By Jodi Richards, Associate Editor
DTW's solution for logistics managementWhen Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) opened its Edward H. McNamara Terminal in early 2002, materials handling for airport tenants began being handled in an innovative manner. Instead of every separate vendor making several trips in and out of the airport delivering material to concessionaires and tenants, all logistics is handled by Bradford Airport Logistics. The solution is designed to save time, resources, and provide an extra layer of security for the airport.
SAVING TIME, MONEY; ADDED SECURITY
Richter describes the savings to airports and tenants in this manner: "Most of the tenants within an airport, especially on the concessions side, for them logistics and material handling is not a profit center, nor is it for the airlines or the airport. For everyone it's a cost center activity. Their best talent, their best dollars, the discretionary dollars they have to spend on projects, end up being spent on people and planning and equipment, all directed at the profit centers. So you end up with very fractionalized, redundant, and inefficient logistics processes. And every organization has its own process, so you end up with an airport with hundreds of access points, with hundreds of independent entities operating independent processes with no real consolidated means of tracking information or managing material."
He adds that a vendor, who might spend three to five full days delivering in a typical airport environment, is now only spending an hour each day for two days. "[There is savings] just from removing the redundant operations, limiting airfield access, and streamlining operations into a single refined process and using technology to do the hard work of measuring, tracking, and evaluating data associated with logistics," Richter says.
Bradford also sees security benefits with its solution. The centralized command and control center allows for real-time tracking and monitoring of the material flow.
Additionally, as Richter explains, it also enables high data visibility. "Let's assume that for whatever reason, through our secure interface, both operations and law enforcement have a way to link and monitor exactly what material is going through the airport. We may not have the need to know about a potential security threat, but law enforcement might. They can actually go onto this secure site and do their own data research to determine if they need to isolate an item. They know exactly who touched it, when, and where its exact location is. It's real-time access. The product can be held, quarantined, and isolated."
This tracking system also benefits vendors who have products with a sensitive shelf-life. Bruce Class, VP of sales and marketing, explains, "We can monitor the temperatures as well as ensuring that everything is being put away into a refrigerator and freezer in a compliant manner."
When the material is scanned, a time threshold can be set on it so that if it's not put away in a compliant manner within that specified time, the autonotification system would notify supervisors of the problem. "We strictly comply will all standards and have the ability to immediately report on exactly our performance of every aspect of the business," Richter says. "In essence, if you want to know how we're doing, it's as simple as looking at the database."
Bradford has worked with the Transportation Security Administra-tion to meet current security requirements, Richter says. "We follow the TSA's directions both planned and current. We try to model things like where they've gone with cargo security. We've paid close attention to assure that we are traveling in the same direction."
The installation at DTW encompasses two million square feet of terminal space. Bradford installed its own highly secure wireless network for its operations.