Diagnosing the opportunity to boost check-in capacity
Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5) currently processes 32 million passengers per year. The business wants to significantly increase this capacity while maintaining or improving service.
Our Lean experts studied the opportunity to improve self-service check-in and bag-drop processes in order to:
- Provide a full set of definitive current-state transaction times and capacities for check-in, which were then validated against existing data and previous modelling analysis
- Determine the required future-state transaction times and capacities for check-in
- Define the future floor layout and space requirements to align with the projected demand
- Identify the initiatives required in order to reduce transaction times to the required level
Our approach – Current state analysis
Our hands-on approach involved:
‘Go see’ observation and supporting photos– to demonstrate what was really happening in practice
Making the difference
- Demand analysis of peak volumes and variances was done for both current-state and projected future demand
- Interviewing of both staff and customers was conducted to understand the inefficiencies and frustrations, both in detailed process issues and overall customer experience feel
- End-to-end processes were mapped to set out a clear picture of the current-state, roles and responsibilities, and the key value- stream flows. Volumes per process route was key in order to challenge overall process set- up. Exceptions, flows and their maturity of automation were also important (e.g. VISA checks, passport checks, overweight baggage, voluntary hand baggage check-in, etc.)
- Structured transaction time measurementand analysis was conducted to pinpoint the opportunities – including variance capture and analysis of causes, right first time % and reasons for process failures. Variances in transaction times were a focus for analysis; as was understanding why delays occurred and how they could best be contained
- Floor layout was considered against the process flow and the division of roles and responsibilities in the host teams. Use of Tensa barriers and the management of bag drop utilisation across the concourse was examined.
- Organisational analysis was undertaken which covered resource levels, team stability and effectiveness, shift pattern alignment to demand, and flexibility in reacting to changes to demand. Hosting capacity, behaviours and approaches were a core part of analysis as they were pivotal in ensuring good customer experience and mitigating any increase in transaction times
- Technology appraisals were completed including screen flows, exception handling and on the quality of automation.
- Benchmarking was done against other major airports, underpinned by detailed comparison of benchmark transaction times by detailed process step and ‘go see’interviews with key staff to capture qualitative learnings. Observations included a broad spectrum of organisational aspects, technology set-up and process efficiency.
Making the difference – Future Plans
- By working as part of the ‘T5 Plus’ Project Team and alongside key stakeholders, we were able to:
- Identify improvements to reduce transaction times in order to meet future capacity targets
- Model the future requirements for check-indesk capacity and floor layout against projected passenger loads and future flow layout design options
- Model alternative design options (a fully integrated 1-step process vs a 2-step split process) against future demand requirements and space limitations
- The sharing and testing of results with key stakeholders helped to facilitate buy-in and consensus on current state performance and issues.
- These findings and analysis were fed-into the wider ‘T5 Plus’ Project to support decisions on future capex investment in order to achieve the ambitions of the overall programme.
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