After three months we want to give you a quick update of the impression we collected during our first trainings, at our home stations and our first three months as IAP Compact 2015 trainees.
By the beginning of March we started with the introduction phase and the first exciting trainings during our IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations Course, the A1 Course as well as a Sales Guide Training. The training courses which we completed during three weeks at our global headquarter in Frankfurt were interesting and let us gain some knowledge about the big Lufthansa Cargo world. We really became a diverse and strongly bonded team of different people with different backgrounds.
The A1 course let us gain knowledge about general handling tools such as the GOM (Ground Operating Manual) , the CHM (Cargo Handling Manual), but also the new booking system iCap and the intranet system eBase – to just name a few parts of the training. We also had the chance to visit the apron and had a look into some of our MD-11 freighters during the loading process. Afterwards we completed the Sales Guide course and analyzed the product portfolio of LCAG, learned about sales strategies and our competitive advantages. What we all realized quite quickly is that LCAG is a quality driven carrier and the importance of our highly qualified workforce.
After we had completed the three weeks in Frankfurt we were ready to go back to our stations and really started the IAP Compact 2015 program by using the first knowledge “in the field”. All of us went to different departments depending on the different needs of the stations. Some of us started with handling, others with inside sales or sales steering.
The once who started in the handling department had the chance to see the LCAG process from a very operational point of view and also realized how handling can differ from one station to another. While for example in Amsterdam most of the freight gets trucked to Frankfurt and from there flown out to other destinations, in other stations handling operators have the possibility to book directly on freighters which allows LCAG to avoid additional trucking. The planning of trucks, the management of ULD stocks, the physical check of pallets and containers in the warehouse as well as the communication with handling agents were interesting and complex tasks for us as new LCAG employees.
In the meanwhile the once who had the chance to start with inside or outside sales got a first impression of what it means to be in direct interaction with customers. Rate quotations in accordance to different rate levels such as SRS, SRA, or spot- and promo rates for example are often the start of a new business. The booking of shipments requires the knowledge which we gained in the A1 course as well as the DGR familiarity and – of course – the experience of our colleagues ;)
Finally, the once who started with the SSF (Sales Steering Function) were more focused on coordinating the realization of the planned targets and on trying to build long lasting relationships with customers through Long Term Contracts. A good example of SSF is in Milan, where we are dealing everyday with outside sales representatives and our own Capacity and Revenue Management in order to create ad-hoc Long Term Contracts to those customers, who are willing to have a continuous flow of goods from Italy to all over the world. Another task we are working on are the NNCs (Net Net Corrections). In this case SSF has the responsibility to identify all the quotations that are invalid mainly because of weight, density and Routing differences. Once the analysis has been realized, some colleagues within the IAP Compact 2015 Team will continue by developing a project with the main goal to reduce the invalids or even to completely eliminate them.
At the beginning of June we came together at Lufthansa Training & Conference Center Seeheim where we attended another really interesting course: Business Project Management. This course provided us with the most useful tools that LCAG is using in order to structure an “As-Is” process, identify possible improvements, and apply them to the daily work in order to be as much efficient as possible and implement a “To-Be” process.
We had the possibility, thought Business Cases and examples, to put into practice what we studied. This training session also gave us the opportunity to exchange our different experiences and challenges at our home stations. We also met a former IAP Trainee who told us about his professional career after the program. Who knows where our path will lead us? Those meetings allow us not only to improve our knowledge and abilities, but they are also unique experiences to build a strong network all over the world and most important to be a strong team.
Now we will start our second assignment of our program. Read more about our experiences and challenges in sales and handling in our next blog.
Your IAP Compact 2015 Team