With air travel at an all-time high, most airports are aiming to not just expand in scale, but also offer the best travel experiences to their customers, including but not limited to attractive facilities, efficient handling of security, and diverse shopping and culinary experiences. To achieve this, airports are now showing an openness toward adopting new technologies that digitize operations and make processes more efficient.
An airport’s procurement function — which has to deal with scores of suppliers on a daily basis, manage contracts and ensure a steady supply of goods and services — is a prime area for receiving benefits from digital transformation.
Denmark’s Copenhagen Airport — a bustling airport currently handling over 80,000 passengers and 730 flights daily — was facing a number of significant challenges in procurement. It recently sought to transform its procurement function and selected GEP to help it attain this transformation.
Challenges for Procurement
Until recently, the procurement team at Copenhagen Airport was saddled with five separate procurement systems that lacked integration and were not easy to use, reducing compliance. “Burning platforms” with some of the existing legacy systems demanded an investment in new technology. The business case for technology investment was not primarily driven by savings, but by the anticipated benefits the technology would bring in terms of getting better measures and control of spend.
Selecting the Right Software
Prior to undertaking transformation, the team at Copenhagen Airport got together to define the “ideal” for procurement across people, processes and technology. They made it a priority to elevate sourcing, with the main goal of better and faster negotiations that would deliver quicker results for the business. Another key consideration was the technology’s easy adoptability by users and budget holders — they did not want to burden stakeholders with complex systems. After considering a number of other options, the team chose the SMART by GEP source-to-pay platform to help them attain their goals.
Why SMART by GEP
A key reason for the SMART by GEP selection was its seamlessness and simplicity, with reporting aided by the free flow of data through the system. Another plus was the software’s full source-to-order capabilities and ability to be integrated with the airport’s existing ERP system (which still handles payments). Its configuration enables the procurement team to set policies oriented toward increasing compliance. But here’s the key feedback, direct from Copenhagen Airport’s CPO: “Users love it!”