Study: Think 'lean', or get left behind

Study: Think 'lean', or get left behind
By admin

A new study has called on the travel industry to adopt a ‘lean’ way of thinking in order to deliver better customer value, with innovation forecaster James Woudhuysen penning the article.

The new study, ‘Cleared for take-off’, argues that by embracing lean thinking in IT, and removing activities that do not create value for the customer, the industry can enjoy rapid rates of new service and app development, earn more revenue from niche markets and better personalise customer offers.

The study was commissioned by Amadeus, and aims to give the travel industry more control over both system complexity and costs, or otherwise get left behind.

Woudhuysen’s paper follows recent technology and innovation papers published by Amadeus on open source software and Big Data, and outlines how lean thinking applies to travel, how the industry can benefit from adopting lean IT, and the broader potential for lean IT to transform travel by, for example, incorporating non-traditional travel content into the customer experience.

It also details how Amadeus has already adopted lean in its global IT operations, as well as explaining how lean thinking is about cutting waste and removing inefficiency, while at the same time increasing effectiveness and customer value.

The lean approach would also, according to the study, free up resources which enable businesses to bring innovations to market more rapidly, with firms capable of offering more varied and intelligible functionality to customers in ways that improve overall travel experience.

By adopting lean thinking, the travel industry essentially would base drives for effectiveness on objective data, with decision-making power given to those who actually execute IT processes, and focusing targets and management objectives on the customer’s purpose, not the company’s.

Woudhuysen said the principles of lean were pioneered by manufacturing industries in the 1980s, and are now being applied to IT and operations within service industries.

“Passengers, travel providers and travel sellers expect travel IT to improve continually. They are accustomed to system stability online; but they also expect user interfaces to get better at anticipating their demand for particular kinds of travel,” he explained.

“They want solutions delivered quickly, and they also expect new applications that are reasonably priced. Lean thinking in IT has the power to organise much of this and transform the industry in the process.”

“With lean, travel companies can look forward to rapid rates of new service and app development. They will be able to make more money from cleverly spotted market niches. And, better than they are at present, they will be adept at personalising their offers to the needs of customers as individuals,” he continued.

Amadeus’ global operations EVP Wolfgang Krips said the approach is not about directing people, but about nurturing proactivity.

“This means we can achieve scale quickly as we work with our customers and partners to shape the future of travel,” he said.

“At Amadeus we have already been using a lean approach in our global IT operations to further strengthen our leadership position in delivering and deploying the innovative solutions used by some of the world’s largest travel brands.”

To read the paper in full, click here

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