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Innovation at Alaska Airlines
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Innovation at Alaska Airlines

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By Curtis Kopf, Alaska Airlines

By Curtis Kopf, Alaska Airlines

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Innovation at Alaska Airlines Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Innovation at Alaska Airlines Curtis Kopf Managing Director, Ecommerce and Customer Innovation March 20, 2013
  • 2. Where I come from…• Amazon.com – “It’s Day One.” – “Start with the customer and work backwards.” – Two pizza team• Microsoft – Passion for technology that makes peoples lives better.• Alaska Airlines, MD, Ecommerce & Customer Innovation – Innovating on behalf of the customer – Following the spirit of Mac McGee 2
  • 3. Who is Linious “Mac” McGee? 3
  • 4. Alaska Airlines• Started in the state of Alaska in 1932• Today based in Seattle• 13,000 employees• Fly to more than 90 destinations• #1 in on-time performance -- 3 consecutive years• #1 in Customer Sat among traditional airlines - - 5 consecutive years (J.D. Powers) 4
  • 5. Daring To Be First• 1932: Founded by bush pilots in Alaska• 1995: First US airline to book flights online• 1996: Pioneered use of satellite navigation• 1999: First U.S. web check-in• 2004: Airport of the Future• 2008: First virtual assistant --“Ask Jenn”• 2010: Innovation Team formed 5
  • 6. Innovation• What?• Why?• How?• Key Takeaways 6
  • 7. What is Innovation?• There are many definitions of innovation.• Amazon.com has 55,000+ books on innovation!• Get clear on what: – Innovation is solving a problem or delivering value in a new way. – Innovation is often born from constraint or dissatisfaction with the status quo. 7
  • 8. Ask Jenn•Originally conceived toreplace paper manuals usedby customer service•“Aha” moment – Give Jennto customers!•Since 2008, Jenn hasanswered >20M questions•Jenn’s face and voice areactual Alaska employees 8
  • 9. Biofuel & Inflight Recycling• Innovation on behalf of the planet• First US airline to use wind and solar to help power an airport (Nome, 2011)• 75 flights with biofuel blend in 2011• Leads industry in onboard recycling, begun in 2010 9
  • 10. Why innovate?• Innovation matters more now than ever.• Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook are innovation engines.• Customers are embracing these innovations and we are all racing to catch up.• Market leaders are being challenged by disrupters across industries – be it Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, RIM, record labels or Blockbuster.• As a result, traditional companies are seeking new approaches to innovation.• Innovation is increasingly “must have” vs. “nice to have.” 10
  • 11. Pacific Northwest Advantage• We are lucky!• Pacific Northwest is a center of innovation.• Amazon is one of the most innovative companies on the planet.• If you want to experience innovation, just head to Starbucks, Nordstrom or REI.• The PNW is a hotbed for start-ups. 11
  • 12. How?• There is no “right” way to do it.• Some companies have started labs – Nordstrom, Walmart, Intuit.• Others are working with or acquiring start- ups.• Others partner with companies outside their industry to gain a different perspective.• The best approach depends on your (or your clients’) culture, business model and goals. 12
  • 13. Customer & Organizational Context• Understand what problems your customer is trying to solve.• Organizational context is key: – What is your client or company’s strategy? – What is the culture? – Are you aligned with your sponsor on the purpose of innovation?• Innovation can enable many strategies -- be it efficiency/low cost, customer satisfaction or developing break-through products.• Assess your organization or clients’ strengths and challenges around innovation to find the right starting point and understand the obstacles. 13
  • 14. Our Innovation Team ApproachTraveler Friendly InnovationEnhance the traveler experience from “Home to Home” Start with an idea Transfer to around a Cross-functional Create a sponsor whotechnology team generates prototype. takes to market. or a solutions. customer problem. 14
  • 15. Customers scan the QR Code with their smartphone to find out the entertainment options on the current flight.With the service, a Customer can text a message to Alaska AirCargo with their air waybill number and receive a textresponse with tracking information regarding their shipment. With the new app, users can view a map populated with photos of their Facebook friends located in cities Alaska Airlines flies and, with a click, can view one-way fares or mileage award levels to the closest airport near their friends hometown. 15
  • 16. Mobile is about solving problems in newways. “Alaska is hitting home runs with its mobile apps.” - Patricia Seybold, author, Customers.com 16
  • 17. Alaska Mobile Strategy• What: – Start with the customer and work backwards. – Make the customer’s “Day of Flight” hassle-free.• Act like a start-up: – Two-pizza team – Iterate and improve: More releases, more efficiently. – Speed is a differentiator.• Learn faster: – We know 1% of what there is to know about mobile. 17
  • 18. “If we aren’t always at least alittle scared, we’re not doing ourjob.”Ed Catmull, Pixar 18
  • 19. Windows 8 Challenge• Create simple app on new platform in 5 weeks• Build innovation “muscle”• Worked closely with MS team• Time constraint forced new approaches 19
  • 20. Key Takeaways• We view innovation as solving problems in new ways.• Innovation is often born from constraints or a dissatisfaction with the status quo.• Your approach to innovation should be informed by your organizational context. Be aligned with sponsors on the purpose of innovation.• The Amazon approach: Start with your customer and work backwards.• “How” is key: Fast iteration, outlearn your competition.• Do something that scares you! 20
  • 21. THANK YOU! 21