Has it become automatic? Is your legacy software vendor framing your contract renewal discussion as a negotiation to lock-in a price, while promising that their old system will meet your business needs and avoid a need for change?
- Would you sign a long-term contract for outdated equipment if an economical, higher performing, and more flexible option was available?
- How big a risk is it to make a five year commitment to outdated software when systems built using modern technology have proven to be much lower cost and quickly adaptable to the changes in the rapidly evolving airline industry?
Here are some questions to consider before your next system renewal comes up:
- What if you had a less costly alternative that performed markedly better than your old system, and had a relatively quick process for switching?
- What if a new system also enabled greater business flexibility and integrated all the modules you need for schedule editing, slot, publication, code share, gating and maintenance management in your schedule?
- What if the new system had the automation to significantly reduce the time spent on manual steps and included a world-class analytics and reporting engine as part of the system?
How often over the past 5 years have you found yourself:
- Finding costly errors after the schedule was published because the system didn’t have a dynamic quality check and it took too long to find and fix the problems?
- Having to export data to Excel to create basic reports, and then realizing they didn't reflect the latest changes in your schedule?
- Requesting and waiting for scarce IT resources to accomplish painful upgrades, or to create a new report you needed?
- Saying, “I’m sorry” to senior management because system limitations prevented you from having the flexibility to take advantage of profitable opportunities?
The airline industry is unpredictable, and airline business models are always evolving. The competitive environment is changing faster than ever as airlines invest in newer systems and ways of doing business. Locking yourself into any long-term contract in this industry is risky. Locking yourself into outdated software technology can compound your pain and create a competitive disadvantage to airlines that are adopting modern technology with lower costs, faster performance and rapid business flexibility.
What can you do now to make sure you are in a stronger position before you get locked into your next software contract renewal discussion?
- Know when your current system contract is up for renewal so that you can start looking clearly at your options well in advance.
- Document your current pain points and start to quantify their impact on the airline's costs, time spent on workarounds and missed opportunities it is causing.
- Consider a free user trial to evaluate the new modern technologies in a side-by-side comparison with your legacy system.
- Make sure that procurement is being proactive in discussing flexible terms or a new business model to reduce costs and increase your business adaptability.
- Make sure the key decision-makers (procurement, IT, business directors) are aware of the pros and cons of the status quo compared to their alternatives.
Zulu Airline Systems is ready to work with you through this process as you make the choice that will give you confidence is the best choice for your airline’s future. Finding out what legacy systems actually cost can be an eye opener. Scheduling errors, missed opportunities, painful workarounds and time-consuming upgrades can add up to millions of dollars of hidden costs to the business. At the same time, experiencing the advantages of modern technology in a free, hands-on user trial can better inform your choice of a future system.
Airlines that have already come onboard with Zulu have commented:
- “After a short user trial, I could transition immediately to the new system…”
- “The cloud based multi-user system enables all of our team to be on the same page…”
- “Zulu is highly responsive to our requests with fast, easy upgrades; …it’s exciting to see how quickly our suggestions for functionality show up in the system…”
- “The servers located in our region make the system very quick and responsive…”
- “The design simplifies many of our workflows, schedule syncs, publications, etc.
- “The KPI reporting using the integrated analytics and dashboards is very nice…”
- “I didn’t realize how slow and cumbersome our old system was before…”