Etihad Reaches New Heights of Efficiency
There is a huge volume of contracts involved in the airline industry. The number of contracts increases exponentially with every new destination added. Etihad realized they needed a very good system for tracking and monitoring contracts, one that would support the workflow between contract administrators and the legal department but also allow contract administrators to effectively manage their contracts.
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has in just over six years established itself as one of the world’s leading airlines. Etihad commenced commercial operations in November 2003 and has gone on to become the fastest growing airline in the history of commercial aviation. Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is the airline’s hub. Etihad’s fleet of 54 aircraft operates close to 1000 flights per week, serving an international network of 64 destinations in 42 countries. Etihad has received a range of awards that reflect its position as the leading premium airline brand in the world, including “World’s Leading Airline”; at the World Travel Awards in 2009.
Etihad Airways Challenges
The organization has a cultural ethos of being the best at everything it does, from its technology through to customer service. This extends to the quality of its business processes, including how it handles legal documentation.
When Etihad’s General Counsel and Company Secretary Jim Callaghan joined the airline in early 2009, he recognized that the existing systems could no longer accommodate the company’s growing requirements for contract management.
“We went out to the market to see what was available and Dolphin Software was clearly the product we needed: it had a number of attractive features and is based in the Microsoft SharePoint platform, which we already use company-wide.”
“It’s also a very flexible product: it can be customized to our particular needs. We worked proactively with Dolphin to specify our requirements and continue to do so, as our organization evolves and grows.”
Etihad is introducing Dolphin progressively, starting with the legal department, then the contract administrators and, finally, other areas of the business. Contracts vary hugely, from aircraft purchases through to photocopier maintenance, covering a large volume of suppliers.
“The system has perfect transparency – we can see where a document is at any one time, and because the system is accessible to the whole department, if someone goes on leave, a colleague can pick it up.”
The introduction of Dolphin is part of the organization’s overall drive to achieve maximum efficiency. Says Jim Callaghan, “Efficiency is a huge part of what we do as a company. The more efficient people are, the more work they can handle and this has an impact on time and cost savings.”
As part of this focus on efficiency, Etihad is introducing a suite of templates developed within the Dolphin system that will cover most contracts. The intention is that this will speed up the process of creating contracts and prevent unnecessary ‘re-inventing of the wheel’.
“With Dolphin, we have a contract management system that will support us as Etihad continues to grow.”
Jim Callaghan, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Etihad Airways