The aviation industry currently finds itself at crossroads as far as growth and modernization is concerned. While certain airlines have managed to shrug off the dangers associated with the ever-increasing business costs and declining profit margins due to constant global competition by basing the entirety of their brand appeal around luxury and comfort, not every airline can afford such a strategy. Luxury airlines can afford to price their services according to the nature of their offerings, but economy airlines are the ones that may be suffering. Nevertheless, the entire aviation industry has an application for RFID technology – luxury and economy companies alike.
Not only are RFID traceability solutions an increasing necessity across a variety of manufacturing industries, they have also proven to bring astounding changes to other industries. Take, for instance, how RFID solutions revolutionized the waste management industry. The focus of this article is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the aviation industry – its current shape, its challenges, and finally, how RFID technology can lead to significant changes.
The Challenges Facing the Aviation Industry
The aviation industry needs RFID traceability solutions for a reason. In a previous post, we elaborated on how RFID is used on airline baggage tags. In this comprehensive post, we intend to get to the specifics and expand on the issues that the industry currently faces. And, when we speak about the issues that the industry faces, we intend to throw light on each facet of the industry, not merely the airlines themselves.
The Issue of Baggage
You’ve probably faced the extremely frustrating inconvenience of finding that your luggage has been misplaced or stolen. At times, you may find your bag intact but you would later notice that some of your personal belongings are missing. Most of us are not alien to the concept of luggage manhandling. There have been unfortunate instances of damage caused to fragile luggage that is being internationally transported simply because of negligent manhandling. There’s very little that can be done at such times, and usually there’s no entity that you can hold responsible when such an unfortunate event happens.
The Issue of Wasted Time
Let’s face it; many airlines are notorious for their slow approach to checking-in baggage. This delay further slows the entire process of boarding or departing a flight. We understand certain security protocols can’t be taken lightly and the importance of security is far more critical than thirty extra minutes spend in a lineup. But, there’s certainly a problem with people standing in queues for such a mundane task as checking in their baggage. According to the global passenger survey that the International Air Transport Association conducts, an average passenger believes spending anything more than three minutes for checking in their baggage is not really warranted.
The Issue of Operational Efficiency
Now, here’s an issue that the airlines directly suffer from at a regular basis. At a time when airlines are struggling to maintain profitability, it can’t really compromise with the efficiency of their operations. For instance, the manufacturing, repair, and operations processes all require record-keeping to varying degrees. In the absence of a sophisticated gadget that’s capable enough of quickly and easily storing complicated information, the aviation industry could find itself completely overwhelmed with regards to its all-important maintenance and engineering functions.
The Need for RFID: An Assessment
Tipped as a natural upgrade to barcode scanning systems, let us assess if RFID traceability solutions could help with the above-listed woes that irk the aviation industry.
The Reassurance of Traceability
For passengers, the adoption of RFID technology rids them of most of their possible issues. If airlines can closely monitor the personnel that handles luggage transmission during a standard flight departure/arrival, there’s more clarity over who or what is accountable for a possible lapse in quality of operations. With RFID technology facilitating real-time traceability, the passengers will have access to the real-time location of their luggage. This successfully adds a sense of reassurance in the mind of the passenger, while it also allows them to locate their baggage quicker, preventing unnecessary delay.
The Improvement in Operational Efficiency
As a natural solution to rid itself of the problems it faces with high costs, the aviation industry must look to tighten their operations. This is where RFID technology can help: it can drastically increase the accuracy of existing “as-delivered configuration”, bring a reduction in the costs incurred with regards to management of inventory, and even bring about a minimization in necessary inventory through superior recordkeeping of an item’s whereabouts. Furthermore, improved traceability will also help the aviation industry in bringing about an improvement in the accuracy of information that it regularly communicates with their various service providers and suppliers. A combination of all these factors directly powers the industry to bring a drastic reduction to the time it invests for its internal processing cycle, routinely spent in fixing service-related issues.
Delta airlines has already gone on to make an (award-winning) investment in a technological infrastructure upgrade of such a tremendous scale. Investing in fixed readers and hand-held readers that employees can use, Delta is certain to tighten the scope of their efficiency, even despite the training employees may need to take on in order to understand how to use the new RFID technology.
Many companies balk at the idea of the initial financial investment required to implement RFID solutions, but now that it’s gaining traction it’s becoming available at increasingly affordable rates. Contact our experts at Jet Marking Systems to understand more about how traceability can help bring a drastic change in operations, regardless of a company’s scale.