In 2016, Bristol Airport made a significant commitment to improving the experience of customers through Central Search, by investing in state of the art equipment. While a reduction in customer queue times resulted from this investment, the throughput of passengers was not meeting the designed performance specification. ICTS, the business contracted to run the security operation, in conjunction with Bristol Airport engaged Turner & Townsend Suiko to work with the security teams to increase performance. Turner & Townsend Suiko brought our expertise in Operational Excellence to bear in a diagnostic capacity to provide a platform and catalyst for an ICTS change programme. Additionally, there was a desire to identify quick wins that could be implemented in time for the summertime peak volumes.
Our team implemented a well-established hands- on diagnostic approach as follows:
- Introduction to Lean and Operational Excellence – through training, the ICTS security operations team were given a practical overview of the improvement concepts in order to provide them with a framework for thinking about improvement opportunities.
- Process Mapping – the security process was mapped from end to end to highlight and prioritise the key impediments to customer flow.
- Gather data/Go see- a solid baseline for process capability was established through data analysis and the magnitude of the performance gap was understood. Additionally, process observations and line studies were conducted throughout peak hours to understand the sources of performance variation.
- Hypothesis testing/trials – our knowledge and experience of queuing systems helped us to quickly develop a set of testable hypotheses. The trials were conducted during peak time as a set of controlled experiments
- Organisational Assessments – finally, an assessment of organisational effectiveness and readiness for change was made though interviewing a wide selection of the security operations team and reviewing data around team stability, shift patterns, overall resource levels and supervisory capability.
Additionally, the Suiko What and Suiko How assessments were deployed to highlight gaps in organisational effectiveness.
Making the difference
The key insights provided to the client through this work include:
- Detailed analysis of process capability and the performance gap
- Root cause analysis of performance gaps and recommendations for action
- Trials of improvement ideas demonstrated a 20% enhancement in passenger throughput rate over the control experiment
- A clear link between organisational effectiveness and operational performance was established leading to an ICTS change programme
The ideas for process improvements were documented for the client along with a recommendation for the organisational structure that would support the targeted short and long term improvements. Finally, a roadmap for implementing the improvements broken down into work streams with an accompanying timing plan.
This output was shared with a wide stakeholder group to create an urgency for change and the basis for an improvement plan for Central Search operations and as part of the wider vision for improving the customer experience at Bristol Airport.
Bristol Airport is now regularly in the top 3 in the UK for all 4 security metrics and won the best airport in Europe (5-10 million pax) where the security improvement was specifically mentioned.
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