Improved customer satisfaction for airlines through an end-to-end cargo reservation system
The air travel industry is going through a spectacular change due to increasing customer demands and changing economic models. Many airline transportation enterprises are fast realizing the need to keep up with technology upgrades in order to enhance their service and improve customer satisfaction. To achieve this, they are swiftly upgrading their legacy systems to suit the current technology trends.
The client is an airline based out of the middle east and a prominent brand in the industry which is regularly ranked among the top airline brands in the world. They operate across 150 cities in 6 continents around the world. This case study details how Mindtree built an end-to-end cargo reservation system for them.
The client wanted to replace their mainframe based cargo reservation system with an end-to-end cargo reservation system. This had to be an open system that integrates reservations, operations and revenue management functions. The application platform also had to support analytical functions that included providing revenue earned on a real time basis.
Key challenges while developing the application included:
- Designing and building of an automated cargo reservation solution that is cost effective and easy to conﬁgure and use
- The system had to provide real time reservations, operations and revenue computation
- Remove paper based processes, while maintaining compliance with IATA’s e-freight initiative
- Reduce shipment mishandling instances by streamlining processes and minimizing reliance on human input
- Improve cost effectiveness through automation of processes, reduction of data entry and increased usage of EDI(Electronic Data Interchange) messaging
- Provide seamless integration by offering a full range of web services that facilitate cost effective implementation and customized deployment
- Create and develop dashboards for real time monitoring of shipments and ﬂights
The project spanned multiple geographies, bringing together a multi-disciplined team of business analysts, technical architects, developers and testers. The application redesign started with a series of user studies. Individual interviews were conducted with existing users of the cargo application, spanning numerous locations. The insight gained provided Mindtree with solid end user use cases upon which the solution was built.
Following this, Mindtree team developed end-to-end requirements and goals related to booking, availability, ﬂight schedule, rates and communication. This was followed by an in-depth competitive analysis to understand strengths and weaknesses of competitors and potential competitors. The cargo application is one of the largest Java development efforts in recent times, requiring 300 person years of development effort. Mindtree enabled a seamless and smooth self-service experience for the online customer by translating the customer brand promise to an online application.
- Enabled proactive decisions based on real time, fact-based information
- Allowed customers to book a year in advance while existing systems permitted only 60 days advance booking
- Improved the handling of allotment leading to effective capacity utilization
- Ensured seamless integration with systems used by numerous airlines
- Offered signiﬁcant cost savings, as it supported a nearly paperless practice