Case Analysis Of Alaska Airlines Assignment
Key ingredients of Lean as identified in Alaska airlines
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The key ingredients of Lean in the well-known airline company, Alaska Airlines, comprise the enhanced performance magnitude to serve and satisfy its customers- passengers at its best. This airline company has created the Lean department with seven members. The Lean strategy is a formal strategy that has been developed considering several steps to attain its initiative of the kaizen event, that is, the Accelerated Improvement Workshops. Firstly, this strategy aims to have continuous development with maintained consistency for high-level improvement. Secondly, this aviation company, Alaska Airlines, has their own metrics with the help of which it can easily and efficiently measure the performance of the Lean strategy. This scalability of the Lean performance allows the company to make necessary changes or transitions to successfully achieve its objectives along with offering clarity in the tasks of this airline's employees. Thirdly, to provide this clarity and easy accessibility of the Lean effort, the company needs to adjust the actions and performance of its employees for their relevance in the work. This will make them more empowered for a better work process. Alaska Airlines offers high rated training programmes to its employees by focusing mainly on the participation of its management by its leaders. These programmes of training are conducted by the seven members of the department of Lean. Another significant ingredient is that these training sessions include a 1-week course in the form of participatory workshops and a 2-weeks course which comprises classes. Such courses enhance the work level of the employees that make them hold a certification of Six Sigma Green Belt and further into Black Belt (Graupp and Wrona, 2018).
Discussing the ways of loading and unloading passengers as per the initial phase of the kaizen event
The aviation company, Alaska Airlines, has discussed and tried many methods and strategies to load and unload their passengers in their Kaizen event of Accelerated Improvement Workshops. These methods and strategies include the loading of passengers from rear to front, first preferences to window passengers, infirmed persons and children and several others. The two most significant methods used as per the kaizen event for the passengers of Alaska Airlines are stated below.
Steffen method: This is a widely used boarding method in several aircraft since its introduction in 2008 by Jason Steffen. It allows the aircraft crews to efficiently sequence their passengers for an easy and fast onboarding process as it mitigates the buffer rate and stowing of plane boarding (Ozmec-Ban et al., 2018). This method can be said to be a hierarchical system adopted by Alaska Airlines that offers greater priority to those having tenure with this airline company. As per this method, Alaska Airlines asks the passengers to stand in a single queue and then they are boarded from the aircraft back to the front. Then, the passengers with odd-numbered window seats are seated first followed by even-numbered window seats and lastly, the odd-numbered window seats. In the same queue form, the passengers are unloaded from the plane.
Grouping: Alaska Airlines categorizes its onboarding passengers into five groups from A to E and makes them seated accordingly (Alaska Airlines, 2022). Moreover, it has reorganized its boarding passes to clearly state its requirement for boarding for easy understanding of the passengers. This has eased the on-boarding and off-boarding process of the passengers as well as the airline's crews in Alaska Airlines (West, 2021).
Documenting the research on the aircraft passenger loading problems
The major issue of loading the passengers on the planes as identified by Alaska Airlines is that it is a very time-consuming process. This on-boarding process is not an easy task because of checking the documents and making them seated one by one in their proper seats on the plane. Moreover, their carrying of bags and handling and keeping of them is another issue faced by the crew members. After going near their seat and properly keeping the handbags is another task which is carried out by the crew members of Alaska Airlines to help their passengers and offer them a convenient travelling experience. Another problem of loading the passengers on the aircraft is the on-boarding process of wheelchair-using people (Paur, 2013). Though this airline gives first priority to this type of infirm people, making the persons appropriately seated on their booked seats is a bit complex task for the crews of the aircraft. By the proper identification and analysis of these problems regarding the loading process of the passengers in the aircraft, Alaska Airlines can accurately utilize their kaizen event for making their employees perfectly able to handle these issues.
Books and Journals
Graupp, P. and Wrona, R.J. (2018) Implementing TWI: Creating and managing a skills-based culture. Productivity Press.
Ozmec-Ban, M., Škurla Babi?, R. and Modi?, A. (2018) Airplane boarding strategies for reducing turnaround time. In 18th International Conference on Transport Science, Portoro