depart from the Frankfurt Terminals

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Within a year, there are up to 200.000 flight movements with 25 million passengers at FrankfurtAirport – planes arrive at and depart from the Frankfurt Terminals. At the same time, aircraft arearriving and leaving with air freight – after all 2.3 million tons a year. Across the runway and withacres of tarmac, at the site of the original airport, the overnight freight operation is just beginningto wake up with the arrival of staff and the preparations for the first aircraft. Some of the 81.000staff from 450 different organizations, out of 88 Nations based at Frankfurt International Airport(FRA) see to the needs of their customers. The baggage handling operation is sorting, checkingand dispatching bags to the many departing aircraft. The ground crews are loading andunloading aircraft, putting meals on board, filling the fuel tanks and cleaning the aircraft duringtheir brief spell at the airbridge. The airlines’ ticketing staff are dealing with lines of passengers,each of whom may have a different final destination. The information desk is fully staffed,dealing with the many queries, such as people wanting to know if their plane is on time, thelocation of a bank or hotel, or trying to work out how to get Fallstudie „Prozessmanagement inDienstleistung und Produktion“ Seite 2 von 4 by road or rail to their final destination. Passengersflow through the lounges, passport control and security checks, and use toilets, duty free shopsand restaurants, all of which have to be kept clean and stocked for their convenience. All ofthese activities, and more, are coordinated by FRA’s Operations Director and CEO fromFRAPORT AG, Dr. Stefan Schulte. Stefan explains his role: ‘Out of all the people that work atthe airport, FRA employs about 81000 and I oversee about 35000 of them. These operationspeople are basically concerned with the day-to-day running of the airport and the short andmedium-term operational planning. This includes a whole raft of things on the airfield and in andaround the terminals. The airfield side of things essentially involves maintaining the runways,agreeing slot allocations with the airlines, developing and implementing safety managementsystems and keeping the fire crew fully trained, for example. This is a heavily regulated area sowe work very closely with the Civil Aviation Authority. The other side of the operation is aboutmanaging the terminal buildings and other facilities. This is almost like running a shoppingcentre with its focus on customer service but with special security arrangements. Airport securityis a key task which we run in-house with our subsidiary company FRASEC, employing about4.200 people. I also have a facilities management team and an engineering services team thatlook after the maintenance of the whole site. ‘In terms of long-term design and development, weset up teams to oversee the planning of new building projects, such as new catering outlets, carparks and people mover systems. This plan uses the forecasts of passenger numbers andguides our decisions about what to build and when, and how to pay for it. We have beengrowing, months of corona excluded, at a rate of about 1.5 per cent a year over the last 10years. In 2019 the airport handled 33 million passengers and our growth is set to continue. Nowwe want to become more climate friendly. This plan involves serious money; we are talkingabout a capital plan of about € 300 million over the next years. This is all very much driven byoperational needs. Managing and developing the airport’s operations, including sustainabilityare huge challenges. ‘One of the major tasks for operations is not just to provide theinfrastructure for all the other organizations on site – such as airlines, handling agents, retailers,cargo handlers – but also to provide the leadership and coordination for them. There are alsogroups off site, such as community groups, which we liaise with as we work to monitor andimprove the environment. My personal job is about coordination and setting the safety andcustomer service standards for everyone to adhere to. ‘All of us from the different organizationstry to work together as a team and there is a great community spirit here that has built up overthe years. Everyone wants their own bit to work well and the whole thing to work well together.We all have a great understanding of everyone’s problems and there is an excellent spirit ofcooperation. ‘The real secret of managing operations, if you are ever going to sleep at night, isto make sure you have really good processes and procedures in place. We can’t have peoplemaking it up on the spot. Everything has to be thought through and tried and tested. We spend agreat deal of time reviewing and developing processes and techniques. We have to haveprocedures for fires, evacuations, bomb threats, ill passengers and even deaths in the terminalas well as for energy savings, reduction of co2emissions and all other future challenges.Unfortunately, we do have medical emergencies, not surprising with pandemic situations ascorona and since we have about 65 000 people passing through the airport every day in thesummer. ‘Another key task is operational planning. We do this on an annual basis. Operationalplanning is about making the operation as efficient as possible by working out how we can bestallocate our infrastructure to the airlines. For example, we need to decide who is going to getthe airbridges, who is going to get certain stands, who is going to have their passengers busedto the terminal at peak times, and so on. However, you have to remember that the operationalFallstudie „Prozessmanagement in Dienstleistung und Produktion“ Seite 3 von 4 plans are justthat, plans, and as ever, things go wrong – schedules fall apart because of things like corona inthe last 1.5 years or of plane delays or mechanical problems, for example. So we also haveterminal duty managers whose job it is to sort out the day-to-day operational problems. Ourteam of terminal managers covers the airport 24 hours a day, every day of the week, with onesenior manager overseeing each shift. ‘Many of the things that happen are recurring problems,such as delays or diversions, and you know you will end up with a lot of passengers waitingaround a lot longer than they want to. The job of the duty manager is to coordinate all ourefforts, ensuring that the catering people know what’s happening and making sure ourinformation services people know so they can tell the passengers, for example. The terminalmanagers need to keep their ears and eyes open. Passengers may report that they have seensomeone acting suspiciously and the managers need to know what to do. When passengers getoff the plane and their bags are not there, although it’s the responsibility of the airlines or theirhandling agents, our people may have to pick up the pieces. When people try taking prohibiteditems through security, such as a family heirloom with a large curved blade, we have to explainpatiently to them that they have to leave it with us. ‘The terminal managers also have to dealwith major incidents – things like bomb threats or, when the coach or train drivers went on strikeleaving many passengers stranded at the airport. The job of the terminal manager is to sort it allout and make sure everyone knows what is happening. It involves a great deal of commonsense but it is not easy. If you have to do an evacuation, for example, everyone will be atdifferent stages in the passenger processing and security clearance procedures, so when theincident is over, we have to try to put them all back where they came from without mixing themup or they all have to start the process again! ‘We have the equivalent of the terminal dutymanagers looking after the airfield side: operations duty managers. Their job is about dealingwith the day-to-day problems, such as changing stand allocations when delays occur orarranging snow clearance if we have a sudden fall. Again plans are in place and everything hasto be thought through. We also have weekly communication meetings when we get theoperations and duty managers to work with the operational planning department. ‘Our mission isto be the best regional airport in Europe. To do this we need continually to try to improveeverything we do. It sounds simple but it is not easy. For example, we have almost no capacityat the peak times, that is between 7.00 a.m. and 8.00 a.m. and between 5.00 p.m. and 6.00p.m. when we are busy with short-haul European traffic, so we are trying to encourage otherairlines to fill in the off-peak times. This is ideal for long-haul operators and we now have flightsto South East Asia and America, and just last year we added an Emirates flight to Dubai. Thisallows us to use the middle of the day when we have runway and terminal capacity and it suitseverybody as we can all make better use of our facilities. ‘Running an airport is a fascinatingand exciting challenge. No two days are the same. We know that we can make a real differenceto our customers, both passengers and airlines, by what we do. We also make a majorcontribution to the impact on the local economy by encouraging inward investment and exports.For an operations manager, the job is to make it all happen. It’s a fantastic opportunity and itreally does make a difference – its great!’ Fallstudie „Prozessmanagement in Dienstleistung undProduktion“ Seite 4 von 4Your tasks:1 Describe (verbal and graphical) the Supply-Network (upstream and downstream) of the airportat the macro-level (Supply Network Level) for some selected processes.2 Identify and describe for two of the processes (micro-operations) identified in Supply NetworkConfiguration from(1): (a) the transforming and transformed resources.(b) the predominant transformed resource.(c) the output and the customers of each micro-operation.Hint: You should identify processes which are fully operated by the airport, this means: selectprocesses at the micro-level.3 Select one of the micro-operations from question 2 and develop a graphical representation ofthe process using an Event-driven Process Chain (EPC, EPK (Ereignis-orientierte Prozesskette)or BPMN-diagram. Identify resources necessary and output of each stage in the process.4 Discuss the relationship between the day-to-day tasks and the long-term issues and explainhow the Operations Managers manages to oversee both at the same time.

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