Self Serve Airways


Picture this: you’re at the airport check-in desk about to board a plane to your favourite destination and you’re presented with an option; would you like to be checked in by the assistant (who appears to be very helpful, approachable and friendly) or with their new ‘self service’ check-in desk which will mean £20 less on your flight cost?

OK, whichever option you’ve chosen you’re now on board the ‘big bird’ and have taken your seat. It’s a lovely aircraft with all the mod-cons including your own television screen in the back of the facing headrest, it has several entertainment channels on demand, a library of music and movies, several radio channels and your own set of headphones. However, if you want to benefit from these you’ll have to bump up your flights costs by an extra £12. You suddenly remember you’ve packed that book you had for your birthday into your hand luggage – so what do you do? Pay £12 for the airplanes entertainment or will you stick your nose into a good story for the next couple of hours?

It’s about one hour into the flight and the food trolley makes its way up the aisle. You’ve not long eaten as you were up early and made yourself some sandwiches to snack on whilst you awaited your boarding call. So, not being particularly hungry are you still going to eat for the sake of it or would you rather have had the option to exclude meals from your travel costs saving yourself a further £20?

After the food, the trolley re-appears but this time loaded up with empty bin liners. For those that took the option of food they are asked to gather their used plastic cutlery, plastic wrappers and empty juice cartons and place them into the refuse sacks. It’s a great idea from the airline to reduce ‘standing time’ on the airports holding bays and instead maximise their air-miles with paying passengers to increase revenue.

These are some great examples of win-win scenarios for both passenger and airline.

But then the most unusual announcement comes from the cabin crew, one of them asks if any of the passengers would like to take control of the flight for the remainder of the journey! You’d have total responsibility of the flight deck and its electronic control panel. It’s pretty much self-functional but any risk of heavy turbulence would mean you taking the reigns, self-serving the flight path and ensuring a safe and steady landing for you, the people around you and the expensive piece of kit you’ve been given the responsibility of looking after! There’s no talk of money as yet but I’m guessing most of you have already come to the conclusion that this is a crazy idea and would rather leave this to the experts, right?

Now, let’s take time out from for a quick reality check. As far as I know this kind of airline doesn’t exist (thankfully) but there are a series of similarities we can compare to Tenant Cashback. It’s great to be given the opportunity to do more for yourself, to do things your own way, within your comfort zone and through choice. As long as nobody comes to harm, there is minimal risk and there’s the bonus of an associated saving for all involved – what can be the harm in trying?

Here at Bromford our aim is to help people to be the very best that they can be and one of the ways we’re tying to deliver this is through our vision of self-reliance. This is exactly what we’re trying to achieve with our Home Rewards Club scheme. For those customers who have the ability and desire to, we want them to be in a position where they are able to do more for themselves. We want to build and boost their confidence and we want to develop their skills and employment opportunities by linking them with Connect. We want to change lives!

We’re just past the half-way point of our 12 month pilot and as we approach the final stretch I can honestly say there’s some learning for us all. Our initial analysis of the scheme was published in May and already we can say that the scheme has presented us with a whole host of opportunities and new ways of thinking.

So, if you work within an organisation who is thinking of taking on Tenant Cashback, think about a few everyday scenarios where you pay, or could pay, for things you don’t need. Are these things you can do yourself or could do without? If the risk is minimal and you are able, why wouldn’t you want to be given a choice to self-serve and reap a financial incentive? Our customers are no different.


Interested in knowing more? Please feel free to get in touch.


Every Apple has a sell by date

On Tuesday January 24th 1984 the Macintosh 128k was released by Apple who sold 70,000 units in its first 100 days. Alongside the Apple II, these were the first in a small range that was produced by Apple who quickly established a recognisable brand, largely thanks to their simple product line.

However, Apple were quickly being overlooked by the consumer. The likes of Dell and IBM were offering a wider range of products to the market appealing to pretty much every customer with a remote interest in home or business computers. So, Apple did the same – why wouldn’t they? If it works for others it must surely work for them and bring their brand back to the forefront, right? Wrong! It in fact put them on the brink of existence. Steve Jobs had been and gone during this time but it was his welcomed return in 1997 and subsequent appointment of “interim CEO” that made the significant difference. In the space of just 12 months Apple were saved from bankruptcy and once again became profitable. The rest as they say is history.

When you next open up Google type in ‘computers’ or ‘tablets’ and you’ll be greeted by Apples’ own websites at the top of each page – do I need to say any more?

Jeff Grout, an Independent Business Consultant, recently spoke at our Annual Colleague Event and shared this quote from Ron Dennis, Executive Chairman of McLaren:

“Every winning formula has a sell by date”

When I joined Bromford in 2003 we had just entered the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies and we were blown away that we made the top 5, (I’m sure we’ll enter this again soon). We know that to achieve this we must keep re-inventing ourselves, creating and innovating the way in which we deliver our services. I must admit I’ve seen many positive changes in my 8½ year tenure so I’m certain we’d make the elusive century club again, especially when I look at our vision for 2016 and see all the exciting projects scheduled for this year; Connect being one of them.

Apple is now one of the most successful companies on the planet. They know when one of their products has past its sell by date and it’s time to offer something new.

So now you must ask yourself: Are you planning to do something brave and new in your organisation? Who is your Steve Jobs? Can you identify a product or service that you offer that needs a fresh way of delivery? If you can positively answer just one of these then I believe you are taking the correct steps to extend your company’s shelf life.