Swiss WorldCargo has restructured its departments as it looks to tackle the new norms for now and in the future of the air cargo industry and has put the customer at the forefront of their strategy.
The airfreight division of Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has rolled out a fresh organisational structure, which it says will further develop its brand presence and meet the challenges of the global logistics industry.
The reorganisation was the brainchild of head of cargo, Ashwin Bhat (pictured below) who took over in September 2015. He explains it is based on three pillars – business development and customer experience, area and contribution management and quality and services.
Bhat says: “It is designed to make it (the company) more agile and to put our customers in the centre of all our activities. It is our purpose to enable our organisation to provide the right solutions and services to new logistic needs.
“In a people business like air cargo, it is extremely important that these services are supported by a well-structured organisation and delivered by skilled professionals who can play to their individual strengths bringing diverse and varied experience.”
Bhat’s focus since he took over has been effectiveness within the organisation and concentrating on the carrier’s strengths and weaknesses and how it can be improved.
“I decided to reorganise Swiss WorldCargo not because I was just the new boss and didn’t know what to do, but we wanted to focus predominantly on the customer and not just the sales people, but the rest of the organisation.
“Secondly, it was to find a balance between the long term strategy and day-to-day business as when the going gets tough invariably everybody starts looking at day-to-day numbers and trying to achieve targets and they forgot that tomorrow becomes today very fast.
“We then decided to go for the three pillars of the organisation. The first one business development and customer experience, which is developing the strategy and creating the future.
“The second is area and contribution management, everything that is done in out-stations and in the same team as revenue management – because the cycle has become very short as customers want fast reactions and there is always tension between sales and revenue management. But I put them together on the same table as one should not take over each other as they need to work together to better meet customer needs and can then take faster decisions.
“The third is my bread and butter because that is what SWISS is known for – quality and services – whatever we design and sell and promise the team has to deliver.”
Quality and services is a key area for SwissWorld Cargo as Bhat explains and Christian Wyss (pictured below) has been apppointed as new head of cargo quality and services.
His remit is to work to ensure the transportation chain works seamlessly to fulfil its promise to customers and ensure operational excellence across operations, which Wyss says it is to “make it into a reality and make it happen”.
Bhat says the small things are now being solved since the reorganisation and now it has a team that is working together. “For me it is having a team that is creating the future. We are in the early stages, but what we have also done is try to design the processes as how the teams work between themselves.”
As part of this, Bhat says a new service centre has been created that falls under the eye of Wyss, and is not in the mould of a traditional call service centre, but Bhat notes it is about creating a knowledge organisation to support internal colleagues.
“We sometimes forget we are celebrated in Europe, not in Asia and they have questions and we need to be their to support, but to also look at our quality in a different aspect,” Bhat explains.
Wyss says the service centre is looking at adding advantages for shippers, adding capacity in day-to-day activities or better structure processes to make it easier and faster and more customer friendly. “We have no fixed plan yet but we are already developing solutions and we take it as it comes – listening to customers and our internal colleagues and then start to develop,” he adds.
He says the centre will be able to respond whenever there is a problem with shipments at the beginning or during transportation or after and will improve efficiency under one roof and it seems geared to better meet the needs of customers.
As for service changes and focuses for SWISS, Bhat says the pharmaceutical sector is high on the agenda: “One of the areas we are good, but we need to get better is pharma and we have started a project called ‘pharma house’ – where we want to build a new house for pharma and it is looking at how we can get better.”
Other moves have seen SWISS sign a deal with cool chain cotainer specialist va-Q-tec, which sees it offer more passive solutions and at the end of the last year it started offering the service of tracking devices to customers, while it has also launched a new website this year.
And Bhat says SWISS is also looking to gain International Air Transport Association CEIV Pharma as an airline by the end of 2017, which will standardise processes and operations and further boost its pharma capabilities.
As SWISS also gets set to receive new aircraft to upgrade its fleet further boosting its capacity and also adds new routes – the future is certainly looking bright.