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Planning and Execution for Airport Ground Services : focus on cleaning teams.

Julien Broucke
March 7, 2024
min read
Improving Airport Ground Services : focus on how Process Metronome assists cleaning teams.

Table of Contents:

1- What are the current challenges in this field?

2- How do aircraft cleaning players handle those challenges?

3- So surely there are already planning & dispatch options on the market?

4- Can Metronome do more?


What are the current challenges in this field?

When looking at the execution of a cleaning task, it might look quite straight forward. You need people with the right skill set and the right supplies at the right location. The things you have to manage are people’s availability & workload and availability of their supplies and equipment.

Let’s take a closer look at the goals and challenges of cleaning a building.

For a given shift, you have a set of tasks to perform, usually in a certain order. Some might require one person, others might require you to work with other colleagues.

You have a target to achieve a certain number of tasks during your shift, you have quality standards but should something unexpected happen, the task can always be performed the next day. You could be working at various locations, but these are set, and you know it when you take your shift.

In summary, if someone doesn’t show up, it’s not a big deal.

However, offering a cleaning service tailored to airlines is a whole different ballgame…

What is so different?

  • Your cleaning locations are now mobile and there can be a gap between planned landing gate and actual landing gate. Your plan now has to factor in travel time from gate to gate and last minute updates.
  • Your teams operate under strict deadlines, and the repercussions of failing to meet the mare substantial. Any delay sets off a chain reaction of consequences.
  • All cleaning tasks have to be performed. They cannot be done later without directly impacting a crew’s ability to operate a plane in the best conditions.

Building a plan that takes into account all the information available at a given time is doable. However, it becomes obsolete the minute a new piece of information arrives.


How do aircraft cleaning players handle those challenges?

Right now, unfortunately for them, the number one tool is excel. Over time the scope and expectations of their activities grew and Excel can no longer offer the best outputs. On top of that, those tools are usually the responsibility of a single person who then becomes a key dependency so has stress maintaining it and is very difficult to replace.

We’re all under the impression that companies of a certain size are highly digitalized and automated, but the reality is quite different. Speaking in pragmatic terms, they run some obscure and imperfect logic on their spreadsheet, get a plan printed out and then result to manual updates when something impacts their operations.

The actual challenge is absorbing the unpredictable elements of the work day. They cannot afford to interfere with the flight schedule, and often it’s cheaper to always have people available in order to be flexible enough.

It is estimated that on average, companies have about 15 to 30% extra-capacity.

So surely there are already planning & dispatch options on the market?

Well not really. Of course there are providers out there that can build something perfect for this use case, it would be expensive and highly custom. So extra work to maintain this over time and limited usage across the wider company.

Metronome is their best option.

This might be quite a bold statement, but after rounds and rounds of thinking, we stand by this statement.

Before making my point, I need to go over the concepts of day 0/day 1 and day 2. In our context, as a SaaS, we refer to those to illustrate:

  • Day 0: as the pre-implementation stage. Where we figure things out and configure Metronome for you.
  • Day 1: is when you start using Metronome for your operations.
  • Day 2: is your business evolving/growing. It might be new constraints to implement, new resources, new ways of working etc… the solution needs to evolve with you.

So why is Metronome the perfect match for those companies? Our solution fits their use case specifically. It is suitable for Day 1 but also Day 2. If the business changes, for example, they now need to look after another airlines’ fleet and are deploying additional people, that’s just a few clicks in our Metronome Studio.

No need for another project, another budget etc… it’s part of our offering, we’re a SaaS, we work with them on the long run.  


Can Metronome do more?

Well, I’m glad you ask!

We hopefully made it clear how flexible Metronome is and how we can benefit businesses in their challenge to work with change.

Coming back to our aircraft & ground services company, they now use Metronome and have a better handle over changes, thus a flexible plan that allows for enhanced reactivity and a more accurate team sizing.

However, despite increased efficiency, the necessity of a safety net remains evident. Imagine a scenario where unforeseen circumstances, like a change in terminal upon landing, jeopardize operational objectives due to inadequate staffing. Is there a solution to eliminate the need for such buffers?

This is a question that drives Metronome's ambitions. Beyond offering real-time planning, we aspire to disrupt industries reliant on limited human resources.


Imagine if every player in airport ground services embraced Metronome for their daily operations and planning. With a comprehensive overview of idle staff readily available, the potential becomes clear. By fostering collaboration among same-sector companies to share skilled personnel, Metronome has the capacity to take your operations planning to new levels of efficiency and cooperation.

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Julien Broucke
Co-founder & CEO, Process Metronome

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