Video Essay

908 Words Nov 29th, 2013 4 Pages
Video Case: Constraint Management at Southwest Airlines
Question 1: Analyze Southwest’s passenger boarding process using the Theory of Constraints.
Southwest Airlines is an airline company that has set industry benchmarks of having the best turnaround ratios, in an industry where lead time during different operations is very time consuming. Southwest currently boasts a rapid gate-turnaround of 25 minutes or less, and it demonstrates how attention to activities pertaining to ground operations (including cleaning of the aircraft, fuelling and flight preparation) can help the company in being so operationally efficient. Customers rave about low fares, exceptional customer service, and the biggest competitive advantage that Southwest has
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* Boarding with a countdown clock to give customers an incentive to get in line and board quickly; incentives given out if everyone was on time. This scenario would require a cut in profits for Southwest Airlines’ since incentives are being given out at the cost of having better efficiency. * Educational boarding video to make the boarding process fun, inform passengers how to board efficiently, and provide the company another way to promote its brand. Brand awareness is created through this scenario, but it would only be applicable to a certain demographic (senior citizens and disabled personnel would have problems if this scenario was implemented).
Of the seven scenarios that are mentioned above and their critiques, Southwest Airlines should implement a mixture of the scenarios mentioned. Southwest should further divide its three groups of A-B-C to six different boarding groups within the same ones (A1, A2, A3, B1, B2…) to provide better division of groups. It could be further improved by keeping one group especially for disabled persons, and one for families which would eliminate the need for having pre-boarding for families. The boarding sequence would allow for the disabled and family groups to board first; by giving them priority a lot of potential bottlenecks could be taken care of. Also instead of having one single line boarding the aircraft, the division of six groups would allow multiple boarding

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