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An airline leasing platform, to provide real-time data between airlines and their leasing agency.

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Context: Rotman Business Design Challege 2022

Role: Visual Designer, Research

Category: Aviation & Sustainability

Duration: 6 weeks

Tools Used: Asana, Miro, Figma & Figjam

To be selected for this challenge, we sent in a video application of our understanding of the brief.

From there, we began to disect the brief (presented below)

Design Brief
“How might SMBC Aviation Capital, a leading global aircraft lessor, re-design its current business model so that it may continue to thrive while also accelerating the decarbonization of the aviation industry.”
 
Design Brief

We then split the work among ourselves

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Shunichiro Tago

A great team-mate whose strength lies in process design.

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Arianna Tammadon

A creative skilled artist with background in microbiology.

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Sebastian Awad

A great consultant to have in your team. Brings a variety of skills.

Miral Patel

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Eve Suen

A practical minded designer with a background in business.

A skilled experience designer and with a background in UX.

Initial Findings from all the conversations and voices we heard.

SMBC AC has a well established reputation in the market regarding their fleet composition and their offering.
 

Methodology

Using our individual skills, our process looked something this.

Our research spanned electric and hydrogen aircraft, sustainable aviation fuels, competitor strategies, and the industry's current limitations. We also drew inspiration from parallel industries such as automotive and energy, as they face similar challenges reacting to decarbonization regulations.

We spoke to airlines in North America, Asia, and Latin America, given that the major share of SMBC’s revenue comes from these regions. Our list of interviewees consisted of fleet managers, financial controllers, sustainability managers, CEOs, chairmen, and sustainability experts.

We gathered feedback from the airlines about their experiences working with lessors and identified their pain points.
We then conducted over ten hours of prototype testing, assessing several solution iterations.

Industry Background

Along with that, we made a system map to make it easier to visualize the problem. Themes starting coming forth.
Research Plan
We leveraged our connections in the airline industry and with SMBC AC network to speak to their clientele and understand the aviation industry.

Pain points

SMBC AC and airlines are aware of the importance of ESG, but none of them are taking the lead in the industry.


 

Pain points

However we found statements that made us revisit SMBC AC. The actual partnership model is not meeting the airline's expectations and SMBC AC is aware of this gap

 

That put things into perspective. We realized there were existing issues not relating to sustainability. To have an effective solution, this had to be addressed appropriately.

Journey

Airline Contracting Journey

In our secondary research we found that in typical business deals, the sustainability officer is never a part of the conversation.
 

Personas

Airline’s Journey

And this was further proved true when we spoke to actual sustainability officers and their colleagues.
 

So at this stage, our research and all our conversation were pointing towards a human and collaboration themes are solution areas. Hence we used that as a filter.

Insights

The actual pain points and needs from SMBC AC and the airlines:

We settled on three insights because all the various points we had found we part of a whole and hence its a good idea to filter out the main few points.

High Impact

Low Feasibility

Carbon Credit System

Collaborative Platform

Data as a service

Trading Lease system

Frequent Flyer Miles

High Feasibility

Reuse Cabin space

Low Impact

Brainstorming these variety of solutions, we with the help of external members, dismantled the ideas and made one singular concept. With that followed some principles.
Design Principles

Having these principles made it easier for us as a group to finalize a design solution as a website database.

1.

Integration

Siloed data and people into one place.

2.

Connection

Build long-term and engaging customer relationship

3.

Intelligence

Navigate the complexity of balancing business and decarbonization

Solution

Like any website, it needed an architecture

Solution

With strong branding guidelines.

Introducing SMBC AC “One Aviation”

SMBC AC One Aviation

Collaborative aviation data platform

Solution

Dashboard

Integrated data portal

Solution

Environmental Insight

Sustainable Fleet Planning

Solution

Task Manager

Plan your steps

Solution

SMBC AC Green
Hub

Decarbonization Project

Strategy

Strategy

Phase 01

Turn the existing customer relationship into a constant engagement one through the platform

Business Strategy
Phase 02

Integrate siloed data in one place to offer intelligent options that best meet both business needs and sustainability requirements

Phase 03

Grow community leveraging the network cultivated through the platform

Business Model

One Aviation’s business opportunities

Roadmap & Feasibility

One Aviation product launch plan

Always present a rollout plan. It's practice for future projects.

Rollout Plan
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