Performance and control problems in crew management

Crew Management broadly refers to the allocation of existing cockpit and cabin crew to flights and spans tasks like training (education, continuous teaching and simulation practices), crew pairing (determination of no. of crew members for flight in each category), crew assignment (assigning a person to a flight) and Tracking (monitoring of daily operations and handling the irregularities).

After fuel costs, the next major activity that involves a great deal of expense (both time and money) for airlines is crew management. This fact hints at the need for effective management of this group of people.

There are a number of specific parameters on which KPIs can be devised to appraise the crew management of Airlines. The various dimensions along which these can be structured are Compensation which would embrace salary, Incentives, Free Coupons and Perks. Customer Service which can comprise of Ratio of Passengers to Crew and No. of Complaints. Working Conditions can be judged from Labor Turnover, Service Length and No. of flying hours in a month. Training Perspective can be had from no. of Trainers, Training Cost, Duration of Training and Probation.

One of the foremost challenges faced in the area of crew management pertains to the recruitment function. Recruitment for crew members is not always a cake-walk as lots of medical constraints exist to ensure that the person should be absolutely fit to fly for long and continuous hours. Also there are limits on the workable age and people belonging to that age interval only can employed. Another hurdle faced is due to the restrictions on the no. of hours one is allowed to fly. These factors cause an elevation of the no. of crew members to be hired. There has been proliferation in both the no. of training institutes and the Airlines players. Consequently, quality has degraded, quantity has increased and competition for attracting more suitable employees has intensified. Yet another hindrance is the allocation of the crew and cabin staff to the flights. However, this can be resolved to a considerable extent by using the algorithm called Carmen Algorithm. Some of the companies follow the outsourcing option for th

e task of Crew Management.

Since the task of Crew Management asks for commitment of a major portion of the funds, wise employment of these resources is a must. However, this is easier said than done. One of the ways can be by using KPIs, which are, the Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-bound financial and non-financial parameters to evaluate the performance of an entity along various dimensions. The quantitative deductions can then be used to minimize the deviations as found by comparing to the benchmarks already set.

This would aid in the effective, efficient, optimum and successful utilization of Physical, Human and Financial resources and ensure the achievement of pre-set goals and objectives.

Crew Management is one of the crucial tasks the airlines company has to deal with so its optimum administration and implementation can not be ignored. Therefore should strive for not leaving any stone unturned in attaining this. KPIs come into picture at this stage. These help in assessing the progress of the Crew and also in ensuring that the working conditions are not at all hostile since this would have a direct bearing on the health of the persons. Therefore the need of the hour is to use such and similar measures to have a

successful organization.