Implementation of business process reengineering and benchmarking at Kenya Ports Authority

Studies in regard to business process improvement on port industry had been rare in the Kenyan environment. The purpose of this research was to present an assessment of business process reengineering (BPR) and benchmarking implementation at Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), their impact on port performance and challenges faced. The research used both primary and secondary data drawn from interviews with five senior managers representing five KPA divisions and performance data from KPA's bulletins of statistics. Content analysis and structural break analysis was performed on primary and secondary data on port performance respectively to establish the presence and impact of the improvement approaches. The findings of the study showed that BPR and benchmarking were undertaken at the port, even though the correctness of their implementation was unconvincing. Structural break had occurred on ships waiting time over the 1995 - 2009 period and overall port throughput showed continuous improvement rather than breakthrough. The main challenges to improvement efforts at KP A were political interference, wrong attitude to change and frequent changes in top management, which most likely led to the watered down implementation of the improvement approaches and consequently, the full impact of BPR and benchmarking projects on port throughput was not realised. The study recommended that business process improvement initiatives at KP A need to be divorced from external interference if success in the magnitude intended was to be achieved. This research provided a window to all stakeholders of Mombasa port on how to assess internal improvement efforts by KPA and the associated challenges that affected the big picture of port performance improvement and overall port throughput.