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Reimagining the Inflight Service Ecosystem


Jan 2020 - Dec 2020


Safran Cabin Innovation, NL


Strategic design, System thinking

2020 was also a special year for aviation. In this challenging year, our team looked at micro and macro factors that would shape the future of the industry.

Project initiative

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 part of 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 helped to communicate our work to various stakeholders, from marketing to upper management.
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Project managed by Tom Schreuder and performed by the Safran Cabin Innovation Studio