This is a converted executive summary from the Bachelor Thesis of yaos Founder and CEO, Leandro Röschli. The thesis examined the parameters for observing process improvement following the implementation of a new inflight IT system, LimeFlight, at Edelweiss Air.
The aviation industry operates in a highly volatile market environment which in turn increases the competitiveness of stakeholders. This is especially due to low-cost or government-subsidised airlines which permanently increase competitive pressure. The only true advantage an airline can possess in such an environment is its ability to react to changes in the market environment faster than its competitors. In order to achieve this, Edelweiss Air implemented a new inflight service load and inventory planning application called LimeFlight at the beginning of 2015. Edelweiss expected by implementing this software they would increase efficiency in integrating new products or services on their flights and thus optimise their supply chain.
Now the key question: did it work?? Since the introduction of the IT system, the main users did qualitatively notice improvements in the load planning process. However, there were no performance indicators and metrics used to demonstrate the quantitative improvements in the processes. In order to better understand and service this need, Leandro decided to investigate the issue as part of his bachelor’s thesis. He began by analysing the extent to which the process had changed before and after implementation and what indicators of both processes could be identified.
The differences in both process structures was revealed through the use of a process model and process knowledge was acquired from qualitative surveys. Utilising the process-knowledge, process-specific indicators could be developed which allowed for evaluation based on time, quality, customer satisfaction, flexibility, cost and employee satisfaction. The characteristic values of these factors were then determined on the basis of time studies, internal statistics and reports.
The research and analysis revealed an elementary transformation of the process structure, where, thanks to the introduction of the IT solution LimeFlight, many of the process steps could be successfully eliminated, automated and shortened. The application still required more careful handling of data and more precise information but the benchmarks revealed improvements in all six dimensions mentioned above. The most notable improvements were seen in the dimensions of quality, cost and employee satisfaction. Delving deeper, these observations are primarily the result of the reduction in process cycle time, the prevention of transaction errors and duplications as well as increased process control and oversight. Edelweiss Air also recorded improvements in their work execution due to increased data quality. The new process flow allowed more efficient adjustments of loading configurations, more rapid processing of special case changes and the overall creation of a more flexible and efficient aircraft planning process.
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