04 Feb 2017

“Time 2 value”: How one initiative streamlined processes and created rapid benefits for airlines

As an airline, you want to get passengers from A to B on-time, while providing a quality customer experience and operating efficiently. At Sabre, our goal is to help airlines do those things efficiently and optimally.

While some people might think this is where the similarities between a B2B IT company and a B2C service industry end, our corporate goals and business objectives are surprisingly similar to that of our airline customers. Airlines want to deliver consistency of experience through their core product of transporting passengers, while an IT partner wants to deliver consistency of experience through its technology.

Defining delivery as a measure of operational success

In an industry with high fixed costs, significant barriers to entry and variable costs primarily associated with fuel and labor, an airline’s profitability is largely defined by the ability to drive operational efficiency.

Where airlines strive to be as on-time as operationally possible, we continually assess our own on-time performance as a measure of operational success. This is defined by whether or not the technology solution was delivered on the date promised. While this point may be somewhat cliché, all public companies must push for operational efficiency to do more with less. And, as a result, be more profitable.

During the past several years, we have not only found a way to improve customer experience and deliver solutions on-time but also to substantially reduce the time it takes to implement solutions without increasing the resources required to do so.

For an airline, this would be equivalent to increasing cruise speeds (either via pilots pushing throttles full forward and/or new supersonic jets) without incurring additional costs from say, fuel or the purchase of new aircraft, while at the same time finding a way to improve the product and increase customer satisfaction.

Getting to a place of increasing operational excellence did not happen overnight, but rather is a reflection of a broader commitment and a culmination of several years of ongoing, coordinated continuous improvement efforts throughout the organization.

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