08.03.2016 17:06

SkyChain uncovered: Getting ready for smoother cargo flows

Our Next Generation Cargo Professionals are busy ahead of the introduction of SkyChain, Finnair Cargo’s new cargo management solution later this year. This is how we have been preparing for the big launch.

The sky is the limit here at Finnair Cargo. With several exciting projects underway – all aiming for future growth and success – our group of 15 Next Generation Cargo Professionals is eagerly working on the upcoming adoption of SkyChain, our new Cargo Management System (CMS) provided by Mercator.

Since August 2015, we have acquired not only technical skills, but also pedagogical know-how for training SkyChain end users. Both areas are essential for a smooth transition to this smart and user-friendly CMS tool.

Three checkpoints are already behind us. The project kicked off in August with a two-week introduction to SkyChain, followed by a testing session in Mercator’s training facilities in Dubai (see photos below). A second testing was held in December, and we just closed the third one at the end of February. 

As usual with the early stages of any IT project, several surprises arose during the initial testing rounds. Throughout the project, Mercator has tackled all issues and change requests immediately and swiftly, always with utmost professionalism and a service-oriented attitude. We are happy to have them as partners.

In addition to these testing milestones, in January we attended a “Train the Trainer” module at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. The goal of this week-long workshop was to equip us Cargo Professionals with pedagogical skills. It truly was an eye-opening experience for us. After digging deeper into different learning styles and training methods, we now feel more confident and better prepared for training our stakeholders from August onward.

Our own learning, however, is far for over. First, we get to wear our SkyChain specialist hats, then our trainer hats, and then grab our specialist hats again and provide day-to-day support for 400–600 end users. This is educational for us as well, since we are constantly building on our existing skills and lessons learned as the project progresses.  

And we are definitely making progress. Everything is on schedule, but the pace will only get tougher. We have just started the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase, the goal of which is to get SkyChain ready for production. We are currently reviewing all our processes in close cooperation with Finnair Cargo teams. Then, we need to compile training materials and prepare for the actual end user trainings. 

These upcoming months will be hectic, for sure. Luckily, we are armed with the right toolkit and a positive mindset. We are ready for a new era – we hope you are, too. It is our job as Next Generation Cargo Professionals to make the transition and learning period as smooth and convenient as possible.

We will keep you updated as we approach the user trainings, and eventually the go-live date in autumn 2016. 

Wishing you a happy spring,

Olli Huuhka
Cargo Service Agent, Document Handling, team leader of the SkyChain Project

Tomi Marttinen
Cargo Service Agent, Document Handling, team leader of the SkyChain Project

Laura Pesonen
Cargo Service Agent, Document Handling, responsible for SkyChain training materials

Mercator’s Pineapple Building in Dubai.

Cargo Professionals testing SkyChain with Mercator’s specialists in February 2016.

Photos by Laura Pesonen