German airport consultants helping Muscat Airport with preparation

12 December 2017

Internal consutlants from Germany's Munich Airport have begun readiness tests in Oman in the countdown to the opening of the new Muscat Airport.

Bi-weekly operational readiness and airport transfer (ORAT) trials are now underway at Muscat Airport in the lead-up to the project’s eagerly anticipated public launch. The preparedness procedures, being conducted by one of the worldwide ORAT market leaders Munich Airport International (MAI), feature real-life aircraft, volunteer passengers, and thousands of pieces of luggage, while testing for multiple scenarios including emergency situations.

MAI, the partner consulting firm, is a newly established subsidiary of Munich Airport’s operating company FMG, offer full-cycle support for airport developments and expansions across the globe, including in the areas of airport and terminal planning, process and profit & revenue optimisation, training services, and comprehensive airport management.

Munich Airport International begin testing in Oman

The company’s consulting team has been working in partnership with the Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) for the past seven years, previously guiding the development of Oman’s Salalah Airport through to its successful operational transfer in 2015. In its first phase, the new Muscat Airport, which has been designed to accommodate the world’s largest aircraft (the Airbus A380), is expected to handle 12 million passengers per year, with the capacity to increase this figure to 24, 36, and then 48 million passengers through staged future expansions.

Speaking on the current ORAT phase of preparations, Ivonne Kuger, MAI Vice President Operations, said, “At Muscat Airport, we have reached the final stage and we can say the countdown for the opening has started. After the opening our consulting team will remain onsite to provide post-opening support until the operations run smoothly.”

Beyond Oman, MAI have also provided services in the region for projects in Abu Dhabi, Cairo and Riyadh, and will seek to open a Middle Eastern sales office as a medium-term goal. Ralph Gaffal, Managing Director for MAI, said of the company’s plans, “We want to steadily improve our range of services and build on our global presence..... With our future foreign sales offices, we will be able to respond more quickly and effectively to customer needs and the expectations of the market.”

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Saudi pharmacy chain Nahdi transforms with aid of two consultancies

11 April 2019

Saudi Arabia’s leading pharmacy retail chain Nahdi has undergone a recent transformation with the help of two consulting firms; Resilience& for a business process re-engineering project and Redbox Digital for an omnichannel commerce implementation.

With a vast network of outlets in 140-plus cities and villages across Saudi Arabia, the Jeddah-headquartered Nahdi Medical Company oversees the biggest retail pharmacy chain in the Kingdom – serving millions of customers every year. Stating a goal to remain at the forefront of innovation, Nahdi has recently undergone two transformation projects with the aid of consultancies Resilience& and Redbox Digital.

The former project, which commenced last year, has seen the team from management firm Resilience& partner with Nahdi’s Business Process Re-engineering leadership team to institute a more efficient and agile manner for serving its customers. For the strategic transformation, Resilience& among other activities assessed processes against best-practices and benchmarking tools and applied a performance review mechanism to aid with any future fine-tuning.

Founded in the UK in 2015 and with further branches in Egypt, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Morocco and Greece, Resilience& describes itself as a network of consulting firms and independent experts – among them; UAE-based principal partner Ahmed Ragab, who has 15 years of cross-sector consulting experience across the Middle East – including a brief stint as a deputy director with Baker Tilly in Kuwait; and senior manager for digital transformations Tamer Montase, a former manager at Ernst & Young.Saudi pharmacy chain Nahdi transforms with aid of two consultanciesMeanwhile, Nahdi has also seen an UX overhaul with the implementation of a complete omnichannel commerce experience across its retail stores and digital channels delivered by global digital commerce and creative design consultancy Redbox Digital – a leading global elite Magento partner in the Middle East. According to the firm, Nahdi experienced its highest ever site traffic and best basket size and conversion rates in the week following the launch.

Built on Magento Commerce Cloud and Magento Order Management (while integrating Nahdi’s existing back-office Oracle systems), Nahdi’s head of omnichannel and former Accenture management consultant Pawel Dabrowski described the implementation as an amazing achievement given its size and complexity. “There were so many elements to consider from mobile application and single sign-on to loyalty programmes and single customer view,” Dabrowski said.

“Being able to bring all these together required knowledge, skill, understanding of the wider eco-system and more importantly team-work. There were challenges along the way, as with any large-scale implementation, but Redbox’s technical understanding, flexibility and ability to swiftly solve complex issues was behind the project’s huge success. They have a long history in the region and an excellent reputation for delivering high-performing omnichannel solutions.”

Founded in 2004, Redbox has a regional hub in Dubai (established in 2013 and serving clients in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar) with further operations in the UK, US, Italy Australasia, South Africa and Mauritius – the digital consultancy having since its inception built up an impressive roster of clients including Universal Music, Sephora, AXA, Nespresso, The Body Shop and Abul Latif Jameel, the parent of lean management specialists Four Principles.

Elsewhere in the regional healthcare sector, Four Principles itself recently celebrated a total supply chain and procurement processes lean transformation project for the Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group – naming the company its inaugural Kaizen Awards’ winner – while specialist consultancy GE Healthcare Partners has just picked up its own award, being highly commended at the prestigious MCA awards in London for a transformation project in conjunction with the Dubai Health Authority.