A North American Airline

CASE STUDY

Efficiently operating more than 1,500 flights a day across the country demands that crew members have fast access to crucial information. A North American airline faced the challenge of unlocking this information from legacy software and making it available to their 4,000 pilots and flight attendants on the go—all while maintaining access to legacy systems and adhering to strict regulatory standards.

Challenge

How do you improve the quality of life for on-the-go workers?

The airline industry is notoriously difficult. Airlines face stiff competition, slim margins, and a workforce that is largely remote, under stress, and in constant motion. In order to stand out and improve the lives of their crew, the airline came to us to better understand what challenges their crew members faced and where technology could help.

We conducted over 200 hours of interviews with employees across the company to understand the complex problems they faced from multiple perspectives. Ultimately, many of their challenges came down to getting and providing information crucial to their day-to-day business. Seeing the latest scheduling changes, understanding flights details, and getting crew member contact information often meant rushing to a secure “crew room” that may be far from where they needed to be next.

These challenges and others added up, impacting not only crew members’ efficiency, but their quality of life as well. In an industry where top talent is tough to keep, this client knew they had to take significant steps to stand out, and dedicated this project to making crew members’ lives easier.

Solution

The right technology solution can be a game changer for employee happiness.

Helping our client find impactful solutions meant working closely with multiple stakeholders—the executive team, IT, crew members, external vendors, and others. By understanding how potential solutions impacted multiple areas of the business, we were able to deliver quickly and avoid potential pitfalls down the road.

Through close ongoing collaboration with the Product Owner and key employee groups, we were able to focus on the highest value features which included:

  • Making key information available outside of the crew rooms and without multiple logins.
  • Improving the efficiency of communications by providing flight crewmembers with information via their preferred communication channel (e.g. text message, phone call, email, etc).
  • Enabling employees to use technology to communicate with the ease available to them in their personal life.
  • Opening new channels for information to flow throughout the airline while implementing processes to guard against overuse or abuse of the channels.
  • Implementing features and services that empower employees to solve problems on their own, saving time and resources.
  • Replacing paper forms, streamlining the process of submitting reports reducing the time crewmembers spend on reports while increasing the usability of report information.
  • Providing compliance information so pilots can quickly understand the impact of schedule changes.

Based on these objectives, we designed a roadmap focused on a suite of web and mobile applications, prioritized based on business needs and positive crew member impact.

At the core of this strategy was a mobile application that allowed crew members to check their schedule, submit necessary forms, and access critical information in a secure way no matter where they were

Results

91% voluntary app adoption amongst 4,000 employees.

Version one of the app was launched within 4 months, with releases every month since. In addition, the client has hired us for subsequent projects aimed at making life easier for other areas of the business.

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