Saturday, February 2, 2008

Jet Airways, India- Good example of effective strategy and performing culture
Jet has emerged the company having high level of OCTAPACE and a performing culture.
Purpose and Strategic Intent
Dominating the Indian skies and becoming largest private airlines has not satiated the demand for growth of Jet. The chairman of Jet has proclaimed that, ‘I want Jet to be among the top five airlines in the world in reputation and quality of service’. To achieve this lofty goal, the chairman was preparing the company for its ambitious rise. The aim was to take the airline public and going global. It has entered the Indian Capital market; generating a fair amount of investor’s interest. Domestically, the strategy is to consolidate strength in Indian skies (after some days of this interview, Jet started M&A trend in the Indian aviation sector by acquiring Sahara, its closest rival in the private sector and a company under present research study. This high-profile takeover, the deal was subject to regulatory approval, was a part of the expansion strategy used to consolidate its position).
Jet plans the objective of most preferred domestic airlines through high quality of service, and reliable, comfortable, and efficient operations. Jet’s objective is to ensure consistent profitability, achieving healthy, long-term results for investors, and providing its employees with an environment for excellence and growth. The company well managed in the interests of the shareholders
Jet’s total quality management emphasis on technology and on time performance is one of the key factors of its success. Its vision is to become ‘An Airline of Excellence’. Jet has also earned the ISO 9001 certification for its in-flight services. The top management believes that service quality excellence should be a philosophy of everyone in the company. This philosophy is reinforced by a comprehensive review of its internal business processes. The purpose of the review was to align the technology and people with customer driven and service quality strategy. Service quality strategy extends through many areas in the artefacts and physical environment of the company offices and airline. At Jet, process of strategic development enables senior leaders to make specific decisions to achieve business excellence and service quality.
Jet is a process-focused organization with many standard procedures. Top management emphasises that processes must be thoroughly planned so that they can help employees to meet standards, create a market, and thereby provide excellent service quality. Each functional area is responsible for managing and improving business processes. Every manager is empowered to identify improvement opportunities, form teams to refine approaches, resolve issues, and improve processes.
Jet carried out macro-environment analysis to understand the current state and expected future state. Jet is a process-focused company with standard procedures. Processes are meticulously planned to help employees meet standards and thereby ensure service quality.
The service quality department of Jet figures out concern areas before they turn into real problems. Processes are monitored regularly using gap analysis model. ServeQual model is adopted to keep watch on the processes
Market and Customer Orientation
Jet has created its brand image by focusing on on-time flights and having the youngest aircraft fleet in the world. The average age of the fleet is 5.1 years.
The customer driven strategy requires intense focus on customers and their satisfaction. Jet is offering service-monitoring questionnaires (SMQ) in the flights. Passengers are asked to rate the services on issues ranging from ticketing, accessibility at the airport to the cabin crew behaviour, food and overall flying experience. Continuous improvements are being made to the in-flight menu. It has received top rank on quality of meals served.
Jet presents a quality look in the d├ęcor of its counters, cabin interior of its aircraft, the uniform and so on. It has appointed a floorwalker, designated queue manager to keep a look at how customers are served at the airport. The company relies on data management and analysis system for its customer relationship management strategy.
Jet is providing world-class frequent flyers benefits to customers through alliances with British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Gulf Air, Qantas, Thai Airways, and Austrian Airways.
Jet has received World Travel Market Global award for world’s premier global travel event in London. It got H & FS Domestic Airlines of the year award four times. Citibank Diners Club has chosen Jet as India’s best domestic airlines for its excellence in service. It also received Air Transport World award 2001 for market development.
Top Management Commitment and Leadership
The senior managers exhibit a strong excellence driven leadership. They have a passion for excellence largely because of the performance expectations. Leadership understands that intellectual and organizational capabilities have to be developed continuously; otherwise, they would not be able to meet the challenges.
To help employees understand what is expected in terms of serving customers the company is focused on training and development. HRD symposiums are organized to enable employees to conduct in depth analysis through discussion and networking. A specially designed training scheme called Training and Development Qualification Programme (TDQP) is operational. A high-tech training centre with facilities like learning centre, computer centre, and hostel with facilities of conferences and lectures is used to impart training. The aim is to build Jet into a learning organization, where employees expand their capacity to create results, and where new patterns of thinking are nurtured. Employees have passed through the Quality Improvement Team (QIT) training programme.
Jet involves employees in setting annual goals and objectives, linked to departmental objectives. Management by objective (MBO) is a part of 360-degree performance management process. Employees after setting objectives develop action plans and measure their performance.
Business Process Alignment
For aligning the business processes, functional areas, customers, and employees, Jet uses Information Technology as an effective tool. The company has invested substantially in latest technologies to face competition and to improve speed and efficiency of operations. Computerizing of catering operations serves an example. This indicates that Jet leverages technology to add-value for the customers. Menu planning service, one aspect of catering is enhanced with the aid of software. Up-to-date information on passenger volume is made available with the help of CUISINE (Catering Update Information System Introducing Necessary Effectiveness).
The Internal Customer Feedback (ICF) system is an integrated online database, compiling and tracking feedback from employees.
Communication Process
Up gradation of service quality requires that a quality conscious attitude and culture is developed. Company policy is to rely on effective internal communication. Jet communicates its mission, vision, and aspirations through Code of Business Conduct. It covers a wide range of business practices and procedures. It serves as a guide to decision making. Leadership vision is translated into shared values through internal communication process. Top managers’ speeches at service excellence conventions serve the purpose. In house newsletter, reports on the progress of service initiatives, and achievements of employees are effective vehicles for communication to motivate employees and to ensure that the company’s aspiration are well understood by everyone.

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