The lack of proper consignment management between posts and airlines causes delays in the air transportation of mail and undermines the performance of one of the key processes of an end-to-end e-commerce service. To address this issue posts need to optimise their capacity planning procedures and their measurement and monitoring tools. Improving only one of these two aspects in isolation would not be sufficient to achieve the required levels of service quality. Capacity planning is one of the key aspects that needs to be optimised by posts.

How does it work?

IPC’s Integrated Forecasting, Allocation and Booking Solution (IFABS) is one of the solutions developed by IPC together with postal operators and airlines to optimise business processes related to air mail. Solutions also include the IPC Consignment Monitoring tools (see “Airmail Consignment Performance Analysis Tool”) which provide visibility over the performance of mail carriage by air.

The full IPC IFABS solution consists of four separate modules, each of which covers an autonomous cluster of functionalities. Depending on the specific needs of each post or airline, these modules can be used as separate solutions, while all of them combined provide an end-to-end integrated solution.

 

 

Benefits

  • IPC IFABS is an end-to-end solution designed to assist posts and airlines in airmail transport planning.
  • The solution provides support to posts in forecasting through historical data their capacity needs.
  • It supports both posts’ and carriers’ processes with route management, allotment template building and booking into the allotment.

About IPC IFABS modules

The four modules incorporated in IPC IFABS are:

Capacity Forecast Service (CFS)

To address capacity planning issues, IPC has built a tool that takes into account historical volume data and trends, and applies an advanced algorithm supporting long- and short-term forecasting. It includes volume and weight forecasts. Better forecasts lead to more reliability and less risk for mail to be left behind at origin or at a transit airport.

Route Management Service (RMS)

This solution presents posts with route and flight information, provided by air carriers. Data quality and consistency are ensured by a quality assurance mechanism that proactively notifies users of any change in schedules. Airlines can constantly monitor at all times the use that posts make of their routes. There is less room for error in scheduling and planning, and information about any change which allow for timely reaction by the planner without undermining the quality.

Allotment and Allocation Service (AAS)

The AAS enables posts to make an allocation request for consignments, while facilitating the tender process for airlines. The agreed allotment template is produced in a well-defined format and shared with both parties. Agreeing on an allotment upfront allows for better capacity planning by the carrier. Since the beginning of the season there has been a mutual agreement on the volumes that are going to be carried, and the airline take this into account when balancing their transport plans with other products.

Booking into the Allotment Service (BAS)

The booking service allows for cargo-like booking of mail volumes into the agreed allotment. This is the final step allowing for full alignment between postal and cargo processes.

IFABS has been designed to be integrated with operators’ own system, for both airlines and posts, to ensure data can be retrieved and pushed easily through existing systems. By using booking procedures, mails are fully processed in the cargo systems and capacity is therefore guaranteed.

Future developments

While continuously improving the exiting functionality, IPC has used the input from the users to identify potential new functionalities to be included in the module CFS, as the possibility to run forecasts on incoming volumes (“Inbound forecasting”). This new feature will allow users to better plan the production resources in a context of growing volumes linked to e-commerce.

More information

For more information about IFABS, contact info@ipc.be.