Ground handlers constantly face new challenges, ones which are not static but rather evolve constantly. Moreover, technological advancements, emissions and higher security regulations are causing a good degree of commotion within the industry and this need to be dealt with.
This fight is endless. The most adaptive companies are winning while others are slowly losing ground, trying different methods to increase revenue by optimizing operational and administrational processes to gain a small yet vital advantage. Undeniably, safety in aviation is crucial, but revenue streams are important too. Here we can observe different strategies put to the test: some decide to go for maximum cost savings while others choose to provide high-quality services.
Naturally, everything is dictated by the strategic behavior, values and competition of airlines. Here, Sensus Aero, a new-gen software solution for the aviation industry, examines situations when efficient quality management can bring ground handlers long-term gains.
The beginning – standards and efficiency
First of all, good, efficient and structural quality control increases efficiency, as it drastically accelerates the improvement rate and indicates root causes. As this becomes part of the organizational culture, the long-term effect starts to take shape and unnecessary processes are stopped. Interaction between departments changes and operational flows are optimized. As a result, we can gain structural organizational stability, which leads to a less chaotic work environment and better on-time performance, as well as the reduction of resources.
To control and ensure this process, we need something that will serve as the basis: QMS (Quality Management System) and a constant auditing process, resulting in verifiable improvements. In essence, we are creating the framework on which we will build our quality standards.
Gaining an edge
Airport location can have a massive impact on competition and how the chessboard is played. One way of understanding which direction to take is by predicting and understanding the games played by airlines. It is substantially different to ground handling, but knowing what each airline stands for and what its long-term strategy is can offer a number of possibilities. If an airport is attracting airlines – for which quality, on-time performance, and operational stability are crucial – then reputation can become the key to winning the contract on favorable terms. In other words, even if a ground handler is prepared to suddenly change its strategic initiative to improve drastically on-time performance or the first/last bag delivery metrics, it won’t help much, as there is historical statistical data to take into account.
However, if a company has been working constantly to be regarded as a high-quality operation then retaining current customers, gaining new ones or expanding to new locations can be a lot easier. In addition, if the airline values high-quality services, during the negotiation process quality-orientated companies can then win the contract even with higher pricing, thereby increasing revenue.
It’s a proactive measure, not reactive
As we know, safety is vital for all aviation players. However, incidents do happen, and they’re usually caused by human error. Chances of such an error can be minimized by adjusting processes and constantly reminding staff about the importance of safety and surroundings, paired with the use of Information systems. Each incident has a massive effect on revenue, as insurance costs can be raised, and considering GH profit margins, this can be quite a juggling act. In addition, though it is hard to evaluate, the company’s reputation suffers as well, which may prevent it from winning contracts in the future.
When an organization places a strong emphasis on quality as one of its top priorities and effectively fosters a culture of correct execution and implementation, it can cultivate a self-improvement culture where everyone shares the same core values. This, in turn, reduces the need for top management to push for increased efficiency and the creation of safety-enhancing processes. This not only reduces risks but also improves efficiency and mitigates revenue loss.
As we have established, in some situations being aware of the competition and of an airline’s directional strategy can make it possible to gain a substantial advantage. To control everything in a structured way, not only is a framework needed but also the necessary tools as well. Digitalization and the adoption of flexible platforms can increase your efficiency and help achieve your targets. So, how exactly can this platform help you?
- The auditing process can be fully digitalized for both internal and external audits. That means that targets are set for each specific airline and execution may be controlled automatically from the system side.
- Incident/Delay investigation process can be centralized and structured, as it involves complex flow transactions. Interaction between business units can be difficult, and without a proper platform, it can lead to mistakes and a slower improvement process. In addition, this aspect is helpful when providing reports for third parties, as these reports are available on demand.
- Risk management – controlling and understanding the state of the organization from a risk management perspective is a proactive measure for prediction of the direction in which the company is heading. As processes can be complex, it can be critical to identify those areas which most need attention and improvement, as well as any risks currently facing the company.
- KPIs – metrics are always important in business and goals must always be set. Tracking the progress each day can help with the relevant decision-making.
Overall, we can see that establishing a quality-orientated approach in an organization is not an easy task, but it can be beneficial in the long term. Understanding competition and being aware of the ever-changing market can lead to a stable, efficient and more profitable organization with a hugely improved reputation.