Jet Fuel and Collaboration: Powering Tomorrow's Airlines
 

Jet Fuel and Collaboration: Powering Tomorrow's Airlines

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As with other industries, it is becoming apparent that airlines can realize tangible benefits from enterprise social networking. ...

As with other industries, it is becoming apparent that airlines can realize tangible benefits from enterprise social networking.

Of course not all private social networks are created equal, and a little diligence and research can go a long way toward ensuring that the right capabilities and features are in place. But in terms of an area where an air travel brand can see a noticeable difference and possibly gain an edge over competitors, the private social network is definitely worth a test flight.


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Jet Fuel and Collaboration: Powering Tomorrow's Airlines Jet Fuel and Collaboration: Powering Tomorrow's Airlines Document Transcript

  • Jet Fuel and Collaboration: Powering Tomorrow’s Airlines
  • Jet Fuel and Collaboration: Powering Tomorrow’s Airlines It’s no secret that the airline industry is built on a challenging business model. With hard expenses including airport and facility fees, fuel, and maintenance of multi-million dollar planes, the cost ma- trix is not for the squeamish. On top of that are the factors that are out of their control—like the weather. A quick look at the cost structure, for the uninitiated: source: Rodrigue/Hofstra 2013 Air travel is also a competitive space, with an increasingly savvy and connected customer community. Yet in spite of all these challenges, a few airlines are crushing it—and this year the US 1
  • For all the external challenges that airlines face, one of the biggest areas of opportunity lies within: their human capital. In many cases cabin crew members, the closest touch points and brand am- bassadors to customers, lack an effective channel to collaborate and relay feedback - most commu- nication is still one-way, from corporate outward. Further exacerbating this situation is the fact that there are no company-issued devices issued to staff. Crew members are left to check in on whatever mobile platform they happen to have in order to keep up with last-minute changes or developing situations. The Social Silver Lining One way that a few airlines are flipping this script is with a trick they learned from the rest of the enterprise world: the private social network. This is a secure, controlled platform where employees can post and receive real-time updates from anywhere, on any browser or mobile device, much as they would on their favorite social network. The Enterprise Social Network (ESN) has rapidly found favor with sales departments and professional service providers for its ability to break down barriers and silos and increase real-time collaboration. One top consulting firm realized a 30% improvement in internal communications, a benefit which translates well to air travel. One area in particular where early-adopting airlines have seen improvements from ESN is cross- timezone collaboration. With crew scattered in various locations, the ability to quickly check in with dedicated apps on their personal devices for real-time updates on delays and last-minute flight status changes is proving invaluable. 2 “ 30% improvement in internal communications.”
  • Context Is Key Not only is the speed of information improved, but also the degree of context for the user. A good ESN platform allows for the creation of subjects, which employees follow based on their roles and what’s relevant to them. Therefore a crew member can easily focus on getting only the information that affects her flight/shift/hemisphere, and filter out the rest. Having easier immediate access to the right information is a significant advantage to crew mem- bers in managing customers during the inevitable unplanned events, in that they can more quickly and accurately provide relevant information to anxious travelers, resulting in a better customer experience and improved prospects of future business. Another critical advantage of ESN is that crew members can more easily relay feedback to help improve customer service and in-flight operations. Whereas in the past reporting feedback required filling out a lengthy form, employees can simply post to a dedicated subject on their secure social wall, resulting in a stronger feedback pipeline. 3
  • Flying In Tighter Formation On a higher level, a private social network also fosters a stronger feeling of connection among crew members who are constantly travelling and spend very little time at their base or with each other. Giving them a communication platform that is actually fun to use and feels less like ‘work’ encourages a stronger sense of community. Increased engagement also leads to better internal communications and the ability to align everyone with the brand and the bigger-picture goals of the organization. Conclusion As with other industries, it is becoming apparent that airlines can realize tangible benefits from enterprise social networking. Of course not all private social networks are created equal, and a little diligence and research can go a long way toward ensuring that the right capabilities and features are in place. But in terms of an area where an air travel brand can see a noticeable difference and possibly gain an edge over competitors, the private social network is definitely worth a test flight. sources “Operating Expenses of the Airline Industry” ©2013, Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Hofstra University, New York, USA. “Cordelta Accelerates Decision-Making With Social Network” - Case study, March 2013 Airline-relevant benefits of ESN • A more engaged and up-to-speed workforce • Easier collaboration across time zones • Stronger customer service, faster reaction to issues • Mobile access from all devices (iOS/Android/BB) 4