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Friendly But Bloated Skies

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South African Airlines may be at the bottom of the heap among members of the Star Alliance. One study claims they have five times the number of employees per plane as some competitors.

As reported in an interview by iafrica, SAA is “wildly inefficient.? Even after accounting for differences in routes from other Star Alliance partners, the subjects expressed shock that the workforce of the African airline is comprised of 30% management.  How is this possible?

Process Management - South African Airlines

© Flickr user Deanster1983

There are plenty of theories about how this happens to an organization. But SAA is not alone. Many businesses—both small and large—look nothing like their closest competitors. And it’s not just management. In the case of this carrier, not only does the organization employ more people per plane, but those working as crew or in maintenance or other administrative roles make up more than a quarter of the company.

Comparing your productivity against your partners and competitors is an important and healthy diagnostic step. Improving workflow to positively impact your company is the logical next action. If your company reminds you of South Africa Airlines, with too much management and too many people working on internal tasks instead of helping customers, consider contacting the business consultants at AccelaWork. Your future depends on your ability to continue to compete!

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