Swissport, worldwide: Overhead Cost Reduction

Swissport is the global leader in airport ground handling services with more than 55,000 employees in 45 countries and 260 airports. The company engaged Humatica to reduce indirect overhead cost without negatively impacting its operations.

Swissport had grown rapidly through acquisition. CFO Alvaro Gomez-Reino and his sponsor PAI felt productivity improvements in overhead and indirect activities within the group could be readily achieved to support this growth. Rather than impose across-the-board cuts, they wanted to make precise and selective reductions that would strengthen Swissport’s long-term ability to compete.

Using our web-based modus™ solution, Humatica quickly gained a comprehensive and accurate understanding of how the company’s 3,500 business support function staff employees were spending their time. Humatica collected activity driver and output information in parallel to enable deep, scale-adjusted productivity benchmarking. We then used our benchmark database to pinpoint areas of low productivity where cost reduction was possible with minimal risk to the operations.

Humatica’s work revealed 15 percent more overhead than previously reflected in the financial accounts – hidden overhead activities booked under operations. Using modus, we gave Swissport’s leadership the fact-based transparency they needed to implement over €15 m in targeted overhead cost reductions within six months. Swissport’s leadership identified and agreed upon 200 specific measures by region and function.

The measures Swissport took in response to Humatica’s findings resulted in sustainable cost reductions. In addition, Humatica’s roadmap of short-, medium- and long-term productivity improvement measures formed the basis for Swissport’s ongoing cost control efforts.

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  • Realised €8.5m in short-term cost reductions without negative side effects
  • Achieved €15m overall support cost reduction
  • Increased EBIT margin
  • Formed the basis for projects to further optimise support function efficiency and cost