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The Centre for Interfirm Comparison

Every day Tina Lui travels from her home in Lok Fu to her job in Hong Kong's Central District quickly and safely using the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway System.

The MTR as it is known, is one of the most intensively used Underground Railways in the world. Although its track is at present only about one fifth the total length of London's system, it carries a greater number of passengers each day. MTR's Operations Division works hard at maintaining its reputation as one of the world's most reliable and punctual railways.

As part of this process Harry Palmer, the Centre's Director, was asked to recommend a system of key ratios for an Executive Information System (EIS). The EIS was designed to alert senior management to changes in a number of key variables affecting the performance of the railway such as safety, reliability, customer satisfaction, capital efficiency and of course financial strength.

Railway ratios can be an arcane pleasure but suffice to say that during his visits to Hong Kong, Harry was grappling with concepts such as:

Total car kms travelled per reportable incident;
Number of passengers affected by delays of 5 minutes or more per route km;
Gross profit margin per satisfied customer

together with a great many more ratios designed to monitor trends and to set targets for the key measures of MTR's performance.

So by providing the MTR with a system of ratios to keep the trains running at peak efficiency we have helped Tina Lui and millions more to get to work on time in Hong Kong.

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