Were you satisfied the last time you flew?
For most, flying usually results in complaint correspondence with airline customer service representatives sparked by canceled connecting flights, an excessively long airline delay, or astronomical charges for customarily gratuitous extras: checked luggage, seat selection, section upgrades, and food.
In a 2011 study by MSN Money and Zogby International Surveys, of the top 10 worst companies for customer service, four were airlines. Of those four, three held the top spots on the leaderboard for worst service.
However, not all airlines operate the same. Bangkok Airways will stop at nothing to ensure that all customers are happy. A regional airline that only flies within four hours of Bangkok, it is dedicated to providing customers a pleasurable experience each and every flight. Pratit Santiprabhob, the advisor to the president of the company summarized the company mission best, “The key to success is customers; we definitely need to make our customers happy.”
For Bangkok, a main struggle resided in the ability to maintain a customer friendly, competitive price while also controlling operating costs. To do this, Bangkok needed a system that would update all airline information instantly, especially changes or difficulties in the flight schedule. The IT infrastructure in place for the past 45 years was outdated and siloed, restricting full information integration and real-time financial processing, comparison, and analysis.
After comparing various in-memory computing solutions and talking to current SAP customers, Bangkok Airways moved forward with SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. With a centralized platform for integrating company information, Bangkok can now analyze important financial information as well as internal and external data to help its business by:
1. Unifying Silos
Prior to implementing SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA, Bangkok Airways operated in silos. The company’s internal processes were disconnected, but now, all information is up-to-date and in one centralized location. In response, Bangkok Airways is better communicating any flight or status changes to their customers.
By connecting a mobile application to its SAP HANA in memory computing, Bangkok Airways now has infinite insight into its financial transactions. The app was deployed and used by the field, specifically those who control the turn-around of flights and those who need to log expenses. What was once a manual, lengthy, paper process is now instantaneous. The company is able to log expenses in real-time, seeing the consequences immediately after processing transactions, and quickly understanding the monetary gain or loss associated with flights and operations. Prior to its SAP engagement, the company had no visibility into operating costs for months or longer after paper invoices finally arrived from suppliers.
3. Cutting Costs
With real time insight provided by its SAP HANA engagement, Bangkok Airlines now analyzes its data to strategically trim unnecessary costs. In turn, Bangkok can keep prices competitive in the market and reasonable for customers. Also, with SAP HANA, Bangkok can evaluate customer demand and add frequencies and customer services such as comfortable waiting areas with complementary snacks for all passengers.
As Pratit Santiprabhob explains in the below video, “We are a growing company. We have 25 aircrafts now (as of May 2014), and we’re adding more aircrafts every year. SAP HANA will provide the solid competitive infrastructure we need to process more transactions.” Bangkok Airway’s partnership with SAP is enabling the company to grow and positively impact a larger group of fliers.
A 2011 study from American Express Survey states that 7 in 10 people said that they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. Consumers greatly appreciate companies that go above and beyond to please customers, especially in the airline industry. Like most fliers, more times than not, my airline experiences run sour, however, I’ve never flown Bangkok Airways. Looks like it’s time to take a trip to Thailand. Who’s with me?
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