Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the number of regular flights and passenger traffic reduced significantly. Our client decided to revise its workflow and find gaps that can be enhanced or revoked and, respectively, cut operational costs to avoid considerable income drops. After a thorough check, it became clear that some of its aviation software solutions required improvements, especially the system of supply purchases. The company suffered losses due to inefficient food supply chains, warehouse stock deterioration, and delivery delays. Therefore, the food provision and distribution process needed serious improvements. Acknowledging this problem, the company approached a software provider, which developed the solution from scratch. However, three years later, the service became outdated and cumbersome, containing errors and vulnerabilities. The customer decided to reach out to Innowise Group to eliminate aviation software development issues and improve existing features.
Though our team did not face the necessity to build the solution from scratch, Innowise Group had the challenging task of optimizing and refactoring existing features and smoothly integrating them into the customer's ecosystem. BA evaluated business requirements and tech documentation to deeply understand how to satisfy the demand for supply chain accurate calculations. We updated the software deployed three years ago that currently corresponds to modern realities and allows integration with third-party services.
Also, the project team finalized two services:
Supply Chain Service (SCS)The main functionality of SCS is to visualize the aircraft cabin of a flight, kitchen (galleys, trolleys), racks, refrigerators, galley stoves, carts, and other supplementary surroundings to calculate the average food load. Then this data accumulates to make forecasts for other flights if the conditions are similar (the same plane models, number of registered passengers, etc.).
Food On Board Platform (FOBP)
FOBP gathers information from third-party services about scheduled flights and predicts the plane’s load with food considering individual menus for certain passengers, cabin class, and other parameters of a particular flight. Subsequently, the forecasts are reported to the catering companies or flight station managers, which, in turn, provide the board with food.
To introduce the basic flow, let’s consider the example. Firstly, FOBP scans the information in open sources about planned flights (e.x. websites of the airlines, etc.). Then the service receives a message (via a message broker) with information that, suppose, in 17 days, flight number ML4416 will fly from London to New York, and there are N economy class and M business class passengers. This message passes through the chain of service handlers that implement various forecast correction strategies. Finally, the forecast is stored in the system and transmitted to the catering company. It is worth mentioning that platform allows developing strategies for adjusting the forecast and viewing the history, status, and forecasting effectiveness.
Innowise Group started the partnership with the client in July 2021. As previously stated, our main objective was to improve the existing outdated features of the airline software solution. The project team proceeded through lengthy onboarding to dive deep into the problem and generate the roadmap. We negotiated with the customer’s BAs to eliminate all the controversial moments and elicit the main requirements.
The project is still ongoing and managed based on the Scrum methodology. At the moment, the platform is administered in the customer’s own data center. Soon, the team will present a plan for migrating to the Azure cloud.
The team communicated via Slack и MS Teams while also using Jira to manage the project, track the progress, and execute tasks.
Our vetted software engineers updated the customer’s software, fixed crucial bugs, and conducted system optimization and refactoring. They finalized and enhanced two major aviation supply chain solutions – Supply Chain Service (SCS) and Food On Board Platform (FOBP).
The implementation of these features facilitated the process of creating sustainable purchase chains. From now on, the process is automated with the ability to make alterations and make supply chain predictions using forecast templates. Now, flight station managers receive accurate information about the food load on a particular plane thanks to the visualization of the aircraft kitchen environment (SCS) and predictions about the plane’s load with passengers (FOBP). At the same time, catering companies build stable supply chains with no food surpluses or shortages, warehouse stock waste, and delivery delays.
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