Airports are an integral part of the national and international transportation system, and they play a major role in the nation’s economic stability. Thus, it is extremely important for airlines to develop systems that promote efficiency, promptness and overall consumer satisfaction. But as airlines continue to change rules and regulations, one of the controversial issues involving baggage remains a huge debate among passengers and airline companies. With the rising cost of boarding and baggage fees, many consumers are opting for carry-on luggage versus checking bags in at the airport. Also, the fear of lost luggage, delays and long waiting lines deter many consumers from bringing large amounts of baggage on trips. The perpetual airport baggage debate shows the urgent need for an innovative baggage process system that will minimize delays and secure luggage. Thus, Stocking, DeLong, Braunagel, & Healy (2009) found that research and timely information pertaining to operational issues and passenger complaints can help airlines develop an effective integrated organization system that can help to reduce delays, wait time and other issues that adversely affect the consumer airport experience.
Technology is the chief driver of innovative developments and business initiatives (Baltzan & Phillips, 2011). With evolving industry trends, it is extremely important for organizations to continue to develop new, innovative products to maintain success and offset competition. Swanson (1994) found that Information Systems (IS) is essential to an organization’s success, and it is rapidly growing and changing the scope of operations within a business. Information technology in the airline industry has expanded to include new operation tasks in data administration, network management and other technologically advanced areas. “The meshing of new technology with organization design, process, strategy, and external relationships appears to be one of the most important issues of the next decade” (Swanson, 1994, p. 1069). Ultimately, it is vital for organizations to implement technological advances into product development to ensure efficacy and longevity.
Moreover, a technology-based approach to product development will allow organizations to develop systems, which “show an objective return in terms of cost, efficiency, effectiveness or, more typically, all three” (Clarke, 2007, p. 7). Thus, technology plays a major role in innovation and creative product development. Also, classification and alignment of information systems within a particular airline is extremely important for airlines to effectively manage information systems (Marks & Rietsema, 2014). Thus, functional aligning systems will provide more strategic organization and allow users to easily management technology systems within a particular airport. O’Brien & Marakas (2010) found that enterprise collaboration with different IT technologies such as the Internet and Intranet can also help enhance product development and boost competitive advantage among companies.
Another key element of product development within airline organizations is airport information systems security. With past terrorist activists, most notably, 9/11, airport security has changed in order to ensure the overall safety of all passengers. New stricter rules and regulations for boarding have been implemented to help make sure that no illegal items, weapons or terroristic activity takes place on the flight. Wilson (2003) found that increased security measures that involve sharing and exchanging information between different airport services will allow access control and authentication to be effective in all airports. Each airline has a different airport environment that requires different security methods, but implementing a universal security measure that can be used interchangeably among airports can help strengthen communications and security in the airline industry as a whole.
Furthermore, cost is an important factor to consider when creating innovative product developments. Watson (2013) found that more frugal and minimal resources can be effective in helping to implement information systems within organizations. This will allow airlines to develop cost-saving systems that will be effective in product development that can possibly lower baggage cost and other fees associated with boarding. Cost-effective techniques are essential to organizations because it allows organizations to lower fees and allocate additional funds towards other critical areas of the airline organization. Thus, this is extremely beneficial for all airlines and especially for consumers who are not pleased with high baggage fees. Ultimately, product development that requires scarce resources will help organizations to maintain profit and increase consumer satisfaction by lowering fees.
Edmondson & Nembhard (2009) found that teamwork is a critical component of product development. “In today’s organizations, the design, development and production of new products is a fast-paced interdisciplinary endeavor—calling for teams rather than highly structured functional organizations to get the job done” (Edmondson & Nembhard, 2009, p. 124). Thus, teamwork allows professionals from different departments within an organization to utilize their diverse skills and expertise to develop the highest quality product in the shortest amount of time. Thus, developing an integrated information system that is inclusive of all department leaders will broaden the product development process. Essentially, an effective teamwork strategy will help to improve information systems within airlines.
Overall, the implementation of focus groups will help organizations research and develop effective product development methods. Thus, focus groups allow professionals to collaborate, and they can be tailored to meet the distinct needs and trends of a particular airline work environment. Langford & McDonagh-Philp (2002) found that focus group research “provides a basic structure to the elicitation of user needs, but also provides an adaptable method that includes a high level of informality” (p. 67). Thus, understanding the needs and requirements of a particular airport service is detrimental to developing an effective product strategy that will help to improve critical areas of the organization.