They say that you can’t have your cake and eat it too! Well that holds good for most things around us. Take for instance, productivity, profitability and service quality in any resource intensive business. Wouldn’t it truly be a magic triangle if an optimal balance were to be achieved on all three parameters?!
In this context, I recall a recent experience with a large ground handler providing services to Airlines. Ground handling is a very people and high value machines intensive business.To add to the complexity, only specific skilled people can operate specific machines and operations run almost 18 hours per day. Every time flight get delayed, whether inbound or outbound, it has a severe impact on the ground handler’s profitability and quality of services. Contracts are hard bound with services level assurance (SLA) and any breach leads to financial losses. So it becomes very critical to balance the magic triangle.
In any resource intensive (Human and High Cost Assets) service business it is always very difficult to manage right level of resource productivity to enable high quality services with optimum level of profitability, the moment you deploy more resources, you can probably can get better quality of service but it will impact the profitability or if you deploy fewer resources it will impact the quality of services with higher profitability.
To manage this balance one requires to have detailed resource planning data, data on actual resources deployed, actual resources available, task executed on time as planned, direct cost incurred for each task, indirect cost incurred, planned service level agreement for each task and actual service level accomplished. Typically most of these data will be available across multiple systems, but interlinking these data and balancing the magic triangle is quite complex.