How a Global Airline Let Down 25,000 Holiday-makers

How a Global Airline Let Down 25,000 Holiday-makers

Liron Oren

Written By Liron Oren

Maintaining a positive relationship with your customer base is becoming an increasingly important factor to building a successful business. This can be achieved through providing a quality service to your customers. The importance of this action is noted when considering that a happy customer is often a loyal customer. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge the consequences of failing to provide customers with the quality of service they expect from your brand. This has recently been experienced by a global airline, cancelling 100s of flights, scheduled to depart from UK airports. Totalling at least 25,000 passengers; affected by this lapse in service following the airline experiencing an issue across their platform that proved to be difficult to solve.

The cause of this issue? A computer failure.

How could this have been avoided?

From a business perspective, it is clear to see that the airline lacked an effective contingency plan that would allow operations to continue, failing to prepare adequately for the issue of a computer failure. This issue was the latest in a series of operational problems to hit the airline during the busy holiday season. Customers were left stranded, citing a lack of communication on behalf of the airline. Disappointed by the lack of solution provided by the airline, hopeful holiday-makers were left grounded by the realisation that they would be left accountable to organise their own travel and accommodation until the system-wide error was rectified. And as a result, faced the consequences of letting thousands of their loyal customers down and the negative publicity from all but a few publications.

Strategic planning would have considered the increase of demand that the summer period brings, assessing the possible strain that this could put upon the airline’s computer systems. Investment into reinforcing their systems in order to withstand the increase in demand would assist in maintaining operations. It is essential to build your operations to consider that your business may experience exponential growth or a decline in customers and products, eliminating risks that your business may encounter as best you can.

Jigsaw Business Improvement specialise in tactical interventions that will prevent similar issues occurring within your business. An example of an effective tactical intervention being APQP deployment. Steve Spratt, CEO of the Jigsaw Business Group, says…

APQP is a framework of procedures and techniques developed for Ford, GM and Chrysler back in the ‘80’s to develop their new products and processes. It was in response to the Japanese manufacturers’ effect on the global automotive markets in producing quality cars. The process involves a number of phases, some of which can also be useful in the service sectors.

In particular, FMEA [Failure Modes Effect Analysis] is a process for analysing and mitigating failure modes. It can be used when designing a new service and to monitor changes made when the service is in use.

We have helped a number of clients adopt the system into service, as well as manufacturing organisations.

Jigsaw Business Improvement can assist you in redesigning and improving your business’ operations. Ensuring that risks that could lead to systems in your business failing are mitigated. Providing you with a sustainable programme of process improvement and materials cost reduction. Contact us to find out more.

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