William Baker is the Director of Business Development at Evolving Technologies Corporation.
In the past decades, technology has swept the business world with new efficiencies. One area, however, that remains ripe for innovation is the labor contract negotiation process. Evolving Technologies Corporation, an SAP Startup Focus company, is looking to seize this very opportunity.
The team at Evolving Technologies is centered on collective bargaining, but consists of individuals with backgrounds in financial analysis, data analytics, data visualization, and information technology; with several decades of combined work experience. Shortly after the company joined the SAP Startup Focus Program their solution, ETC Unite, was born.
While ETC’s technology can serve companies in any industry that employs organized labor, they are initially focused on the airline industry. Currently, Evolving Technologies Corp. is facilitating labor contract negotiations between one of the largest major airlines in the United States and the union that represents over 20,000 flight attendants.
There are several specific challenges that ETC is helping their client address. The customer has been engaged in negotiations for over four years without reaching a successful outcome, translating into mounting costs. The cost to the company is associated with the value of the contract, the cost of the negotiation expenses, the cost associated with delays in reaching an agreement, and the cost of potential labor strikes and arbitration.
The process by which these negotiations take place is antiquated, having changed very little in the past 60 years. While the process has remained the same, the complexity of the contracts being negotiated has increased significantly. Contracts of this nature are typically hundreds of pages long, cover tens of thousands of employees, and outline tedious rules and treatments, which often require the use of complex formulas and calculations.
The particular negotiation that ETC is facilitating involves the added complexity of consolidating multiple contracts for employees that previously worked for separate companies that have since merged.
ETC is helping their client navigate these challenges and reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties. In fact, ETC’s solution is designed specifically to handle these types of complex situations by centralizing data that is traditionally segmented, allowing it to be manipulated with powerful data analytics and represented with the latest data visualization technologies. This allows negotiators to get on-the-spot answers to questions that would otherwise require weeks of number crunching.
ETC’s solution not only puts an emphasis on capabilities, but also on usability. The company has designed its product so that it is easy to use for those with little to no technical expertise. Users are able to build scenarios involving different contract terms within a drag and drop interface, which has the most commonly used functions preconfigured. Additionally, multiple users from the same party, or from across the table are able to collaborate in real time as they work to build and adjust scenarios that are agreeable to all stakeholders.
The result is a new process for negotiating labor contracts that exhibits increased clarity, a faster outcome, and a more collaborative dynamic between parties.
Evolving Technologies Corporation looks forward to delivering these benefits to new customers in 2015, as they continue to reshape the collective bargaining process.
To join the conversation, follow us on Twitter @SAPstartups or #HANAusecases.