Small Ships: Swift inspection with decentralized options

Implemented by the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications - Ports and Maritime Affairs

Given Bahrain's geographical makeup composition—comprising as an archipelago of several islands surrounded by regional waters from all sides—maritime navigation, whether for trade, fishing, tourism, or leisure, is pivotal. It necessitates regulation to ensure the safety of seafarers, protection of the marine environment, meeting security requirements, and providing an ideal environment for such activities.

To address this, the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications, through Ports and Maritime Affairs, has taken on the responsibility of overseeing processes related to inspecting and examining small ships. This is managed through the Small Ships Registration Office, as a part of the Registration of Ships and Seamen Affairs Management. The objective is to deliver efficient and high-quality services promptly, ensuring customer satisfaction. The "Completion of Quick Inspection within 24 hours" process was initiated by assigning this task to several private companies (third parties).

Small Ships: Swift inspection with decentralized options (Video, 0 minutes 40 seconds, Arabic only)

Reasons for the new service

The reasons for the newly developed service stem from a desire to introduce advanced services in line with the Bahrain Vision 2030. These services aim to be exceptional in quality and effectiveness, with speed being a crucial demand from customers. The surge in real estate development in Bahrain, particularly in new cities and government and private real estate projects, has led to an increase in residential areas overlooking the sea. Consequently, many individuals have turned to sailing, fishing, or maritime excursions, not to mention the daily and continuous maritime movement of boats involved in professional fishing and more.

The introduction of the new service for quick inspection followed a thorough study of various customer opinions and feedback. It was implemented to address the lack of a similar service that offered multiple options and quick execution.

Service implementation

The service was rolled out in 2022 through the Small Ships Registration Office, in line with Decision No. (5) of 2019, which allowed maritime supervision companies to oversee small ships, and provided customers with the choice of requesting the inspection service from the office itself or from third-party companies, with a turnaround time of 24 hours.

The "Quick Inspection" service is one of the specialties offered by the Small Ships Registration Office. It involves the technical inspection of boats in accordance with Decree-Law No. (32) of 2020, addressing the registration, safety, and monitoring rules for small ships under Article (7).

In addition to the previously mentioned objectives regarding the reasons for introducing the service, the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications, the overseeing entity, was keen on developing office services in line with the First Government Service Centers Assessment Guide published in 2020. This was specifically under standard 4.2.5 related to "Queue Management." On another note, the service contributed to enhancing the revenues generated by the office, positively impacting the overall income.

Success factors

The new service includes all types of boats, regardless of their variations in size, type, or operation, both within and outside the Kingdom of Bahrain. Its primary goal was very clear – offering small ship owners the flexibility to undergo inspections through approved third-party companies, with a commitment to complete the process within a 24-hour timeframe.

Several key elements played important roles in launching this new service and ensuring its success. The groundwork was laid through existing ministerial decisions that could be put into action, aligning seamlessly with the nature of services provided by the Small Ships Registration Office. Specifically, the decision to embrace maritime supervision companies was significant. The qualified and specialized technical team at the Small Ships Registration Office was also instrumental. The service rollout was a collective effort by all employees, with the real architects of success being the staff at the Small Ships Registration Office, along with the technical inspection team.

Two strategies for effective implementation and positive evaluation

Two approaches were adopted to make the implementation seamless and ensure positive evaluation. The first method focused on thorough preparation and organization, with a dedicated schedule crafted for the rapid inspection service. To make sure customers reaped the benefits, interest was spurred by creating awareness among them about the option to voluntarily choose approved maritime supervision companies under Decision No. (5) of 2019. As implementation kicked off, a separate and closely monitored schedule was put in place for the rapid inspection service, overseen daily by the director of the Small Ships Registration Department. Emphasis was also placed on ensuring a qualified and sufficient workforce in the Small Ships Registration Office, along with providing dedicated vehicles for the rapid inspection service.
The evaluation strategy aimed at understanding customer satisfaction and whether the service met their expectations. This involved reviewing the rapid inspection schedule daily, completing procedures for inspected boats from the previous day, and ensuring ship ownership was handed over within a maximum of 48 hours from the inspection service request date. Customer feedback was given intense focus, with continuous monitoring of their experiences, addressing their comments for improvement, and considering their ideas to innovate in the execution process.

Positive impact and success indicators

The service had a positive impact on multiple fronts, evident in key success indicators such as sustained customer demand. This reflected their satisfaction with having more than one option, a departure from the past. They perceived it as a responsive practice keeping up with the latest developments, and offering convenience, flexibility, and a commitment to delivering distinctive government services. Through feedback from customers and approved maritime supervision companies, we recorded numerous positive impressions.
For the office, successful implementation of the service, coupled with the efforts of dedicated staff, addressed the previous service gaps and reinforced the service's continuity based on positive customer response. The adoption and activation of the service through third-party companies also supported the government financially.

Key takeaways: innovation and creativity

Following the implementation of this new service, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications gained valuable insights, with a standout lesson being the recognition of the importance of offering practical and diverse options for delivering fast services. This approach provides customers with significant flexibility in selecting options that align with their preferences, ensuring greater satisfaction. Diversifying effective services not only meets customer needs but also significantly contributes to increased income from service offerings. Specifically, adopting an innovative and creative approach opens up avenues for boosting income by providing a range of services that customers find effective and convenient, driving high demand. Adapting processes, innovating solutions, and introducing new options based on customer demand will undoubtedly result in customer satisfaction, reflected in continued interest, praise, and calls for the service's continuation.
Innovation and creativity emerge as powerful drivers in the development process, enabling quick and efficient adaptation to changes in service delivery. Embracing innovative methods not only supports investment but also maximizes the benefits derived from the services provided. Consequently, the rapid technical inspection service stands as a successful model, showcasing the significance of introducing innovative initiatives to elevate customer services.

The need for enhancing customer experience

Among the key recommendations from those involved in implementing the service is the need for continuously developing the concept of the customer experience across services. The success of the development process hinges on maintaining high and growing satisfaction rates. To achieve this, adopting a continuous communication approach is crucial, allowing for the study of customer needs and gaining insights into their views and opinions. This forms the foundation for any future updates and development efforts. Achieving flexibility in transactions, adaptability to change, and a swift response to customer feedback are essential components. When designing processes, services, and policies, the primary goal should always be customer convenience. It is vital to cultivate the skills of personnel to understand and anticipate customer needs, ensuring proactivity in understanding, predicting, and implementing solutions that guarantee the sustainability of service offerings and overall satisfaction.

Content Last Updated: 25 Feb, 2024

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