Technological(Passengeers vent anger as ckeck-in system crashes. Essay Example
Qantas Airline Technological Strategy
Qantas airline technological strategy
Air travelling is a very aggressive industry because it facilitates economic growth, global trade, international investments and tourism making the industry very instrumental towards globalization that is taking place in other industries across the globe. According to the guardian newspapers (2011), the turnover of airlines profits in 2010 was approximately USD $12 billion. These figures has made the industry very attractive that has brought about new companies that subsequently steal market share that was traditionally a reserve of the big players hence reducing their profits.
As a result of this, airline companies have been forced to become more innovative by coming up with long term solutions that will make them more efficient, increase on their profit margin, and at the same time cut on their operational costs. This scenario has brought about strategies such as down sizing of employees, fuel hedging, and deploying IT systems to enhance the organization operations whereby IT systems have effectively been applied in areas such as electronic ticketing and online reservation systems.
However, even though IT has enhanced operations in the industry, it is turning out to be like a curse in some specific situations, this is so because, for instance, When Qantas check in system crushed (e-turbo news, 2011), it managed to paralyze the check in operations for the entire company the whole day, a situation that led into some series of flight delays and passenger anger. Even though one of the spokesman issued a statement saying that the system collapse happened for only less than an hour while also being strongly supported by the same companies employees that the delayed flights did not have any significant impact, the passengers grossly complained because a good number of them lost their luggage’s while they were waiting for flights because this particular technical hitch affected the companies entire check in operations throughout the whole country. When the company’s executives were contacted to reply on the matter, they argued that the check in problem had happened from because of systems procured from external vendors and that the situation would soon resume to normal (SMS, 2010)
This scenario perfectly shows how technology plays a very critical role on the quality of an organizations operation the same way manufacturing systems do.
With all the disappointments coming from the customers which have also led them into losing faith with the company, Qantas airline needed to find ways of rebuilding back its consumer confidence. This has forced the airline company to explain to the clients that changes that are likely to be made and how the online reservation system is going to be improved upon so that it does not disappoint them again by breaking down.
Qantas new check-in technology
Qantas embarked on an initiative going by the name “Next Generation Checking Network” that comes integrated with a micro chipped smartcard that is geared to replace the boarding passes and mainly uses RFID to track people’s luggages. The wireless technology will be first deployed on Sydney and Perth mainly because the new system had been undergoing some live trials in Perth from July 2010. The remaining airports such as Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne, their deployment of the new technology will therefore follow afterwards in the first half of 2012 (Median & Schneider, 2011).
This Next generation checking system uses a smart chip that is integrated into new frequent flyer programs whereby the chip will work by identifying passengers together with their bookings. This technology will also enable smart cards to act also as some sorts of electronic boarding pass.
How the New Technology works
When a user just swipes in the card on any of the available airports self service check in kiosks, your cellular phone receives a short text message detailing the relevant flight information, and when the card is swiped for the second time at the boarding gate, the airline customers will be free to proceed with their journey.
The checked luggage will also be tagged with some unique ‘Q Tag Bags” that have some RFID chips which are linked to the smart card and a customers frequent flyer account. Because these bag tags are linked with your issued smart card, they can be used to track a customer’s luggage at any luggage drop off point without necessarily printing the luggage tag, provided that you complete the online or smart phone check in. Also the RFID technology may enable the expedient location and removal of passenger luggage’s from an aircraft hold if necessary in circumstances whereby passengers checks in but does not board the plane due to various reasons (RFID Journal, 2011).
How the new technology is going to benefit both the company together with its clients
The company hopes this new technology will go a long way in solving the check in inconveniences that have been mired by poor system designs and that Qantas hopes that the entire check in procedures will take a record time of less than five seconds whenever their customers are in the queue (David Flynn, 2010).
With a new system in place, the company’s management should properly regulate the company’s resources by ensuring they are properly deployed, they are properly functioning which requires some periodic audits, testing and maintenance. The staffs who are working with the system should properly understand how the system work and they should be thoroughly trained on the operation and trouble shooting of the system whenever need arises. The systems vendor should also share the same vision with the company before supplying the system and any changes to the systems structure should be communicated with the company so that the changes do not negatively affect the companies operations.
How the company will educate its customers on how to use the deployed technology
The company management through its staff should organize some series of webinars, avail documents through the company’s official website that will assist Qantas customers understand how the system is working and how the system will improve on the companies operations for the sake of achieving Qantas objectives. Other stakeholders such as shareholders should also understand how the new system is going to become beneficial to the company and because automated systems tend to displace employees from their positions, much guidance and counseling should be given pertaining to this whereby the affected employees could be deployed to other strategic areas rather than sending them home immediately.
David Flynn, 2010, New Qantas Check-In-System uses Smart-chips, RFID, and Cyberdyne Systems, retrieved 28th March, 2011, http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/11/new-qantas-check-in-system-uses-smartchips-rfid-and-cyberdyne-systems%E2%80%99-skynet/
Eturbonews 2011, Qantas Check in system crash, Qantas check in Chaos, retrieved 29th March, 2011, http://www.eturbonews.com/12828/qantas-check-chaos
Guardian, 2011, World Airline Profits expected to fall 46% this year, retrieved 28th March, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/mar/02/world-airline-profits-expected-to-fall-46-percent
Kate Median & Kate Schneider, 2011, Qantas expands troubled new check in systems, retrieved 29th March, 2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/travel/news/qantas-to-install-next-gen-check-in-service-in-21-regional-airports/story-e6frg8ro-1226019157684
RFID Journal, 2011, Qantas Launches its nest generation check-in system, retrieved 29th March 2011 http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/view/7761
Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) 2010, Qantas Check in System Crashes, retrieved 29th March, 2011 http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/qantas-checkin-system-crashes-20100103-ln0k.html
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