Due to the confidential nature of this project, no content or images can be shared. Below is a description of the methodology the team and I applied within this project.
Since flying became a form of mass transportation, the ‘inflight service’ (meal service, duty free sales and other airline offerings onboard aircraft) have been executed by a mostly unchanged product-service ecosystem. For an equally long time, Safran has been among the market leaders for several of the products involved, such as trolleys and galleys.
However, today’s industry sees intensifying competition, evolving airline business models, and a surge of technological innovations searching for value-adding application.
Role & project ambition
As an integrated designer at Safran Cabin Innovation, I was in charge of the context research, setting up a vision and strategy for the company, and building value propositions. Using my visual skills greatly helped to communicate our work.
The goal of the project was to kickstart breakthrough innovation, finding new ways of adding value to the ecosystem, further establishing a competitive advantage for Safran, and ensuring continued leadership.
This project was a joint effort between our Innovation Studio, marketing research, and UX research.
The 'Vision in Product Design' approach
A context-driven guideline for the project to understand the current inflight service ecosystem and imagine future propositions.
Below is a description of our process and their related activities:
1. Products and processes study
We first conducted a detailed study of all related processes, from the backend processes (at the catering company, ...) to the onboard service itself (safety, duty-free, meal and drink services), and other logistical operations (meal and equipment supply chains). We finally created a detailed service blueprint and use cases of all relevant products and activities.
I finally produced a data-based illustration to present our findings (confidential).
2. Stakeholder & ecosystem analysis
By interviewing experts and several stakeholders, we were able to map and highlight their needs, powers, and interests to one another. We made use of stakeholder maps, customer profiles (combined with value propositions), and Business Model Canvases to organize and share our insights.
I also produced an elaborated illustration to present our research (confidential).
3. Macro & Micro trend research
Using the scenario planning method and interviewing experts to get valuable insights, we analyzed the mega-trends of the world, the mezzo-trends of the aviation industry as well as the micro-trends of our societies, and we translated them into drivers of change that could shape the context of the future ecosystem and change the stakeholders' behavior, business and processes. We also used environment maps to identify trends affecting each stakeholder's business and produced a report to share our insights.
4. Scenario planning
We translated the drivers of change (based on ongoing worldwide and industry trends) into 3 distinct, yet possible, scenarios of the future of the world and their impacts on the Industry, using the same themes to compare them. We finally produced a magazine illustrating and narrating our 3 scenarios and shared it with different business units.
5. Company Vision and Project Mission
From our research efforts and our 3 scenarios, we defined 3 distinct ambitions for Safran's future ecosystem role as well as five 'actionable objectives'. An innovation vision was formulated from these, which is now used both to streamline existing R&D projects and as guidance for developing new value propositions within RISE.
6. Ecosystem innovation and value proposition design
Later on, we created new Value Propositions based on future profiles of our customers. This allowed us to imagine first products and services fulfilling future needs and interests. We used the 3 ambitions to direct our ideas towards the company vision and we produced different user journeys and storyboards to present our ideas to the management and the marketing team.
7. Innovation roadmap
We turned the value propositions into comprehensive and well-rounded concepts for future products and services. Ultimately, an innovation roadmap was created to align the existing Safran Cabin strategy with our inputs. We finally presented our insights and concepts to the upper management of Safran Cabin, to the marketing team, and to the R&T teams of the relevant Business Units.
This project marked an important step in my professional and personal development. I enjoyed once again working in a multi-disciplinary team where my illustrations and my methodology were greatly appreciated. This experience also taught me:
- The strategic value of design, using new methodologies,
- Work with Marketing and a UX Researcher,
- Understand the mechanics of a large organization,
- Adapt workshops to the remote work situation,
- Translate our ideas into added-value solutions,
- The ViP method and related strategic tools.
Project managed by Tom Schreuder
and performed by the Safran Cabin Innovation Studio