Northern Air Cargo Change Management Case Study

The following outlines a change management case study from Northern Air Cargo (NAC) and their work with Professional Growth Systems’ Process Advantage – focusing on their receiving system.

Short Description

A case study describing how a large airfreight carrier used change management techniques to streamline and optimize its receiving process.


Northern Air Cargo is an air freight company based in Anchorage, Alaska. The company was concerned about losing business because it was receiving complaints from customers — especially it’s largest and best — that the receiving process took too long.

Critical Issue

The freight receiving process was taking as much as 30 minutes for truck drivers and others to get their cargo unloaded and checked in at NAC, whereas competitors were completing the same process in much less time with little customer hassle.

Planning is increasingly important, especially in a time when competition for research funding is greater, and because the sources of the funds are changing. However, it can be very difficult to get extremely busy physicians to take the time to plan and to learn to do so competently.


Northern Air Cargo needed:

  • An evaluation of its current freight check-in process
  • An optimal process defined
  • A plan for implementing it.

PGS Provided

PGS worked with team members from all phases of the receiving process. The current process was completely analyzed, customer feedback gathered and out-points in the current system identified. The team brainstormed a range of solutions and ideas, before designing a full spectrum solution for improving the freight delivery process. The solution integrates and supports all organization points of view, from front line to executive management. A critical piece of the whole Process Advantage project was the implementation plan, which facilitated putting the new process in place with little disruption to customers and wide acceptance and participation of staff.


“Instead of PGS coming in and saying, ‘Here are the industry best practices; this is what we’ve done in the past and this is what works,’ PGS came in and got the employees involved. They managed to convince the staff that they can actually make the process improvement. Once you get the employees buyoff, it’s much easier. For, if they’re not convinced it will work, it won’t work.”

— Dave Squier
Vice President
Cargo Services
Northern Air Cargo

The average time for processing cargo is now about 10 minutes (down from as much as 30 minutes) and there are no more complaints from customers.