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›› Introduction to Good Practices©giz2012 Business Process: A business process is a coordinat- ed set of actions that deliver value to customers. Often processes evolve informally and can be the cause of bot- tlenecks or inefficiencies. This chapter shows how to an- alyse and improve business processes. Serving the Poor: The objective of most water systems is to satisfy a basic human need. Yet often, the poor do not have service – if they had it they would have a chance to escape the chains of poverty, malnutrition and disease. Non-revenue Water Management (NRW): Many coun- tries have high non-revenue water due to physical water losses and the administrative losses that result from water theft or inadequate record-keeping. Reducing NRW is important to the long-term sustainability of a water utility. Private Sector Participation: Many organisions focus on their core services and employ the private sector to pro- vide other services. This may prove cost effective and yield better results. Water Demand Management: This approach means de- liberately taking steps to control the amount of water usage within a utility as well as encouraging customers to use water wisely. Information and Communications Technology: Tech- nology advances so fast that it can make you dizzy. But technology is responsible for many improvements in the ways that we work and communicate and there are ways to manage technology to have what you need. Customer Service: Customers are the life blood of any organision – their demand for services and payments keep an organision alive. Providing good service to cus- tomers, then, just makes sense if you want your organi- sion to survive and thrive. Revenue Generation: Most organisions survive because they are able to charge their customers for services and cover their costs. Water utilities are the same – while many of them are government operated, they usually have user-based fees so that people pay their fair share for what they use. Without revenues, water utilities are not able to survive. Capital Management: A well-maintained asset will be productive for many years and provide a high return on investment. Neglected assets often fail long before their expected useful lives expire. And capital assets are nor- mally expensive – so it makes good sense to manage them effectively. Financial Management: Most organisions survive be- cause they are able to provide good products to their customers at affordable prices. This does not happen by accident – financial management is one of the key as- pects to make this happen. Water Associations: Many industries have trade associ- ations and this is also true of the water industry. Asso- ciations thrive because they bring value to their mem- bers in terms of sharing experiences, helping each other, training and standards to name a few. Most of the world’s great associations began with the efforts of a few people. Public Involvement: The actions of many organisions affect the public – as well as customers. The public can support an organision or it can be its worst enemy. There are ways to develop and keep public support by involving the public appropriately in decision-making. D. Other Good Practices The Impact Guidebook chapters do not cover each and every good practice or concept that exists in the world. The chapters do cover topics that we believe are essen- tial for water utilities. There are other topics that may be useful. This section discusses some additional topics that you may want to investigate. Social Environment: The ways that people in your or- ganision work together and form supportive relation- ships is a factor in your success: if the social environ- ment is a positive one, you will be more likely to suc- ceed; if it is negative, you may find it difficult to make progress. Knowledge Management: Every day, people in your organision create information and knowledge that is vital to its survival and sustainability. There are ways to make sure that you capture, store, analyse and use the