Doing business differently, with ACIT

Learning from collaboration within music industry

Have you ever taken the time to look at how many people it takes to produce a song and get it out to the consumer, or even just the writing of the song itself?
Think of Lennon and McCartney, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, Robert John “Mutt” Lange and almost every artist in the 80’s.
The music industry knows it cannot do it alone and the musician is just one cog in a money making industry. This is best illustrated with the average rights holder to a song streamed on Spotify earning $0.006 per stream  (800 stream = a coffee), however with the right people working together think about Tayler Swift’s latest song 206,294,943 streams and counting ($1.2m by the above calculation).

So what are they doing that other business could learn from?
Does the customer experience need only be the responsibility of the person/company who produces and sells the product, or the collective of all people that work together to deliver that product?
Do businesses need to learn to collaborate as the music industry has been for years?

The word collaboration is used a lot lately but what does it really mean? “The action of working with someone to produce something ~ Oxford Dictionary”.
I do believe the urban dictionary states it much better “The idea that everyone can work together and produce something better than they could on their own with less work.”

So what’s missing for businesses to collaborate like the music industry?
1. Rather than a price exercise to source a solution they need to source solution providers that work with them to create products, end to end, that the customer needs.
2. That if they truly want the benefits of collaboration they need to partner with people that are like minded, solutions focused and interested in the best outcome for all the parties involved.
3. They should be looking for people that complement their business not supplement their business. Simply getting someone else to do something you are already doing doesn’t add as much value as getting someone that wants to work on the things that aren’t core to your value proposition however are core to theirs.
4. Trust. Collaboration requires trust. There needs to be no issue with discussing everything openly. Imagine if Mutt Lange had not explained to Def Leppard that they could still be successful with a one armed drummer, or if Brian
May of Queen had kept “We will rock you” to himself rather than allowing Freddie Mercury to rock it and make it into an anthem.
5. Understanding that everyone working together to make something is better than no one making anything at all.
Outsourcing a pain point in your business through price point only, will ultimately just relocate the pain. If you want to collaborate with people that solve that pain every day and allow them to work with you, then what seems more expensive can make your business potentially offer more value and efficiency while becoming more profitable.

Encourage collaboration, with less focus on buying point solutions
Doing business differently, with ACIT.
Doing business differently

Doing Business Differently

Douglas Adams
To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity. Douglas Adams

Customer service – Vinyl records, cassette tapes or streamed content.

Doing business differently these days is about going back in time, it is taking the time to understand requirements, and it is about respect for the people that have allowed you to do business with them, It is about being part of the conversation when your customer is thinking of doing something differently, it is about being a real person to them.

There are those of us that are old enough to remember the cassette-tape, the terrifying sound of your favourite tape being eaten by the boom-box you have on your shoulders, feeding the machine D-cell batteries like they are going out of fashion all whilst wearing something indescribable in today’s language.

This was the next step in media evolution…the step up from the old vinyl records. This was to be followed by the CD then iPods, now streamed content with the current generation not having ever seen a cassette-tape.

There is a similar evolution with customer service – the local provider that knew you (and your family), moving to the super-store environment that was all about volume and price, now those stores offer self-serve registers and the latest offering… you simply walk out and what you have taken is charged against the app on your phone, not needing to talk to a single person.

So why is vinyl making a comeback?
People love the warmth that comes from the slight crackle in the sound, the closer alignment to the human ear (analogue to analogue), the moving away from the sanitary digital recordings that don’t have a soul. For this warmer, more human touch, consumers are willing to pay a premium, perhaps due the ‘more human’ connection vinyl brings to the user.

Customer service is starting to move back similarly like vinyl. Why? Because people like to deal with other people.

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity, through real communication.

Doing business differently may take a little more time however the rewards for your customers are huge. They get what they want, in a way they need it and they feel respected and needed by your business. The reward for you is a long term, commercially viable relationship, a collaboration between parties as an extension of your business that gets deeper and more beneficial to both parties year on year.

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Aeroplate, new release

Aeroplate, the world’s only airline food review platform, goes live.

Aeroplate is a stand alone survey platform specifically built to review airline food, anywhere in the world. The information gathered is analysed and made available to airlines around the world in an attempt to enhance the on board eating experience for all.

The app is built around a quick one minute survey experience with yes or no answers to produce definitive customer satisfaction data. Aeroplate offers users the chance to review food on the world’s top 100 airlines. Users are quizzed on a variety of aspects ranging from taste, to presentation, temperature, service and the overall on board experience. The app is built with two things in mind: Integrity of data and a playful user experience. Aeroplate makes use of emojis, stickers, and customisable photography in an effort to make data collection as enjoyable as posting food pics to Snapchat and Instagram.

Preliminary data from the Aeroplate Beta Website allowed Aeroplate CEO Frank Casamento to touch base with Australian based airlines to discuss the validity of the numbers collected. Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger Air representatives are expressing solid interest in the data collated.

‘In this day, we want to have an opinion on things, we want to do that quickly, and we want to have fun in the process. This is the essence of the Aeroplate user experience’ says Kais Al Kaissi (Brand Management), while Steven Vawdrey (Strategy) describes the project as: ‘We’re now securing data that has never been collected before. Aeroplate as a third party review platform gives true and unbiased insight into the airline food industry.’.

In 2014, IATA stated that on average, more than 8,000,000 people fly every day. With such numbers of potential users, Aeroplate offers exciting data collation prospects from day one.

‘We found a massive gap in this market, and Aeroplate will work closely with airlines and everyone that flies to ensure that food in the air can only get better!’ says Frank.

Aeroplate is a combination of Frank’s enthusiasm and expertise in the food industry with Steve and Kais’s experience in creating new digital products. Being frequent flyers as well as fairly opinionated people, the Aeroplate team sought out to create a platform that would give them, and the world, a fair say on the airline food they eat so often.

Visit the Aeroplate website to find out more (and submit your inflight food experience)

Iconic Emirates inflight bar gets a makeover

Private yacht cabins inspire changes.

New seating in the revamped Emirates onboard lounge.

Snacks and premium drinks are a feature of the bar.

Emirates’  popular Airbus A380  onboard bar is undergoing a makeover as part of multi-million-dollar product upgrades being introduced on the Gulf carrier’s newest  jets.

The  bar, due to make its operational debut in July,  retains the trademark horseshoe shape but will offer seating with tables alongside the windows on both sides and feature an airier look with lighter champagne colours.

The airline said the design had been inspired by private yacht cabins and could comfortably accommodate 26 passengers at a time with eight of them seated.

Also being introduced are soundproof curtains to partition the onboard lounge area, which will remain at the back of the upper deck, as well as integrated LED lighting with soft ambient light options, new window blinds, integrated sound and a 55-inch LCD television.

The lounge is available to business and first class customers and offers canapes as well as handpicked wines, premium spirits and cocktails mixed by a bartender.

It has been a hallmark of the A380s since their introduction with Emirates and is popular feature of the double-decker aircraft.

“Particularly on long-haul flights, our customers tell us they appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and mingle in the relaxed, yet classy lounge area,’’ says Emirates president Tim Clark.

The 93 A380s currently in service will continue to feature the original lounge.

Source: Airline Ratings

Airplane Food In Economy Vs. First Class On 20 Airlines

1. Singapore Airlines

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Looks like chicken?

Dinner in first class:

Dinner in first class:

Just a duck and fruit salad 

2. Emirates Airlines

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Actually looks really good. Those plates 

Dinner in first class:

Dinner in first class:

Unlimited Dom Perignon and this little salmon number.

3. Turkish Airlines

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Love that rice to beans to beef ratio.

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

All of that 

4. Korean Airlines

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Typical packaged roll economy BS 

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

Bibimbap 

5. Air France

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Excellent baguette game.

Dinner in first class:

Dinner in first class:

God is real and he makes food in Air France’s first class.

6. American Airlines

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Ravioli?

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

Now this is how you do presentation.

7. Delta

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

At least there’s shrimp 

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

If shrimp had goals this would be #ShrimpGoals.

8. United

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

At least there’s wine.

Dinner in first class:

Dinner in first class:

I’d give it a B.

9. British Airways

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Are those mashed potatoes?

APPETIZER in first class:

APPETIZER in first class:

Repeat: THIS IS AN APPETIZER.

10. KLM

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

I have no idea what that is.

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

11. Lufthansa

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Brownie seems legit.

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

I want that right now.

12. Air China

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

The beer looks good?

13. Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

Garlic bread 

14. Cathay Pacific Airlines

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

I spot a Kit Kat.

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

That bread looks good.

15. Air Canada

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Salmon?

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

Steak?

16. ANA Airlines

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Neat. Very neat.

Premium economy dinner:

Premium economy dinner:

Neater. Much neater.

17. Aegean Airlines

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

Nice spiral on those noodles.

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

No idea what all that is but I want it in me.

18. Thai Airways

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

I could totally get down to that.

Dinner in first class:

Dinner in first class:

There’s even a little flower 

19. Kenya Airlines

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

I could eat that.

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

Fancy butter.

20. Japan Airlines

Dinner in economy class:

Dinner in economy class:

That carrot is adorable.

Dinner in business class:

Dinner in business class:

Source: BuzzFeed

Qantas to invite public use of free inflight wi-fi ‘within weeks’

 

Qantas expects to invite passengers to start trialling its free wi-fi service within weeks after running a load test with 140 users that saw simultaneous download speeds of between 7Mbps and 12Mbps.

The airline said in a blog post that it used a “special charter” flight between Sydney and Brisbane filled with 140 staff to “test the limits of the system”.

Each staff member was given different tasks to perform over the internet connection, and combined they connected 200 devices to the in-flight network.

“For a system that is still being tested and refined, it performed extremely well,” Qantas said.

“Typical download speeds were between 7 and 12 megabits per second to each connected device.

“Most of the testers experienced a seamless streaming experience. But everyone downloading apps at one time did test the limits”, it said, noting this was “something that would happen normally.”

Other tests of the service were performed by the crew, with pilots accessing “real time weather” information for the route on their iPads, which Qantas said offered “more detail than … short-range radars on the aircraft”.

Cabin crew also tested use of a Qantas app designed to help passengers with connecting flights, should delays affect other sectors of their journeys.

Qantas said it is now “working to make final adjustments ahead of inviting customers to test, then use the system.”

“We expect that will happen in the next few weeks,” the airline said.

“We’ll be using these more typical user experiences to keep refining the system for several months as part of our broader trial, before planning to roll out wi-fi out across 80 of our domestic aircraft from mid-2017 onwards.”

The Qantas wi-fi service is backed by NBN Co’s Sky Muster satellite service. NBN Co recently revealed that trials of the service would begin soon.

Source: ITNews

Airline food critic who reviewed 400 different inflight meals has chosen a favourite

One course of Japan Airlines’ kaiseki meal on its Tokyo-Jakarta route (Kevin English, AirlineMeals.net) 

 

 

Kevin English is not your average man. Your average man, for example, would probably not review every inflight meal he eats. But English does do that, posting more than 400 reviews of airline food consumed on his travels to date.

That’s because English is one of the top contributors to Airlinemeals.net, which launched in the early 2000s and now has almost 40,000 pictures and reviews about food served on more than 700 airlines around the world.

The site was started by founder Marco Hart, when he was flying overseas frequently to see a friend. His mother, worried about his diet, asked him what he was eating. He sent her a photo, then decided to start a review site.

As probably one of the foremost experts on tasting inflight meals, we had to ask English, who is also a product manager for a global electronics firm – what’s the appeal of eating some of the world’s most-maligned cuisine?

English says he began flying at a young age – his father was posted in the Far East for work and the family returned home to the UK every summer to see English’s grandparents. As a child, airline food was a way for him to discover new foods he wouldn’t have eaten at home. For example, he hadn’t tasted olives until they appeared in one inflight dinner.

 

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An inflight offering on Air Berlin (Airlinemeals.net)

And growing up outside his home country, airline food became a link back to traditional British dinners: “When I was a child, the standout inflight food was all the normal stuff like sausages, full English breakfasts and a lemon sponge cake. We used to fly what was then BOAC [now British Airways] and the food was a thing I was familiar with.”

The airline food of the 1970s and 1980s is pure nostalgia for English: “We used to have fillet steak [served on board] when I was younger, meals served with proper glassware and metal cutlery.”

 

 

singapore-airlines-business-class-terry-yong-bangkok-singapore.jpg
A business class meal served on Singapore Airlines (Kevin English)

But he reckons airline food has actually got better over the decades, and ate his favourite ever inflight meal last year. It was in the first class cabin on a Japan Airlines flight, where the crew served a “kaiseki”-type meal (Japanese fine dining) of nine courses.

And English says he’s not surprised at the news that British Airways has stopped offering free food to economy passengers on short-haul flights. Many airlines see catering as a drain on profits and have simply passed the cost back to the customer. By contrast, English says, catering in premium classes has become a selling point to customers.

“Airlines are investing more in catering to premium customers,” he reports. “There’s no longer as big a gap between first class and business class as there was.”

So if you pay for first or business, you’ll see what English is talking about when he says airline food has improved. But in economy? In our opinion, not so much.

So what would English like to see on his tray inflight in future? More quality ingredients, he says.

And it seems there’s hope. Most British airlines offer or used to offer a limited choice of lagers, but English points out that budget airline easyJet has started offering passengers British craft beers (such as BrewDog’s Punk IPA), and says BA now offers Tribute and London Pride ales on selected flights.

Still, he notes, most airlines are still serving instant coffee.

Source: Independent

Why It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Boeing’s Iconic 747

We’ve already lost the beautiful Concorde to excessive cost and tragedy, but now another one of world’s most iconic airline designs is due to follow.

The Boeing 747, an icon that harkens back to another time of flying (think the Pan Am glory days), is set to fade away.

Cathay Pacific flew their last 747 flight back in October, and United and Delta are phasing the aircraft out this year. I flew on one of the final Cathay flights, and the magic of ascending upstairs into the bubble for one of the last times will be a fond part of my traveling memories.

Patrick Smith, in his Ask the Pilot column astutely calls the jet the Empire State Building of jetliners: “It’s no longer the biggest or the flashiest, but its still the grandest and most historically significant.”

The 747 was the first to plane to allow long-distance travel with with a large amount of passengers, and not all of them rich ones. It took international travel from the realm of the well-to-do into the middle class. That alone is quite a significant achievement in terms of lives changed and borders made smaller.

But the real appeal for many is the aesthetics. With a signature bubble on the top, the plane also is a joy to watch on final approach, with an element of grace that you don’t see from other aircraft models. It has a strange, organic feeling for a large chunk of steel with wings.

In Mark Vanhoenacker’s beautiful book, Skyfaring, he dedicates a chapter to discuss why pilots find the plane so special. It comes down to this organic design: “Perhaps it recalls a natural relationship—that of the head of a bird, a swan perhaps, to a long body and wide wings. Joseph Sutter, the 747’s lead designer, was drawn to birds as a child—eagles, hawks, ospreys. He might be pleased to know that his achievement has come full circle, that a writer on the wildlife of Virginia has described the great blue heron as the ‘747 of the swamp.”

The iconic bubble, initially added allow for a cargo door to be fitted to the nose, started out being used as a First Class lounge in some of the golden days of jet travel. After the 1973 fuel crisis, most airlines — wait for it —added more seats, a trend that carries on today.

The industry has moved onto focus on more cost effective two-engine planes that can land at a wider variety of airports. Though some of the later models of the 747 will still be in the air, Boeing’s order book for the plane has dwindled and the plane is settling into the twilight of its storied career.

While there are newer, flashier and more fuel efficient planes, when I’m on the road and gazing out the window at Helsinki Vantaa or Singapore’s Changi, the sight of a 747 still makes me smile. In addition to the iconic and timeless beauty of the silhouette, it is the plane that brought the possibility of air travel to more people, and also made Boeing a household name.

Source: Skift

13 Surprising Facts About Airline Food

There’s no sitting on the fence when it comes to airline food. While flying, it’s something we either  eat out of necessity or with delight.

The latter is becoming more common, with many airlines drastically improving their mid-flight offerings. Instead of slimy chicken we now receive pulled pork sandwiches. And forget the cheese and crackers; your chocolate souffle has arrived.

British Airways is one such carrier at the fore of this positive meal change, making the company’s Head Chef & Menu Design Manager, Mark Tazzioli, an industry expert on airplane food.

Here are some of the most surprising facts about in-flight meals we encountered from a recent Q&A with Mr Tazzioli.

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British Airways is one airline committed to improving the in-flight dining experience as much as possible (Image: British Airways)

 

1. Food Does Taste Different In The Air

“In the air you lose on average 30 per cent of the ability to taste, so we do a lot of work focussing on every individual ingredient that we pick. We look for suppliers who will give us great provenance and we can work with and develop ideas with.

“My team have completed a lot of work on the sauces this year … to achieve more depth of flavour and more body in the air.”

 

2. There Are 250 Total Dishes Available At One Time On British Airways

“There are 250 dishes on a cycle in all classes, but throughout the seasons we’re constantly developing and refining dishes.

“We change the menu four times a year, so we change all the route specific dishes, all the standard menus and the afternoon teas.”

 

3. Different Regions Mean Different Menus

“We cater for around 18 regional menus, such as for China and India. We spend a long time making sure our recipes are authentic … and concentrate on what our customers want.

“For example, with Japan we spend a lot of money on the rice and even put the brand on the menu. On flights from the UK, we try to use British produce … for lamb we use English lamb and in First we use Aberdeen Angus beef.”

pastedGraphic_1.png

Depending on your flight route, you might have the choice of Asian cuisine (Image: British Airways)

 

4. In-Flight Meals Are Plated To Order

“Now, in Club World, British Airways is spending a lot of time and money on new plates and ensures the food is warmed up and plated by the crew, like in a restaurant.

“We make what we call ‘chef’s hats’, which are step-by-step guides on how to put the dish together, which are on every flight.”

 

5. All Vegetables Are Marinated

“We’ve worked a lot on taste, all sorts of details on what we’re buying. It’s important to us because it makes a difference in the air.

“The team here also worked a lot on vegetables this year. Boiled veg, especially at altitude, is going to lose a lot of its taste.

“All our veg is marinated so it has more flavour and depth and not just a roast carrot – it’s a roast carrot with cardamom or other spices, just so it brings everything to life a little bit more.”

 

6. Meals Don’t Need A Test Flight

“We do (test) sometimes, but most of the time because of our experience it isn’t necessary. We know how tastes change in the air and what flavours do and don’t work well.

“We have a new device called the viscosity meter, which measures how much a sauce will run depending on time and heat, so we can test them first on the ground.”

pastedGraphic_2.png

Marinating vegetables gives them better flavour (Image: British Airways)

 

 

7. British Airways’ Signature Dish Is Quintessentially British

“Our traditional signature British afternoon tea, which is served in Club World, includes sandwiches, cakes and Cornish clotted cream – and English strawberry jam. We offer a similar afternoon tea service in World Traveller.

“If you go to any hotel or tea shop in the UK, that’s what you’ll get, so it’s only right that we serve it on our flights.”

 

8. Gluten-Free Meals Are On The Rise

” About 10 per cent of our total dishes served are ‘special meals’, where a customer has a particular dietary requirement and pre-orders a meal to suit their need.

“We offer a range of different options on board including gluten-free, diabetic, lactose-intolerant, vegan, halal, kosha and a child’s meal.

“Of those, gluten-free is by far the biggest climber in terms of popularity. I think it’s becoming more of a lifestyle-choice for some people. ”

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British Airways’ signature dish is the British afternoon tea (Image: British Airways)

 

9. Indo-Chinese Cuisine Might Be The Next Big Meal Trend

“A certain age group are still looking for authentic Indian cuisine, but in the next three or four years the age demographic will change slightly and so will the taste.

“In India now, the younger generation are far more into Indo-Chinese food and looking at other cultures and flavours. So, at some point our menus will have to mirror that. It’s our job to get that timing right.”

 

10. Steak Is the Most Popular In-Flight Meal

“On our transatlantic routes it’s definitely steak. It’s also the most pre-ordered item.”

 

11. New Menus Are Created Six Months Ahead

“We develop our menus six months ahead, so we work very closely with procurement to keep an eye on the markets and to get the best products for the best price we can.

“We completely change the menu four times a year for seasonal changes and within that season we may change 50 per cent of those dishes within those three months.”

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Passengers can pre-order their meals before flying, and all meals are plated to order (Image: British Airways)

 

12. You Can Pre-Order Up To 30 Days Before Your Flight

“You can now pre-order your in-flight meal between 30 days and 24 hours before your flight departure to guarantee your choice once on board.

“This service is available at no extra cost for many of our flights from London Heathrow, when you’re travelling in First, Club World and World Traveller Plus.”

 

13. Don’t Expect Oysters On Your Flight

“There aren’t many things we can’t do, Oysters we can’t use – or anything raw, so no real sushi such as sashimi. Years ago we tried ostrich but that didn’t work – it went as tough as old boots!”

 

Source: Flight Centre