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Managing Air Freight Documentation, Worldwide
US Airways Maximizes Profit Margins with Streamlined Transaction Management
The challenge faced by US Airways Freight Service was to rein in its paper trail. With thousands of flights monthly, each with thousands of associated freight transactions, tracking paper receipts and reports had become a costly and time-consuming process; it required intra-company coordination and a large support organization worldwide. Considering the many US Airways freight collection points around the globe, the airline’s intent to centralize the documentation process had become critical.
Global Archives stepped in to perform a site audit and recommend how to optimize air freight data flow operations. By then implementing a step-by-step automated approach, US Airways used Global Archives’ Lockbox system to build upon a permanent, readily available, electronic repository system.
The end result? US Airways reduced their average processing from 12 days to 2 days.
Converting Time-Consuming Bottlenecks into Efficiency Centers
Phase I: Identify the collection centers and assign each with unique profiles
Now, each time records are collected and assembled at a single conversion location, a unique database created solely for each record quickly identifies and links them appropriately. Examples of the most common records in a typical air freight transaction are cargo cash sales summaries, cargo sales reports, airway bills, PDQs and delivery receipts.
In addition to building a database to house unique profiles of every US Airways Air Freight collection point, Global Archives built data conversion systems (actual scan stations with related software) at the airline’s centrally located processing center. Because of the volume and critical nature of the mission, Global Archives provided two redundant systems consisting of document prep stations, scanners, workstations and QC stations. Each processing station includes software to optimize images using VRS technology, perform forms recognition, and capture data automatically. A validation database link to the US Airways master freight billing system validates freight ticket values. And all documents, upon conversion to electronic images, are uploaded to Global Archives’ LockBox repository.
Global Archives designed, developed and implemented this system-wide data management solution for US Airways while ensuring minimal interruption of the airline’s day-to-day operations. And the airline’s document process and validation is now performed in fewer than three days instead of 10 to 12.
Phase II: Building eForms for direct access by the US Airways originator of the freight sale
The eForms were available online and supported by LockBox SaaS professional services group. Users were able to access forms 24×7 and upon validation, were automatically uploaded into GA’s LockBox repository. This process allowed many of the forms to be electronically used. A workflow engine was used to mark documents for approval and notification. This process eliminated many paper forms and thereby further reduced processing at the central processing facility.
Phase III: Adding office scanners to the collection points for staff to scan directly into LockBox
By using similar software at the central processing center, the implementation of satellite scanning provided expedited user access and a further reduction in both paper documents and associated overhead. In as much as all documents associated with freight are not originated with US Airways, an additional module of scanning and capture was required for miscellaneous documents such as Federal and Foreign customs paper work, affiliated special cargo notification documents, etc.
“Global Archives brought order and process to a very difficult and burdensome business. They brought a fresh set of eyes to the problem and implemented the solution quickly with nominal disruption” – Chris Abbey, Managing Director
Site Audit for Data and Document Storage Systems
Global Archives offers a step-by-step site audit that identifies challenges and provides recommendations for business process improvements.
Uncovering Conversion Challenges
- Central or multiple locations?
- Accessibility, organization, portability?
- Costs to share and transfer data?
- Ergonomics, workplace aesthetics?
- Costs of square footage and staff access devoted to storage?
- Requirements for duplication, photocopies and digital copies?
Discovering Business Process Challenges
- Efficiencies of Cloud Services, data redundancies and security
- Efficiencies of staff’s repetitive transactional tasks?
- Efficiencies of client’s information sharing, forms completion?
- Costs of office supplies, disposable and paper goods?
- Security and organization of hard-copy document storage?
- Efficiencies of improved business processing and approvals