Any service offering, such as baggage tagging or ticket printing, can be interrupted at any time due to a variety of factors. The break in service may be caused by something as simple as a paper jam or as complex as a piece of firmware not responding properly to software commands. Because of the various causes of interruptions, the best way for an airport to manage these interruptions is to work with a service partner that deploys a multifaceted approach to maximizing service availability.
This multifaceted approach will first attempt to avoid all service interruptions by properly following equipment standards and guidelines. The service partner will also monitor the network and determine if there are any external factors that could potentially affect the service availability, these can be anything from weather to the system itself. The service partner will deploy appropriate measures to ensure system availability, and any scheduled equipment maintenance will be done off hours so that it doesn’t impact the airport’s operations.
It is not always possible to prevent service interruptions, however, if the end customer doesn’t know there is a problem then it is almost as good as having no problem at all. Monitoring a service both remotely and manually help achieve this. Remote monitoring enables the service partner to identify and address service interruptions as soon as they occur. In addition to remote monitoring, a strategic service partner will have staff on site who can perform visual checks. Once an interruption is identified, either remotely or visually, the service provider will determine the quickest way to resolve the issue. Many times the issue will be resolved prior to it affecting the end customer.
Finally, there are instances when an outage is unavoidable, and negatively impacts the end user. For example, if a paper jam occurs while a passenger is waiting for a boarding pass to print. This can’t necessarily be anticipated and can’t always be fixed prior to the customer knowing about it. As a result, the only method for resolving this issue is through incident reporting. Simply put, the customer lets an airport employee know they are having a problem printing their boarding pass and the airport employee files an incident report.
To summarize, the multifaceted system resolution approach can be broken down into three main categories, with a total of five distinct methods to avoid or repair interruptions once they occur. The three categories and five methods are:
- Interruption avoidance – A potential outage is avoided by making modifications or adjustments to the equipment or the network. Two methods of interruption avoidance are preventive and predictive maintenance.
- Interruption monitoring – A problem is fixed prior to the end user knowing it is an issue, this is done by monitoring all the services both remotely and/or on site. Two methods of Interruption monitoring are remote monitoring and proactive maintenance.
- Interruption resolution – a problem is fixed once the end user or customer reports the incident. This is called incident report maintenance
Please join me next week to learn more about preventive maintenance and a discussion on how a service partner can deploy it to help improve your system availability.