Cabin Attendants Union improves its document management

The sky’s no limit with mobile productivity from Teamsoft and IBM

Published on 09-Nov-2011

Validated on 11 Feb 2014

"Thanks to our improved webmail interface and the Lotus Traveler application, we can respond to business emails from anywhere in the world – especially helpful given that most of us also serve as flight attendants." - Søren Johansen, SAS cabin attendant and CAU Board Member

Customer:
Cabin Attendants Union

Industry:
Travel & Transportation

Deployment country:
Denmark

Solution:
Business Integration, Optimizing IT, Smart Work

IBM Business Partner:
Teamsoft

Overview

The Cabin Attendants Union (CAU) is responsible for the organisation of air stewardesses, stewards and pursers in the Danish division of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). The union is one of the smallest in the world, with an operational staff of just 14 members, most of whom have permanent desks at CAU’s premises in addition to working part-time as cabin attendants themselves.

Business need:
The Cabin Attendants Union (CAU) is responsible for the organisation of labour in the Danish division of SAS. The union is funded by monthly contributions from the salaries of 1,500 members, which CAU checks each month. However, its legacy email and document management solution was struggling to cope with the workload. Many CAU staff also work part-time as cabin attendants, so the company needed mobile support to be built into its solution.

Solution:
CAU engaged IBM Advanced Business Partner Teamsoft to consolidate its Microsoft® Outlook, Excel and Exchange software into a more reliable IBM® Lotus® Domino® based document management platform – TeamCase – which is now used to file all the company’s records. A special module developed by Teamsoft handles the monthly calculation of member fees, and Lotus Traveler and iNotes® applications provide mobile functionality.

Benefits:
CAU eliminated its paper processes, reducing its storage footprint by 10 square metres. With TeamCase, calculation of membership fees now takes hours, not days. Lotus Traveler and iNotes let CAU staff access their email, even when laid over far from the office.

Case Study

To view a Danish version of this case study, click here.

The Cabin Attendants Union (CAU) is responsible for the organisation of air stewardesses, stewards and pursers in the Danish division of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). The union is one of the smallest in the world, with an operational staff of just 14 members, most of whom have permanent desks at CAU’s premises in addition to working part-time as cabin attendants themselves.

The union is funded by automatic monthly contributions from the salaries of some 1,500 SAS Denmark members. The amount deducted is based on individual levels of membership, with full-time employees paying more than part-time ones. CAU is responsible for checking that each employee has had the correct amount deducted every month.

Previously, CAU used Microsoft Outlook and Exchange for its email and calendaring, and a Microsoft Excel programme to hold data on its 1,500 members. “We had a lot of problems with our legacy system,” says Søren Johansen, SAS cabin attendant and CAU Board Member. “It was difficult to integrate information effectively when we had to send a mass email to all the members recorded in the Excel programme. Mass mailing was also problematic with our old email server; it would crash every two months or so, meaning that we lost a day of work while we were waiting for an IT technician to come to the office and carry out repairs.”

CAU employs only three full-time members of staff, with the rest of the employees also working as part-time cabin attendants. “Most of us divide our time 50/50 between working for the CAU and SAS,” explains Søren Johansen. “Because of the nature of our jobs, we’re often away from the office. With the old system, it was extremely difficult to answer emails during this time, and productivity suffered. There was no mobile functionality, and the webmail interface wasn’t user-friendly at all.”

CAU wanted to increase the efficiency of its business processes, both in and out of the office. In order to achieve this, the company needed to consolidate its two incompatible legacy systems into a reliable, user-friendly platform that combined email, calendaring and document management functionality.

Implementing a powerful solution
CAU engaged IBM Advanced Business Partner Teamsoft to implement a solution. “CAU selected our document management software, TeamCase, which is based on Lotus Notes® and Domino,” says Johannes Madsen, Senior Consultant at Teamsoft. “TeamCase is used to file all kind of documents – for example, emails, office documents and scanned documents, into a shared hierarchical ‘case’ structure. For CAU, we also developed a special module that handles the monthly calculation of member fees.”

The solution was implemented over a period of three weeks in the summer, when demand for CAU’s system was low. During this time, all of CAU’s paper records were scanned into the TeamCase programme. “I was slightly apprehensive about beginning the IT project, because I’m aware that positive projections can often disintegrate into projects that are over-time and over-budget,” says Søren Johansen. “Working with Teamsoft allayed all these doubts; everything went completely according to schedule.”

“We used TeamCase side-by-side with Microsoft Outlook for a while,” says Søren Johansen. “However, this meant paying for two separate software licenses when we already had a product that could provide an email solution. We asked Teamsoft if there was a way around this at our joint annual status meeting, and they helped us to make Lotus Notes our sole email client.”

“Today, we use only the original 15 Lotus Notes Express licenses we bought at the beginning of the TeamCase implementation, and we haven’t looked back since. Outlook and Lotus both have similar interfaces, so it wasn’t a big shock to adjust.”

At the same time as switching its email server to Lotus Domino, CAU accepted a presentation of Lotus Traveler and iNotes from Teamsoft. “We were very impressed by functionality that the new Lotus modules could offer us,” says Søren Johansen. “The total solution now lets us respond to our emails at any time, from anywhere in the world.”

CAU was highly satisfied by the way that Teamsoft managed the project, both before and after its implementation. “Teamsoft produced some training manuals, and brought an IT consultant into the office to show us how to use the software,” says Søren Johansen. “They were also on the end of the phone when we needed help with fine-tuning the configuration of the system.

“In all, we were very impressed with Teamsoft. Although they don’t maintain our new IT platform, they put us in touch with a very reliable IT support technician whom we now employ on a freelance basis.”

Experiencing the benefit
CAU is now experiencing the benefit of its IBM Lotus-based Teamsoft solution. “Since we implemented TeamCase, we’ve completely eliminated our paper processes,” says Søren Johansen. “In addition to saving 10 square metres of floor space, we’re also saving money on printing costs. As we’re a very small business, the reduction of our storage footprint is especially significant for us.”

Having the documents in TeamCase provides other benefits for the company – records can be accessed from anywhere in the world, anytime, and cannot be misplaced or damaged as physical copies can.

“Since we’ve consolidated our data entry process, we’ve significantly cut down our office administration workload,” continues Søren Johansen. “In total, we’ve calculated that we’ve freed our employees from 18 hours’ worth of administrative tasks every week.”

Likewise, the process of checking if members have been billed the correct amount for their membership fees has been streamlined, and now takes just a matter of hours, rather than three days, every month.

Today, CAU staff use IBM Lotus Notes Traveler on their iPads and iPhones, and can access a Lotus webmail system with many more features than the previous solution.

“Because we all use the same software platform to communicate, we work far more efficiently than we could with the legacy system,” says Søren Johansen. “Thanks to our improved webmail interface and the Lotus Traveler application, we can respond to business emails from anywhere in the world – especially helpful given that most of us also serve as flight attendants.”

As email and document management now happen on the same Lotus platform, TeamCase also saves a complete history of all email transactions for each union member, making it easier to keep track of changes to members’ statuses.

However, according to Søren Johansen, the best thing about the new software is its reliability. “TeamCase opens very quickly, and is extremely reliable,” he concludes. “The legacy system would crash every two months, and often struggled with bulk emails to all our members, but the new system has a six-month-long perfect operational record.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
IBM Domino, IBM iNotes, IBM Notes Traveler

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011. IBM Danmark, ApS Nymøllevej, 91 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark. Produced in Denmark, October 2011. All Rights Reserved. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Domino, Lotus, Lotus Notes, Notes and iNotes are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. Teamcase is a product of Teamsoft. IBM and Teamsoft are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Teamsoft makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.