MALAYSIA AIRPORTS LEVERAGES ON BDA AND LEAN INITIATIVES TO DRIVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE
24 April 2018
KLIA continues to spearhead service improvement initiatives in its bid to become a global hub
SEPANG – As part of driving service excellence, Malaysia Airports is leveraging on big data analytics (BDA) and lean initiatives at KL International Airport (KLIA) as it continues its bid to become a global hub. Passengers will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of a new mobile application by Malaysia Airports that will empower them to plan their journey to KLIA more efficiently. Smart features of the mobile application include a journey planner that gives real time information on the traffic to the airport and also the queue times at the touchpoints such as the check-in counters and also a navigator that makes way finding at the airport easy and fun. The mobile application will also enable passengers to get information on flight and baggage status, as well as connect them to our customer experience agents for live chats on specific queries about the airport. This mobile application, said to be launched in the second half of the year is part of the bigger picture of the organisation’s digitalisation efforts for a better managed airport.
Just last week, Malaysia Airports introduced its very own Washroom Response Management System (WRMS) mobile application for the team of cleaners and supervisors that work relentlessly around the clock in up keeping the cleanliness of the washrooms at KLIA. Passengers rate their experiences at the digital feedback panel in the washroom and the information is disseminated to both the ground operations and senior management team for immediate action to be taken. Through the system, employees can work more efficiently and ensure that the washrooms are in tip-top condition for the benefit of passengers. Apart from being able to monitor real-time passenger feedback, the WMS also provides more effective maintenance scheduling and crowd congestion handling during peak hours all within the touch of a button.
According to Malaysia Airports managing director, Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, “Our transformation into a service leader has always been part of our five-year business plan, Runway to Success 2020 (RtS2020). This is why we welcome MAVCOM initiative to roll out the Quality of Services (QoS) scheme as it will also contribute towards elevating our service standards at the airport.”
“Malaysia Airports will use BDA as a platform to collect and centralise data for better analytics in providing operational efficiency. The information is then processed and personalised before connecting it with various offerings via a smart mobile experience for passengers,” he continued.
Having started off the year with its quick-wins based “1 Improvement 1 Week” campaign that has seen the implementation of more than 15 new initiatives at KLIA so far, the crusade to create a greater passenger experience is heightened further through the use of digital technology and the practise of lean sigma. Passengers travelling through the airport will see multiple improvements carried out concurrently within the year as the organization continues to strive towards being a service leader.
Badlisham said that KLIA will take the lead among all airports in Malaysia in implementing digital-based solutions to provide a more passenger-friendly journey. He further mentioned that the digital transformation the organisation is embarking on encompasses many BDA based initiatives such as the WRMS amongst others. He went on to remind that the recent implementation of a cashless payment system at Kuching Airport was also another BDA initiative towards realizing the future of airport retail and embracing new passenger trends such as traveling light and smart.
Malaysia Airports’ BDA journey will concentrate on five key enablers allowing the organisation to better anticipate foot traffic flows and reduce choke points and congestion at its network of airports. These key enablers entail managing passenger and public sentiments, tracking the passenger flow from the curbside or carpark to the boarding gate, improving the retail and terminal footfall and way finding, applying mobile applications for a more seamless passenger experience and using financial analytics to improve business performance.
Commenting on the BDA initiatives, Badlisham said, “The first phase of the digitalisation realisation in KLIA is slated for the next two years and passengers can look forward to new features and functions even before they arrive at the airport. We believe that the airport should play a more pro-active role towards reaching out to passengers and providing information first hand, for instance, instead of passengers going through the conventional way of hunting down the information. Travelling should be made hassle free and the best place to begin is from home itself. In this new age, passengers should be able to plan their journey and anticipate the necessary airport procedures from home. Our new airport mobile application will support push notifications and journey based alerts so that you will arrive in the airport on time and in style. You will be able to anticipate queue times at each touchpoint, and plan your walk to the gate in a more relaxed and enjoyable manner through the wayfinding feature. No more mad dashes to board the plan and who knows, you may even be able to fit in some time to step into our duty free outlets for a stress-free shopping spree.”
On top of the BDA initiatives, Malaysia Airports is also taking other pro-active measures on the ground by implementing the theory of Lean Sigma to enhance the experiences of more than 160,000 passengers who pass through the airport daily. These lean initiatives will help maintain the airport infrastructure and provide a safe and secure traveling experience for passengers. Among the lean initiatives that have been carried out is the designation of pick up lanes at the kerbside of the Arrival Hall Level 3 in KLIA main terminal. Arriving passengers can now wait at the designated areas and easily communicate on their whereabouts. Drivers can pick the passengers up easily and at the same time, minimise the traffic congestion and waiting time.
Another notable lean initiative is the digital display of security instructions for the passengers’ reference at the security check-points. Passengers who are waiting in line are advised to watch the short video that showcases the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ during the security inspection. This lean initiative has been an effective approach in shortening the queue time and managing passengers’ expectations.
Other lean initiatives that have been recently implemented is the modification of the security railings at the waiting area of the aerotrain to enable smart crowd congestion management and promote smooth passenger flow especially during peak hours.
Badlisham also said, “The improvements we are making will significantly enhance the experience for our passengers and all our visitors to our airport, while supporting the growth in airline operations at our gateway.”
In the near future, the public will be able to see a new face uplift of KLIA when it undergoes expansion. The existing departure hall will be expanded to cater to more retail and F&B options and house additional seating and new washroom facilities. The expansion is part of the airport improvement plan that is designed to accommodate approximately 70 million passengers annually.