In previous posts we have discussed the power of focus. We have also mentioned the need to eliminate all costs that don’t add value for your customers (Lean Thinking). Yesterday I saw a great example of both that I wanted to share. If you focus, eliminating waste is much easier. Trying to be all things to all people makes you mediocre at best and adds plenty of opportunities for waste.
Ryanair, the Irish airline focused on lowest cost travel, discovered that 97% of their passengers booked online and 75% use the Internet to check-in. They have therefore decided to eliminate their airport check-in counters. You can still drop your luggage at bag drop, but everything else is going to be done online. Ryanair is focused on the short-haul traveler, and would like that 20% or less of their travelers check luggage. By eliminating the airport counters they will save money that allows them to lower fares.
Will this approach cost them some of their current travelers? Probably. Will it matter? I doubt it. They are going to be cutting costs that don’t add value for the travelers they are trying to attract. This suggests to me that they are likely to increase the total number of travelers that fly with them. Will you be one of them? I don’t know, it depends what you value.