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Are you being served? Not onboard! Aviation manufactures moving towards service enabling systems 




To maintain a competitive advantage, suppliers in the aviation industry have
shifted from passive producers to active innovation research partners, sharing
responsibilities and risks. This approach has fuelled technological advances over
the years, delivering aircraft that are lighter, faster and safer than ever before.
However, the passenger inflight experience has not changed radically in the
past twenty years. In order to offer a personal brand experience and remain
competitive, airlines are shifting their focus to onboard experience and service
satisfaction. This paper investigates the practice of a large supplier in aviation
to identify how designers can support the company’s transition from product
supplier to the supplier of service enabling systems. An inductive case study
approach was employed to investigate the internal shift by mapping the
influence of the transition towards service enabling systems on several of the
supplier’s projects and interviewing the main internal and external
stakeholders. A total of twenty interviews were conducted with stakeholders of
the galleys & equipment department, including airline staff, catering providers,
development engineers, sales and purchasing. This papers concludes with an
overview of the main challenges encountered by the supplier and how
designers played a role in tackling them such as: changing the internal mindset
towards the end users, facilitating internal collaboration and reframing the
design briefs in collaboration with airlines.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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