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According to Etihad Airways (par 2), the mission of Etihad Crystal Cargo is to become the leading and most profitable airline by effectively implementing processes that would lead to maximum load factor, minimum transit times, instantaneous and flawless information to the shipping partners, customer service, and reduced administration.
Etihad Crystal Cargo services are based on values that focus on delivering the best practises. The company does not compromise safety given the susceptibility of an international airport to terrorist. Etihad products and services are distinctive in nature thus capable of inspiring customers. One of these innovative products is Xpress2D which offer swift and convenient service starting from the shipment airport to place of delivery. Additionally, Etihad Crystal Cargo presents its customers with airport to airport service by utilising modern fleet of wide airbus A300-600RF and MD11F. To enable Crystal transfer its goods faster across the globe, cargo handling facilities, tracking devices and systems have been modernised. The aspect of continuous investment in modern Cargo System has led to Ultimate Information Transparency.
One of the major weaknesses hampering the success of Etihad is few destinations covering Middle East. Furthermore, its packages are not well defined which demean the customer from utilizing company's services. Since Etihad is new in the market, it has managed to capture few customers while Emirates attract more customers. Use of boing airbus A300-600RF and MD11F plays a role in driving up costs due to high fuel consumption and the ever rising price of crude oil in international market. The fleet is normally utilised in the Crystal cargo department.
As technology in the world progress to higher levels, Etihad has managed to modernize its suits, thus attract technology driven market. Advanced tracking technology utilized in monitoring cargo guarantees safe delivery to intended destination. Customer experience in freight can be improved thus is an additional opportunity that Etihad could capitalize on with an objective of attracting more clients. Moreover, increased popularity of the company indicates that it can penetrate new markets within a short time.
Air cargo news (par 5) stated categorically that perpetually increasing fuel prices are bound to propel higher cost of running airlines especially the cargo sector which utilizes boing airbus A300-600RF and MD11F. This situation worsens as number of destinations decrease with increasing number of competitors. Some of these competitors are: Gulf Air, British Airways, Air France, Qatar Airways, and Deutsche Lufthansa.
Question 2: Strategic Decisions in Operation Management Utilised in Etihad
Products and services
The new Etihad product, Xpress 2D, offers the customer a fast and convenient service from the shipping office to place of delivery either at the door step thus off-loading from clients the burden of custom clearance and transportation (Etihad Airways fact sheet, 4). The short distance design of Abu Dhabi International Airport has ensured fast conveyance of freight to other parts of the world. This is further complemented by growing network of all-cargo destinations. The fleet of Airbus A300-600RF and MD11F serve ten destinations with its world charter services and cargo services.
Regional freighter aircraft at Etihad is capable of providing reliable, flexible and cost effective charter services. A dedicated team is available to offer quick solutions to logistical problems. In addition to reduced restrictions on types of cargo carried and destination served, charter products offer both part and full world wide charter services.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is positioned strategically on the globe linking Asia and Europe (Jones, 3). The subsequent plans of expanding and upgrading cargo facilities will have the end result of speedy transfer of goods to other parts of the world. This upgrade process involves installation of automated cargo handling services. Another strategic idea introduced in 2006 is Cargo Minimum Connection Times which was designed to enhance fast and effective connecting cargo through the airport.
The fast growing wide-bodied passenger fleet and regional freighter is a strategic option taken by management to boost provision of services. So as to complement on its products, Etihad Crystal Cargo provides tracking within UAE and GCC countries. The idea of continual investment in modern systems brought about the policy of Ultimate Information Transparency. This has improved communication with the customer.
Human Resources and Job Design
Occurrence of any vacancy at Etihad prompts human resources to advertise such post in the media. Qualified individuals are subsequently selected and subjected into a transparent and rigorous interview. The interview is directly proportional to vacant position. Jobs descriptions are designed in such a manner that policies of a company are followed to the latter. It is the objective of human resource personnel to ensure that employees know their specific duties and responsibilities.
In terms of employee description, 8,000 staff employed represents 120 nationalities from around the world. Etihad is also committed to pioneering opportunities for UAE's populace. Furthermore, Emiratisation program is an opportunity for Emiratis to enter into cadet program, technical engineering program and the graduate management development scheme (Rahman, par 13).
Quality is the cornerstone of Etihad success in UAE. Starting with well designed fleet to treatment of customers in each part of cargo business demonstrate quality. Extensive nature of aviation training is critical to the victory of any airline business. This is evident where Etihad promotes Emiratisation program. Utilization of modern technology, tracking mechanism and sophisticated cargo handling techniques has further enhanced delivery of services and consequently improved level of customer satisfaction (Gerry, 9). In summary, the cargo sector is strategically shaping its systems to a modern state of the art such that freight movement both locally and internally is made efficient.
Question 3: Improvement of operation quality
Etihad bases its operation on three core values namely: delivering consistently and efficiently, employing modern technology to transact and inform, and consistently improve services to customers. Etihad focuses on customer services and rigorous process of controlling quality. This has ensured reduction in delays and its related storage or processing costs. Modern systems utilized in handling cargo are additional quality control measure that serves the purpose of safe delivery of cargo. It is a common observation that customers demand compensation for any damaged good but with this quality control measure, such costs are eliminated completely. As a control tool, aviation training at Etihad has made certain that employees are responsible in handling their respective duties. This goes along in reducing supervision and control fees.
Question 4: Structural effect in SCM and Technological Innovation World
This simply implies the nature of a department in influencing the time and cost incurred in delivering a product to the customer through a supply chain. It encompasses skills and organizational procedures that affect directly operations along a supply chain. Structural effect can be in a form of deficient logistical services which end up delaying conveyance of cargo. Deficiency in structure of communication inhibits the speed at which business is conducted (Choi, 10). In that state of affairs, a well defined communication structure reduces time lost in delivering goods from one destination to the other.
As technology advances, many industries strive to move forward but are faced with enormous pitfalls including lack of skills and capacity. An example is deployment of modern technology to a department which then calls for training and even reduction of number of staff. Before Etihad introduced sophisticated equipment to transact, handle, and track cargo, the company had to carryout operational training. The end result of this structural change is improved revenue collection and realization of company's objectives (Thomous, 56). Another example in terms of structural effect is cargo 2000 which re-engineered transportation process in Etihad from shipper to consignee by a master operating plan. The effect of this is a reduction in number of process in the air cargo supply chain from 40 to 19 steps hence cutting down labour required.
Question 5: Layout Innovation of Etihad Airways
In relation to layout, Etihad has ambitious expansion plans on its facility which is based in Abu Dhabi International airport. The present facility will be upgraded by replacing with a fully automated cargo terminal. Other terminals will follow similar suit. In the same vein, Cargo Minimum Connection Times was introduced in 2006 so as to facilitate fast and proficient transfer of cargo through the hub. This kind of layout at Crystal cargo is innovative and timely in the global economy.
The base of crystal airline is at Abu Dhabi which is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. This is a strategic location at the centre of fastest growing economies where customers can make a convenient connection or direct trip to Abu Dhabi or Dubai. The city of Abu Dhabi is perfectly placed between West and East thus ideal for a stop over. It is also a 40 minutes drive from airport. The first terminal, located next to terminal three, contains world class facilities whilst a person can connect flights conveniently from Abu Dhabi to other parts of the world like Baghdad and Beirut (Basit, par 4). Terminal three at Abu Dhabi Airport is spacious and constructed in a convenient layout with social amenities such as free internet zone which customers can use to communicate with their loved ones before boarding a plane (Fried, 16). Finally, the cosmopolitan nature of staff illustrates Etihad's dedication to bringing world together.