For those on the terminal management side of the business, you know the dangers of ice. Snowy weather causes delays. A snow and ice-covered runway can be deadly for takeoffs and landings.
Are Manual Processes Icing Up Your Business?
A healthy part of your job consists of removing and preventing snow and ice before takeoff. The reason is simple. Airplanes are engineered to provide the proper lift needed to takeoff and fly—and even the smallest deviation from this could have devastating impacts.
For terminal managers, you might have perfected the science of deicing a plane, plowing a runway, and ensuring the safety of the millions of passengers departing from and arriving at the gates. But rarely have you deiced your own precision-engineered machine—your business.
For those in the terminal management space, each service you provide has a chance of accumulation. For example, the process of deicing a plane requires you to track the time, amount of deicing fluid used and more before you allocate it to an airline.
Like the airplane you’re deicing, the process of completing the service, calculating the price, and ultimately invoicing a client builds up, and your precision engineered machine no longer is working the way it should.
How a Dedicated Terminal Management Solution De-Ices and Prevents Process Buildup
Running a terminal using manual processes can leave you slipping out of control. How can a unified and automated experience help you stay ahead of business challenges? Over the past few months, we’ve looked at some of the biggest challenges impacting terminals and explored how one terminal management company was able to weather the storm.
At MIBAR, we’ve been in this business long enough to make products work for our customers. Whether it’s been a simple configuration or a complex custom project, we’ve learned the nuance that goes into each industry we serve. Often, terminal management companies will look toward a simple fix when they really need a solution catered to them.
Why? Because until we built one, there wasn’t really a custom solution for their needs. But when we worked with JFK Terminal One Group to set up an ERP solution, we noticed that nothing existed to handle the unique needs and processes. So we built one.
A Strong Core: Oracle NetSuite and the NetSuite Contract Management Solution
One of the biggest needs of the Terminal One was that they needed a system to manage pricing, invoice generation, and billing. Sounds like a normal need, but with a wide range of airlines passing through the terminal, the company a solution built to handle the changing nature of their contracts.
Contract Management Tailored for Airlines
NetSuite delivered a close fit—but we found a way to make it perfect. Terminal One Group needed something that could handle complex contracts. We developed a custom interface in NetSuite that allowed an easy way to key in contracts in legal form, track billing, and escalate rates over the life of the contract.
Rather than jumping around to document the contract, the plane, the service, and more, end users could simply enter information using the building blocks presented in the contract. For example, a user could easily add a contract with Air France and segment billing by the specific service provided for an A330, A380, 777, or 787.
Logic-Based Contract Escalation
In addition to the contract management and billing needs, they also had agreements in place with airlines to allow for escalation and handle other factors like minimum wage changes.
From day one of a contract, the solution already knows what will happen in year ten. At the beginning of a contract, a user could easily enter the percentage or dollar amount increase that will occur each year and this will automatically adjust when needed.
Customer-Focused Service Requests: NetSuite Customer Portal and PowerApps
With the back-office processes handles, we also wanted to improve their relationships with airlines. Terminal One Group wanted to provide visibility in billing to airlines and facilitate the process of getting ancillary services. We made it happen.
Customer Portal Prevents Surprises and Delivers Satisfaction for the Airline
To make it easier for the airlines, the MIBAR team also implemented the NetSuite Customer Portal. Now, rather than sending a form to the terminal, the airline could simply log into the customer portal, directly enter information, and receive the invoice with the correct pricing.
PowerApps Handles Service Requests with Ease
For those needing ancillary services including forklifts, air conditioning, a generator, de-icing, or the like, MIBAR developed an easy-to-use product for remote order entry. Using PowerApps, we incorporated order entry and signature capture into an app to allow an airline manager to request services from a mobile device.
With this PowerApps solution, a manager walking around the terminal can request items and quantities, sign off on the request, and even send it through a workflow for additional approval. This will automatically route into the customer portal and generate the invoice, making it easier for all parties to work together—no backlogs, no manual data entry.
Making It Easier to Serve Passengers: Customer Portal Makes Tenant Management Easy
With nearly fifty entities including two dozen restaurants, two spas, and more than twenty retail locations, tracking what each tenant owed made for a challenge. We brought this into NetSuite as well.
Customer Portal Connects Terminal with Tenants
The MIBAR team worked with Terminal One to implement the Customer Portal, allowing each tenant to log in each month, enter the quantity, and let the powerful NetSuite system do the rest. Tenants can easily see what they owe for the month based on what they sold.
From here, the terminal can automatically generate an invoice incorporating both the minimum annual guarantee and tiered cost structure. After a year, minimum annual guarantees will automatically adjust based on the agreement.
Three to Six Months Away from Terminal Velocity: MIBAR Terminal Management
Able to be implemented within three to six months, MIBAR’s Terminal Management for NetSuite was specifically designed with the airport terminal manager in mind. We spent three years developing this industry-specific extension of NetSuite’s ERP that delivers a unified experience for terminal managers.
This product is able to improve operational efficiency by up to 30%, incorporating contract escalation processes, third-party application extensions for workflows and various other customized elements that an airport terminal manager may need.