Swissport saves more than 30 hours per month with new digitization software

Published: Sunday, September 22, 2019

Every day tons of cargo are being checked: dangerous goods, pharma, perishables, damaged goods, … The process is traditionally executed on paper, which is cumbersome, admin-heavy, and often generating costly re-checks due to non-compliance with stakeholder’s standards. Swissport Cargo Services has turned this process in a smooth digital flow, using Nallian’s Check-it for Air Cargo. The application helped them increase process execution quality, reduce administration and eliminate costs of corrective actions ensuring compliance with stakeholder and IATA standards.

Key benefits achieved by Swissport

The interview below with Lucas Deschouwer, Operations Support Manager Swissport Cargo Services, highlights how it helped them achieve a wide range of benefits, such as:
Operational efficiency: Ease of execution with an all-in-one application enables them to save on average 33h/month on export only
Better informed customers – Real-time notifications using standard, clear message templates eliminate back and forth calling and mailing and ensures first time right information
Less corrective actions – Compliant execution and communication avoids costly re-checks
Easy reporting: Having data readily available in the platform (on number of shipments handled, the number of refused shipments, etc.) instead of compiling manually in excel sheets helps them save more than 10h/month on reporting
Extension of ecosysten of collaborative apps for air cargo

Check-it for Air Cargo empowers ground handlers and logistics service providers to easily capture and share relevant data in their processes. The app has been added to Nallian’s ecosystem of collaborative applications following the acquisition of Sky Fresh (now rebranded to Check-it) by Brussels Airport Company earlier this year. The application is already being used by several ground handlers, airlines and logistics service providers, amongst other at Brussels Airport’s cargo community. The application will integrate seamlessly with other apps in airport’s cargo clouds, such as BRUcloud.

The use case below details how Swissport has been benefiting from digitized check and task lists. For a live demonstration of the app, visit the Nallian/BRUcloud booth at Air Cargo Handling in Paris next week.

Practical use case: Swissport delivers stellar service quality with digital checklists powered by Nallian’s Check-it

The highlights
All cargo that enters the warehouses of Swissport Cargo Services at Brussels Airport’s cargo hub is being checked. Depending on the type of cargo, specific checks are being executed: pharma acceptance, dangerous goods, perishables, … Every unit is also checked on damages. These checks used to be run on paper, which led to heavy administration and other inefficiencies. Since 2015 all checks are run digitally using Nallian’s Check-it app and platform. The application is also used for a number of internal processes such as safety checks of the buildings and ramp checks. Lucas Deschouwer, Operations Support Manager Swissport Cargo Services, explains how using Check-it has raised the bar for service quality.

How do you use the application and platform?
“In the web platform we set-up the checklists according to our process. By scanning an AWB barcode or manually entering a reference number , operators are presented with the relevant checklists. Via the mobile application that runs on tablets, handling staff complete the checklist: these can include YES/NO questions, open text questions, specific tasks such as taking a picture, … Every check is linked with a time stamp and geolocation. All info is then automatically converted to the customer’s template. In case of non-acceptance, real-time alerts are released to the customers to notfify them on the issue and its cause. In the web portal we keep the overview of all actions, shipments and their status.”

Which benefits did you achieve from digitizing your check/task lists?
“Switching from a paper-based to a digital process generated a number of advantages”, says Deschouwer.

“Our paper-based checking process was heavy on admin: it involved a lot of data duplication, scanning, making copies, emailing, … With Check-it we have an all-in-one solution: the completed checklist is automatically converted to the airline’s template, real-time alerts are sent automatically to notify customers (e.g. the reasons why cargo is not accepted), pictures are taken on the mobile device and attached automatically to the relevant file, … When working paper-based, in case of non-acceptance of a shipment the process to log this and alert the customer would take on average 10 minutes. Today this happens in real-time. Knowing that we are handling on average 2000 export shipments a month of which 9% are refused, we are saving on average 33 hours per month on export only.

Real-time, clear communication with stakeholders
Before, to inform a stakeholder on the status of his cargo a back-office operator would type a message – in their own words, sometimes forgetting important information or using specific codes or abbreviations the receiver would not understand. This would lead to back and forth mailing or phoning, and hence delays. Today, using standardized templates that are automatically populated based on the executed checklists, alerts are released-in real-time with messaging that is consistent, complete and comprehensible for all.

Quality of execution
An issue with paper-based checklists is that manual markings are sometimes unreadable or not compliant with the customer’s standards (e.g. boxes not exactly ticked as required). This would lead to unacceptance by the airline and costly re-checks. Today all checks executed using the app are automatically converted to the airline’s template, with neat markings in the correct fields. Using Check-it we ensure compliance with the airline’s standards and avoid costly re-checks.

Saving more than 10h on reporting/month
“Every month, we pull various reports, on a number of shipments handled, the number of refused shipments, etc. This used to be a very manual process with data being compiled in excel sheets, a process that easily took half an hour per day. This data was then consolidated at the end of the month. Today, all data is available in the platform in a click of a button, saving us more than 10 hours of reporting admin per month.”

Ease of execution
“Operators have only presented that checklist that are relevant to them. During execution additional info can be provided in case of specific checks, for example by showing a picture of the type of symbol that needs to be verified. This guided execution help avoid making errors.”

You also use the app for certain internal processes. Could you explain how?
For certain processes that need to be executed regularly, such as safety checks of the buildings, or ramp checks, we have built specific task/checklists. This allows us to capture and store this data efficiently and pull reports easily.

“What are your future plans with Check-it”
All in all, using the application we have increased the overall quality of our service to our customers. We are now looking forward to the integration of the application with the other applications in BRUcloud, the cargo cloud of Brussels Airport’s cargo community. Being able to easily share and re-use this data in other processes and apps, such as for example Slot Booking, will allow us to further streamline our processes and improve efficiency.