Integrated IT systems can drive efficiency and innovation within the air cargo industry, says Strike Aviation’s chief operating officer Europe, Julia Knecht‑Ostwaldt.
In an era where technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives, the air cargo industry is no exception. The once-traditional realm of transporting goods through the skies is currently undergoing a remarkable transformation, attributed to the pervasive influence of digitalisation. With innovative technologies and digital solutions now integral to every facet of the air freight process, the industry is experiencing newfound levels of efficiency, transparency and resilience.
Amid the accelerating drive towards digitalisation and interconnectedness, the role of integrated IT systems is becoming increasingly vital within the air freight sector. Integration facilitates seamless communication and data sharing among diverse systems. This, in turn, streamlines processes and reduces manual data entry, culminating in enhanced operational efficiency. For air cargo companies, these developments translate to expedited shipment processing, diminished errors and an overall improved workflow.
Adopting an integrated approach
As a leading cargo GSSA, Strike Aviation relies on optimised Microsoft 365 processes as well as a CRM system from Salesforce. In addition, the company employs a market-current booking system accessible through cloud-based platforms from any location.
The implementation of these integrated IT systems is one of the most significant challenges for the industry. It involves interconnecting multiple processes and data flows from various sources. An integrated approach provides a holistic view of customer interactions and history and ensures transparent and efficient logistics. Undoubtedly, this integration demands meticulous planning and precise execution.
The advantages of such an integrated IT strategy are unmistakable. By harnessing the power of optimised Microsoft 365 processes, we ensure the seamless flow of information, leading to streamlined workflows and swift decision-making. The Salesforce CRM system empowers Strike Aviation to deliver comprehensive customer care and management by centralising and overseeing information pertaining to customer preferences, previous interactions and ongoing projects. At Strike Aviation, the implementation of CRM solutions assists customer service representatives in offering personalised and prompt assistance to clients. This nuanced comprehension of customer needs and preferences results in heightened customer satisfaction and loyalty.
This capacity enables us to tailor our services to address the specific requirements of our customers and deliver top-tier service. Moreover, the up-to-date booking system, accessible via cloud platforms, substantially amplifies staff flexibility and mobility.
Integrating CRM, sales and other systems yields a wealth of advantages. Data can be gathered, analysed and transformed into actionable insights, facilitating strategic decision-making, optimising sales strategies, identifying trends and predicting demand. This, in turn, enables air cargo companies to adeptly respond to market fluctuations and make well-informed business choices.
Significantly, the likelihood of errors and duplications resulting from manual data entry across different systems is markedly reduced through integration. By ensuring data is entered only once and synchronised across pertinent systems, accuracy and consistency are upheld.
As air cargo companies expand, system integration enables seamless scaling without a commensurate increase in administrative burdens. Fresh data can effortlessly traverse integrated systems, guaranteeing smooth operations even during periods of growth.
Furthermore, integrating systems enhances intra-company communication, streamlining collaboration and saving time. Strike Aviation, with operations spanning 26 global cities, serves as a prime example of the efficacy of collaboration among disparate sites.
Automation is another notable benefit arising from system integration. Routine tasks such as dispatching shipment notifications, updating customer records and generating sales reports can be automated, liberating staff to focus on higher-level strategic tasks.
Training staff matters
However, the requirements for an integrated IT strategy are high. It is important that employees are trained to competently handle these complex systems. Strike Aviation is deeply committed to the safeguarding of sensitive data, achieved through secure cloud systems and robust security measures.
To consistently meet the demands of an integrated IT strategy, Strike Aviation is dedicated to leveraging cutting-edge technologies and regularly conducts training to ensure employee proficiency.
Training employees is a strategic investment that fosters a symbiotic relationship between professional growth and organisational success. This virtuous cycle culminates in a mutually beneficial outcome where the company gains a cutting-edge technological edge and a competitive stance in the market. Simultaneously, employees experience a heightened sense of job satisfaction, as they contribute to and thrive within an environment that values growth and innovation. The company’s dedication to training isn’t just about helping itself get better, it’s also about creating a vibe where everyone can grow and succeed together.
Maintain a competitive edge
Strike Aviation and other leading cargo GSSAs have increased their use of modern IT systems in recent years, resulting in significant improvements in service quality and efficiency.
By employing optimised processes, CRM systems and market-current booking systems, the air freight industry can effectively respond to the rising demands of customers and the aviation industry, optimise their operations, make informed decisions and maintain a competitive edge in a dynamic industry.
This feature was first published in Air Cargo Management – August/September 2023. To read the magazine in full, click here.