Royal Airport Services

Software struggles: Where there’s a will there’s a way

| 3/3/2020
Royal Airport Services



The successful companies of today do not rest on their laurels. Growth is never guaranteed, and you are only ever one bad decision away from potential catastrophe.

Royal Airport Services (RAS) in Pakistan had already grown from humble beginnings since its 2006 inception to handling international flights from six1 of the country’s 112 international airports. But, in search of continual improvement, it sought to overhaul its operational systems and architecture.

The group encountered problems when it began to implement SAP’s ‘B1’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. SAP B1 was geared towards small and medium-sized enterprises, and could handle financials, sales and procurement with ease, but no product existed that could provide sufficient solutions from an operational perspective.


RAS prides itself in bringing best practice to all of its operations, from flight and passenger handling, cargo handling (including threat detection), terminal management, ramp and baggage handling, occupational safety, health standards and security. This commitment is not confined to the consumer-facing facets of the business. To maintain a robust service to client airlines, and make life easier for its own employees, RAS needed its software systems to reflect this best practice approach.

Accuracy is paramount for any operations that take place at a transport hub. If one link in the chain fails, chaos can ensue. The number of moving parts and need for everything to run like clockwork provide additional pressure, while operational and technological developments in the industry serve as a constant reminder that those who do not adapt will be left behind.

RAS acknowledges this need for agility and has distilled the underlying principles into its corporate motto of ‘excellence in handling’.

With these goals in mind, RAS, Crowe Pakistan and SAP decided to develop five add-on applications to better serve the operational needs of RAS’ Ground Handling teams.

The majority of ERP services are off-the-shelf and built to deal with largely uniform sales and procurement functions. RAS went beyond this and worked collaboratively with its advisory team at Crowe to find a more tailored solution that SAP could potentially adapt for other customers.

The attention to detail shown by RAS in pursuit of building a bespoke platform speaks to the company’s commitment to ensuring its motto permeates throughout everything it does.

Having identified SAP as the most flexible provider, RAS set about creating its needs-based solution, in the process becoming the only SAP partner in Pakistan which is executing development tasks and having its add-ons formally certified by SAP.


The solution was a win-win for RAS and SAP.

For RAS, the new system was not only bespoke, but affordable. RAS benefited from a specific solution to streamline its ground handling operations, while SAP was able to certify the ERP modifications and thereby enhance its product offering for small and medium-sized enterprises.

RAS provides ground handling services to almost 70% of foreign airlines operating into, and out of, Pakistan. The decision to overhaul its operational management systems is already helping it to deliver better results for those airlines, as well as futureproofing its business proposition by enabling it to scale while staying true to its core values.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and logic dictates that where a problem or challenge exists, so too should a solution. RAS refused to accept that it must choose from a selection of existing options and took matters into its own hands. In so doing, it not only served its own immediate need but also provided lasting value for SAP and the wider market.