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The CIO Interview: Steve Lee, CIO/SVP (Technology) of Changi Airport Group

Nurdianah Md Nur | Nov. 15, 2013
Lee explains how he uses IT to continually improve the airport’s customer service and provides advice on how to be a successful leader.

Steve Lee, CIO/SVP of Changi Airport Group

With a strong belief that IT is an enabler, Steve Lee has helped the organisations he was in to improve their business processes. Even in his current role as the CIO and senior vice-president (technology), Corporate IT & Technology of Changi Airport Group, Lee is continually looking to implement IT solutions that will further improve the airport's customer service. Lee shares with Nurdianah Md Nur the ongoing projects at Changi Airport, as well as tips on how to be a successful technology leader.

Could you describe Changi Airport Group's (CAG)'s corporate philosophy and how that translates into the company's approach to IT?
Service is the heart of everything we do at Changi Airport. It is in our service DNA to constantly strive to provide a personalised, stress-free and positively surprising experience to each and every one of our customers.

Since our workforce has this service DNA firmly internalised in them, IT can play a key role here in supporting them to provide excellent customer service to our customers.

For instance, we use the Service Workforce Instant Feedback Transformation (SWIFT) system — an integrated feedback management and business intelligence system — to quickly take corrective actions on customer complaints across key customer touch points such as check-in counters and washrooms. Another example is how we leverage technology to meet the increasing demands of users who are constantly on the go and value convenience - we provide real-time flight information through our iChangi mobile app for flights up to 48 hours in advance, alerting departing passengers of changes in gate hold rooms, or changes in baggage belts for meters and greeters receiving arriving friends and family. 

What IT projects are you working on right now?
Our most recent IT project is iShopChangi, Changi Airport's official online shopping portal just launched in September. iShopChangi allows passengers of Changi Airport to enjoy tax and duty-free shopping in the comfort of their homes before they depart for their travels, without having to worry about queues or popular products being out of stock on the date of their travel. It features 1,800 duty free items across five categories including beauty, wine and spirits, chocolates and delicatessen, IT and electronics, as well as timepieces. Passengers can simply purchase their desired products via the portal before picking them up at the iShopChangi Collection Centre found in the Departure Transit Mall of each terminal before flying off. 

The other exciting project we are working on is implementing the FAST travel initiative. In line with the trend of self-service options at airports around the world, the upcoming Terminal 4 will provide more kiosks for self check-in, self bag-tagging and self bag-drops. Processes at key touch points, such as check-in, and immigration and security clearance, will also be streamlined through the use of technology. All these measures will reduce the processing times and staffing, which improves productivity. The FAST travel initiative will be introduced in the other terminals too at the appropriate time. 


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