 0.9882 20 2 The public bike with a lock is secure. 1.2015 1 18 The public bike with a basket is convenient. 1.452 10 7 People feel comfortable when riding the bikes. 0.3036 -22 32 The rental price of public bikes is reasonable. 0.4389 -23 33 I can rent or return the bike (C-bike) to the rental station any

time. 1.4175 2 14

The bike sharing system clearly explains how to rent or

return bikes. 1.0318 -1 20

The charge method is clear and easy to understand. 1.064 2 13 The bike sharing system will clearly explain the content of

service items (c.f., neighboring station locations and route indicators).

0.8515 1 17

Usage information regarding public bikes is clear and easy to

understand. 0.8591 18 4

The bicycle sharing system offers personalized service to

customers. (c.f., bicycle height) 0.492 1 16

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The public bike operating system failure rate is low. 0.4752 -30 34 The public bike operating system failure rate is low. 0.5046 17 5 The public bike design is artistic, attracting customers to use

it. 0.8001 5 11

The public bike operating system failure rate is low. 0.7797 19 3 The public bike design is artistic, attracting customers to use

it. 0.418 7 8

The public bike design is artistic, attracting customers to use

it. 0.4536 16 6

It is easy to apply for a membership card. 0.047 -2 21 Customers can choose the form of payment by membership

card or credit card. 0.4 1 15

The payment (using the membership card or credit card) is

secure. 0.6027 2 12

The process speed of renting or returning a bike is very easy

and fast. 0.9246 -4 23

Source: This study

Quality attribute ranking should be based on the following two criteria:

(1) Difference index (DI) of the smaller (particularly when negative), should reveal the priority regarding improvements.

(2) The same as difference index (DI) of attribute, the attraction attitude (AA) which is smaller (particularly when negative) should be improved first.

After quality attribute ranking, the C-bike of normalised weight of customer demand (NWC) are shown in Table 4-4 Original weights through quality attribute ranking are standardized.

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Table 4-4: Normalised Weight of Customer Demand of C-bike

Attribute Original Weight of Customer Demand (OWC) Difference Index Rank (RDI) Normalised Weight of Customer Demand (NWC) Maintenance personnel on the processing speed of

system failure are adequate. 8 27 0.0454

Customer service staff can answer customer questions

in detail. 11 24 0.0403

Customer service in emergency situations (Ex. bike

failure) is good. 7 28 0.0471

Customer service staff members are proactive in

helping customers 13 22 0.0370

Public bike services offer a full pipeline for complaints

or feedback. 4 31 0.0521

Customer service staff can deal with customer

complaints immediately. 6 29 0.0487

Customer service staff members have the necessary

expertise and ability. 9 26 0.0437

Customer service staff members can provide the

promised services. 16 19 0.0319

Customer service staff members are polite. 25 10 0.0168 The public bicycle brake system design is easy to use. 10 25 0.0420 The public bicycle light (dynamo-powered lamp)

design is convenient. 26 9 0.0151

The public bike with speed change control device is

easy-speed. 34 1 0.0017

The public bike handle is easy to use. 33 2 0.0034 The public bike with a lock is secure. 17 18 0.0303 The public bike with a basket is convenient. 28 7 0.0118 People feel comfortable when riding the bikes. 3 32 0.0538

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The rental price of public bikes is reasonable. 2 33 0.0555 I can rent or return the bike (C-bike) to the rental

station any time. 21 14 0.0235

The bike sharing system clearly explains how to rent

or return bikes. 15 20 0.0336

The charge method is clear and easy to understand. 22 13 0.0218 The bike sharing system will clearly explain the

content of service items (c.f., neighboring station locations and route indicators).

18 17 0.0286

Usage information regarding public bikes is clear and

easy to understand. 31 4 0.0067

The bicycle sharing system offers personalized service

to customers. (c.f., bicycle height) 19 16 0.0269

The public bike (C-bike) failure rate is low. 5 30 0.0504 The public bike operating system failure rate is low. 1 34 0.0571 The public bike operating system failure rate is low. 30 5 0.0084 The public bike design is artistic, attracting customers

to use it. 24 11 0.0185

The public bike operating system failure rate is low. 32 3 0.0050 The public bike design is artistic, attracting customers

to use it. 27 8 0.0134

The public bike design is artistic, attracting customers

to use it. 29 6 0.0101

It is easy to apply for a membership card. 14 21 0.0353 Customers can choose the form of payment by

membership card or credit card. 20 15 0.0252

The payment (using the membership card or credit

card) is secure. 23 12 0.0202

The process speed of renting or returning a bike is very

easy and fast. 12 23 0.0387

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28

As shown in Table 4-4, quality attribute ranking was used to sort the top ten as follows:

(1) The public bike operating system failure rate is low. (2) The rental price of public bikes is reasonable. (3) People feel comfortable when riding the bikes.

(4) Public bike services offer a full pipeline for complaints or feedback. (5) The public bike (C-bike) failure rate is low.

(6) Customer service staff can deal with customer complaints immediately. (7) Customer service in emergency situations (Ex. bike failure) is good. (8) Maintenance personnel on the processing speed of system failure are

adequate.

(9) Customer service staff members have the necessary expertise and ability. (10) The Public bicycle brake system design is easy to use.

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29 ◎ Strong: 9

○ Medium: 3

Weak: 1

Service Quality Convenience Security

Cus tomer Im por tance (CI ) Cus tomer S a ti sfac tio n ( C S ) At trac tio n At ti tude (A A) Differe nce I n dex (DI) Orig ina l Weight o f Custo m er Dema nd (OWC) No rma lised Weig ht o f Cus tomer De mand (NW C ) Rental s y st em par titions with wate rpr o of and moistu re-pr o o f fu ncti ons RFI D chip material with anti-interfere nce Service S taff Education an d Trainin g (S OP) A Div erse Pipeline fo r Co mpla ints Transfer br oadcas t truck turnover Payment Dive rsity Mar k eti n g an d Pr omo ti o n MRT site with pu blic bike map guid e Rent al s ta ti o n densi ty (e xp a n si on st ati o n) Quality ass u ra nce pers onne l mainte nance efficienc y Bicycle

materials and par

ts replacement

Service Quality

of Pers

onal

Maintenance staff on the processing speed of system

failure is fast. △ △ △ △ ◎ ○ ○ ◎ ◎ ○ ○ 4.23 3.35 0.4305 -7 8 0.0454

Customer service in emergency situations (Ex. bike

failure) is good. ○ ○ △ ◎ △ 4.3 3.52 0.6760 -4 11 0.0403

Customer service staff members are proactive in

helping customers ○ △ ○ ○ △ △ 4.3 3.41 0.5330 -11 7 0.0471

Public bike services offer a full pipeline for

complaints or feedback. ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ △ △ 4.25 3.44 0.5500 -3 13 0.0370

Customer service staff can deal with customer

complaints immediately. ○ △ △ ○ △ △ △ 4.33 3.47 0.6251 -15 4 0.0521

Customer service staff members have the necessary

expertise and ability. ○ ○ ○ △ ○ △ △ △ △ 4.31 3.41 0.5371 -13 6 0.0487

Customer service staff members can provide the

promised services. ○ △ △ △ ○ 4.3 3.48 0.6240 -7 9 0.0437

Customer service staff members are polite. △ ○ ○ ○ ○ △ △ 4.26 3.5 0.6300 0 16 0.0319

Customer service staff can answer customer

questions in detail. △ ○ ○ ○ ◎ △ △ 4.29 3.65 0.8385 6 25 0.0168

Qua

lity

o

f Public Bike

The public bicycle brake system design is easy to use. ○ △ △ △ ◎ △ △ △ △ 4.38 3.71 0.9798 -5 10 0.0420

The public bicycle light (dynamo-powered lamp)

design is convenient. △ △ △ △ ○ △ ○ ○ 4.24 3.62 0.7688 7 26 0.0151

The public bike with speed change control device is

easy-speed. ◎ ○ △ △ △ △ △ △ △ ○ ○ 4.17 3.86 1.0062 24 34 0.0017

The public bike handle is easy to use. △ △ △ ○ △ ○ 4.22 3.81 0.9882 20 33 0.0034

The public bike with a lock is secure. ○ △ △ ○ △ △ 4.35 3.89 1.2015 1 17 0.0303

The public bike with a basket is convenient. △ ○ △ △ ○ ○ △ △ △ 4.32 4.1 1.452 10 28 0.0118

People feel comfortable when riding the bikes. △ △ △ ○ ○ △ △ △ 4.32 3.23 0.3036 -22 3 0.0538

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30 Qual it y of B ik e Sh ari n g S y st em

I can rent or return the bike (C-bike) to the rental

station any time. △ △ △ △ ○ 4.35 4.05 1.4175 2 21 0.0235

The bike sharing system clearly explains how to rent

or return bikes. △ △ △ △ ○ 4.34 3.77 1.0318 -1 15 0.0336

The charge method is clear and easy to understand. △ △ △ △ ○ 4.33 3.8 1.064 2 22 0.0218

The bike sharing system will clearly explain the content of service items (c.f., neighboring station locations and route indicators).

△ △ △ ○ 4.31 3.65 0.8515 1 18 0.0286

Usage information regarding public bikes is clear

and easy to understand. △ △ △ △ ○ 4.21 3.71 0.8591 18 31 0.0067

The bicycle sharing system offers personalized

service to customers. (c.f., bicycle height) △ △ △ △ ○ 4.2 3.41 0.4920 1 19 0.0269

The public bike (C-bike) failure rate is low. △ △ ○ 4.41 3.57 0.8037 -15 5 0.0504

The public bike operating system failure rate is low. △ △ ○ ○ △ △ △ △ 4.44 3.33 0.4752 -30 1 0.0571

Conve

n

ience

The bike sharing system has multi-lingual operating

instructions. △ △ △ △ ○ △ △ △ △ ○ △ 3.87 3.58 0.5046 17 30 0.0084

The rental station locations are appropriate. ◎ △ △ △ △ △ △ △ △ 4.27 3.63 0.8001 5 24 0.0185

The distance between stations is appropriate. ◎ ○ △ ○ △ △ △ 4.13 3.69 0.7797 19 32 0.0050

The website offers related information. ◎ ○ △ △ △ △ △ △ △ 3.95 3.44 0.4180 7 27 0.0134

The public bike design is artistic, attracting

customers to use it. ○ ◎ △ △ △ △ △ △ △ 3.84 3.54 0.4536 16 29 0.0101

Ea

sy to

Use

It is easy to apply for a membership card. ◎ ○ △ △ △ △ △ 3.94 3.05 0.047 -2 14 0.0353

Customers can choose the form of payment by

membership card or credit card. ◎ ○ △ △ △ △ △ △ 4 3.4 0.4000 1 20 0.0252

The payment (using the membership card or credit

card) is secure. ◎ ○ △ △ △ △ △ 4.23 3.49 0.6027 2 23 0.0202

The process speed of renting or returning a bike is

very easy and fast. ◎ ○ △ △ △ △ △ △ 4.34 3.69 0.9246 -4 12 0.0387

Original Weight if Quality Improvement Strategies (OWT) 0.0840 0.1950 2.8941 1.3681 1.2370 1.0773 2.7378 1.2756 1.2017 0.9160 1.1664

Normalized Weight of Quality Improvement Strategies

(NWT) 0.0059 0.0138 0.2045 0.0967 0.0874 0.0761 0.1934 0.0901 0.0849 0.0647 0.0824

Implement Sequence 11 10 1 3 5 8 2 4 6 9 7

Figure 4-2: House of Quality (C-bike) Source: This study

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31 Technical Assessment

The following is the solution methods for the top three technical assessments.

(1) Service Staff Education and Training (SOP)

In the “Service Staff Education and Training” aspect, many customers still do not understand the usage of, and information on, public bikes. Therefore, service staff plays a very important role. That’s the reason why staff training becomes more important. Service staff must have the needed expertise, capacity and ability to serve customers. In addition, good service affects the willingness of consumers to repurchase, so before promoting the C-bike, service staff must have adequate training to answer customers’ needs.

(2) Marketing and Promotion

In the “Marketing and Promotion” aspect, the author ensures that the customers have the same feeling; the information at the rental station is quite poor. The bike sharing system does not explain clearly the information when the customers rent or return bikes, also the content of service items (c.f., neighboring station locations and route indicators). Coupled with relatively inadequate consultation system, the result is a lack of rental information. As for marketing and promotion, Kaohsiung citizens and tourists need to understand how to use public bikes and the advantage of public bike riding. Rental stations can be located around hotels and tourist spots which will increase tourist usage, and at schools at all levels, so that the number of users will increase. As the sites are insufficient, public bikes are less convenient, with lower frequency of use. In addition, the application method is too difficult for obtaining increased membership cards. All of these reasons explain why membership cards are obviously insufficient. Tourists should also be offered one-day passes or weekly tickets to increase the amount usage. The Environmental Protection Bureau Kaohsiung City Government and Tung Li Company should randomly use surveys as reference to improve the information system; even an advocacy program can be used to enhance understanding of

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customer information systems. More user-friendly information can be used to make effective use of resources.

(3) A Diverse Pipeline for Complaints

“A Diverse Pipeline for Complaints” is advised due to the bike sharing systems’ frequent malfunction and inconvenience to the customer. Therefore the rate of customers’ complaints will definitely increase. Public Bikes can provide a variety of complaint channels, so that the relevant units might ascertain customers’ needs to improve grievance procedures.

Finally, the conclusions drawn above should be interpreted in relation to public bikes (C-bike). The findings of this study highlight the need for more research to investigate many of the above issues, and in particular, methods for improving public bike service.

4.3 Findings

By combining the two methods of QFD and the IPA, the results of this study could be more accurate. These findings are in accord with analysis (see Table 4-1) and (see Table 4-4) by comparison, the top 10 improvements of IPA and quality attribute ranking of attributes, 7 attributes are the same (70% overlap). Table 4-5 shows the overlap. Because these studies complement each other, the compatibility of the results is all the more impressive.

Table 4-5: Overlap of IPA and QFD

IPA QFD

12. The public bike operating system failure rate is low. 24. People feel comfortable when riding the bikes.

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28. Customer service in emergency situations (Ex. bike failure) is good. 30. Public bike services offer a full pipeline for complaints or feedback. 31. Customer service staff can deal with customer complaints immediately. 32. Customer service staff members have the necessary expertise and ability. 27. Customer service staff can answer

customer questions in detail.

11. The public bike (C-bike) failure rate is low.

29.Customer service staff members are proactive in helping customers

18. The public bicycle brake system design is easy to use.

33. Customer service staff members can provide the promised services.

26. Maintenance personnel on the processing speed of system failure are adequate.

Source: This study

5. Conclusions and Suggestions

5.1 Conclusions

Researchers in management have proposed many new quality improvement strategies, which attract managers of firms to adopt them for following the fashion. However, each industry has its own characteristics. Whether C-bike should seek to adopt popular and new quality improvement strategies is an issue for further discussion. The analytical results of this study reveal that the best quality improvement strategy for public bike in Taiwan. Moreover, the analytical result the 34 attributes of customers show significant differences between expected service and perceived service; T values are all positive, which means that average importance is greater than average satisfaction. These findings imply the Tung Li Company should seek their own ideal quality improvement strategy which could meet the need of its own customers. Companies should not blindly adopt quality improvement strategies that are new and popular in the management research field or blindly follow the best quality improvement strategy of other types of public bike, without considering the demands of their

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own customers. Generating a quality improvement strategy that could strongly improve quality perceived by customer is the key to maintaining competitive advantage. Tung Li Company should make efforts to plan new customer-based quality improvement strategies to gain competitive advantage. This study adopted QFD with ‘Quality Attribute Ranking’ and ‘Importance-Performance analysis’ to generate and evaluate the quality improvement strategy based on voice of customer. Therefore, the best quality improvement strategy generated by QFD could strongly improve quality perceived by customer. The QFD adopted in this study to generate the quality improvement strategies would help Tung Li company to gain competitive advantage in a highly competitive market.

5.2 Suggestions

Suggestions for practice

The experience of public bicycles in Paris and Lyon inspired a number of European cities to set up a public bike stations. With high oil prices and the desire to reduce carbon emissions as well as conserve energy, the bike has suddenly become a very popular mode of transportation, not only in regard to Kaohsiung’s recreational sports, but also in other activities.

Public bicycling was also planned in Taiwan’s cities; Taipei’s Youbike in Xinyi District initiated a trial of small-scale rentals. With Taipei and Kaohsiung leading the trend, this mode of operation will be implemented in other counties and cities.

(1) Taiwan niche

Taiwan is good at producing bicycles and computer information; take Lyon for an example, a public bicycle system (including computer) costs one hundred thousand NT

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dollars; in Taiwan, the cost is only one-fifth of this price. Also, in Kaohsiung, the weather is generally dry, ideal for riding a bicycle.

Benefits of public bicycles include greater convenience for leisure tourists, as well as for local residents and office workers commuting, as they do not have to worry about custody and maintenance.

(2) Large-scale rental stations

Kaohsiung public bike include 50 completed stations distributed in southern Kaohsiung, with rental stations being uncommon. From the construction of the MRT, along with the bus lines, bike rental shops point out that the population density of Kaohsiung is still very inadequate. Sufficient public bike size and rental sites (business district, residential areas, office buildings, and schools) facilitate a relatively high utilization rate. Each point should be 10 to 15 minutes from the next, like the more than 200 points in Lyon; Paris has more than 1,000 points, with a high replacement rate, about 30 bikes arriving and being dispatched every 30 minutes. The proposal statistics considers that the majority of pedestrians within one kilometer radius will need to reach the MRT station; according to the data the number of stations needs to be increased in crowded places. With high density and fast turnaround, each person will be using a bike for a short time, ensuring that every point has bikes available.

However, MRT stations along the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corporation need to work in concert with the public bikes. Setting the locations should consider MRT locations in order to extend the transportation range. In addition, the MRT should be set vertically, because the MRT is like a city traffic artery, with the bus as a vein, and the bike as a capillary; without convergence of these modes, and then the city’s traffic flow cannot proceed smoothly.

(3) Convenient payment

C-bike is divided into member and non-member fees; if the city wants to encourage people to use Kaohsiung’s mass transit system should be combined with I Pass, rather than

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adopting another membership card. The MRT TM card and I Pass are not common nationally, but exhibit higher prevalence in Kaohsiung. C-bike now only uses membership cards and credit cards which is not friendly to users. Moreover, there are few locations to apply for cards; if the government needs to encourage people by providing more information, such as how to apply for membership and where to go for service.

(4) Concessionary fees

By Paris’ experience, with its high utilization rate by local people, the first half-hour is free of charge, so customers will try to lease at stations they can reach in the half-hour period. For example, some foreign cities do not charge dues, considering the high deposit to prevent theft, but the deposit can be refunded when the bike use is finished, unlike the fees charged by Kaohsiung which are not returned; apparently the high cost is borne by users.

Public bikes funded by the Air Pollution Fund, should no longer charge membership fees for stolen bike costs; the current approach is sufficient to cover the costs. Moreover there are advertising revenues as additional income. C-bike still charges 40 dollars for a half-hour for non-members. Since the public bikes funded by the Air Pollution Fund should be more service-based, the fee should be returned to the public. The authors look forward the government and private cooperation creating a win-win outcome for Kaohsiung, offering a really cheap, universal and convenient public transport urban environment.

Suggestions for theory

In this study, the voice of the customer was a key point in using QFD to determine the priority attributes. Traditional consumer survey results cannot determine the important factors for consumers. The results of QFD include consumer satisfaction, as well as different levels of importance to improve the system. The author will begin this discussion by reviewing the empirical findings, and then turn to the general theoretical issues. In this paper,

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the author presents the results of 4 projects regarding quality function deployment and the priorities of required improvements. As for the other projects, they don’t need immediate improvements, but the degree of priority may change in the future. The questionnaires are subject to constant revision and changes to keep improving them. In order to maintain the correctness and time-bound quality of services, we must continue to collect customers’ opinions with the criteria of satisfaction and needs serving as the basis for periodic re-evaluation. The results, therefore, should be treated circumspectly.

In addition, when using the IPA to measure, attributes of satisfaction and importance in the overall averages is missing, unlike the use of Z scores; because of deviations from the average value, the results may not be perfectly accurate. Therefore, this research employs standard Z scores as the measured value of IPA. Several implications can be drawn from this study.

5.3 Limitations and Future Research

This study attempted to identify gaps between expected services and perceived service and also IPA scores to validate the results. Perhaps future research could examine the Standardized coefficient of average satisfaction of individuals toward performance or overall customer satisfaction (β value) with regression analysis. The greater its value indicates that the attributes of each unit change on the average impact of performance, or overall satisfaction should be improved. Finally, the top 10 attributes with QFD should be the subjects of for comparison; if there is consistency that means it may be higher authenticity of this study.

Future research is obviously required; this is an exciting first step. This study is only for a bike sharing system, to carry out an assessment. Due to lack of time and manpower, it cannot examine other bike sharing systems to derive a competitive assessment. Following

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studies could look at other bike sharing systems to better understand market competition, so that Quality Function Deployment can provide a more complete assessment of the bike sharing system. An important area for future research will be in the refinement of approaches to the analysis of bike sharing system characteristics. While much remains to be done, we anticipate that the work will generate important findings in the field of public bikes.

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數據

Figure 1-1: Taiwan's Bicycle Export Volume and Unit Price (2000~2008)  Source: BOFT International Trade Information System Taiwan Bicycle Exports

Figure 1-1:

Taiwan's Bicycle Export Volume and Unit Price (2000~2008) Source: BOFT International Trade Information System Taiwan Bicycle Exports p.4
Table 2-1 Popular Definitions of a Product Service System

Table 2-1

Popular Definitions of a Product Service System p.6
Table 2-2: The Main Bicycle Sharing System

Table 2-2:

The Main Bicycle Sharing System p.9
Figure 3-1: Conceptual Research Structure  Source: This Study

Figure 3-1:

Conceptual Research Structure Source: This Study p.14
Figure 4-1: Importance-Performance Grid (C-bike)  Source: This study

Figure 4-1:

Importance-Performance Grid (C-bike) Source: This study p.15
Table 4-1: C-Bike Services of the 4 Quadrant Area  Quadrant  Ⅱ:

Table 4-1:

C-Bike Services of the 4 Quadrant Area Quadrant Ⅱ: p.16
Figure 4-2: The QFD Model  Source: This study

Figure 4-2:

The QFD Model Source: This study p.19
Table 4-2: Data Conversion of Importance and Satisfaction

Table 4-2:

Data Conversion of Importance and Satisfaction p.20
Table 4-3: Attraction Attitude and Difference Index of C-bike

Table 4-3:

Attraction Attitude and Difference Index of C-bike p.23
Table 4-4: Normalised Weight of Customer Demand of C-bike

Table 4-4:

Normalised Weight of Customer Demand of C-bike p.26
Figure 4-2: House of Quality (C-bike)  Source: This study

Figure 4-2:

House of Quality (C-bike) Source: This study p.30
Table 4-5: Overlap of IPA and QFD

Table 4-5:

Overlap of IPA and QFD p.32

參考文獻

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