India's largest software services company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said on Thursday (March 30) that it has collaborated with SATS to develop a smart watch solution that is believed to be the world’s first mobile solution for airport technical ramp (ATR) operations. The Technical Ramp Smart Watch solution is now supporting the operations of SATS, Ltd. (SATS), the leading provider of airport ground handling and food solutions services in Asia, at Singapore’s Changi Airport.
The Technical Ramp Smart Watch solution was designed to increase operational efficiency by streamlining on-ground processes and enhancing communication, productivity and safety, through technology. It currently assists SATS by providing tech ramp workers with real-time job and task notifications on-the-go, and ensuring staff are kept updated remotely, while reducing reliance on older technology like walkie-talkies.
“In an industry that is becoming ever more competitive, constant innovation and productivity gains are essential,” said Alex Hungate, President and Chief Executive Officer of SATS, in a Thursday statement.
“In deploying smart watches and leveraging the Internet of Things, we not only drive greater efficiency but also reimagine the role of the tech ramp technicians,” Hungate added.
Prior to the implementation of the solution, SATS Tech Ramp Agents would need to physically visit the control center to check rosters and receive updates regarding ad-hoc changes. Communication around operational changes was also conducted manually, either by reprinting updates or via walkie-talkies which, given the noise pollution at airports, can be difficult.
According to Girish Ramachandran, President, TCS Asia Pacific, digitization and mobility are creating exciting new opportunities and solutions that are transforming user experience, streamlining operations and creating new efficiencies in airport services.
"Thus TCS is pleased to work with SATS, a key industry partner, to create a mobile solution that has brought immediate results to their operations and which has also further proven our leadership and capabilities in delivering industry-leading IT services and solutions to the airline, travel and logistics sectors,” said Ramachandran.
TCS was chosen by SATS to help modernise how its Tech Ramp Department tracks tasks and monitors activities, with a focus on ensuring flights arrive and depart on time. The smart watch solution was a product of the collaboration between TCS and SATS to reimagine manual processes for Tech Ramp Agents by leveraging on the latest technology available. TCS had also worked with SATS to build a next-gen IT solution for the revamped state-of-the-art Tech Ramp Control Centre.
With real-time GPS to monitor movement of tech ramp agents from a central location via their smart watches, the latest information, such as updated schedules and instructions are now pushed easily and instantaneously out across all devices from the Tech Ramp Control Centre, without having to rely on a walkie-talkie relay or on reprinted updates. Apart from increasing the productivity of tech ramp agents, the smartwatch-enabled solution is an opportunity for SATS to closely track and monitor performance across the board. By capturing the start and completion time of each task, SATS can analyse the data to glean key performance insights to inform the meticulous planning needed to ensure flights land and get airborne safely and on time, said the TCS statement.