An airline leasing platform, to provide real-time data between airlines and their leasing agency.
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)
“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.”
We then split the work among ourselves
A great team-mate whose strength lies in process design.
A creative skilled artist with background in microbiology.
A great consultant to have in your team. Brings a variety of skills.
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.
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.
Along with that, we made a system map to make it easier to visualize the problem. Themes starting coming forth.
We leveraged our connections in the airline industry and with SMBC AC network to speak to their clientele and understand the aviation industry.
SMBC AC and airlines are aware of the importance of ESG, but none of them are taking the lead in the industry.
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.
Airline Contracting Journey
In our secondary research we found that in typical business deals, the sustainability officer is never a part of the conversation.
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.
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.
Carbon Credit System
Data as a service
Trading Lease system
Frequent Flyer Miles
Reuse Cabin space
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.
Having these principles made it easier for us as a group to finalize a design solution as a website database.
Siloed data and people into one place.
Build long-term and engaging customer relationship
Navigate the complexity of balancing business and decarbonization
Like any website, it needed an architecture
With strong branding guidelines.
Introducing SMBC AC “One Aviation”
SMBC AC One Aviation
Collaborative aviation data platform
Integrated data portal
Sustainable Fleet Planning
Plan your steps
SMBC AC Green
Turn the existing customer relationship into a constant engagement one through the platform
Integrate siloed data in one place to offer intelligent options that best meet both business needs and sustainability requirements
Grow community leveraging the network cultivated through the platform
One Aviation’s business opportunities
Roadmap & Feasibility
One Aviation product launch plan
Always present a rollout plan. It's practice for future projects.