American Airlines – The use of Qube Horizon property management software
When American Airlines outgrew their in-house real estate management system, they looked to a company with a reputation for delivering high quality, reliable and flexible solutions.
For a number of years American Airlines had relied heavily on an internally developed solution to manage their real estate. In the fast paced, competitive airline industry, the only thing that is constant is change. At American Airlines, change had led to new demands being placed on its in-house system. Soon, these demands began to outstrip the functionality provided. This, together with the need to focus its resources on the core business, meant American Airlines was unable to spend the time or resources needed to develop the system in order to meet both the real estate management and the overall business needs.
This was an important project at American Airlines and it was imperative that their needs were understood and documented properly. After consulting with their peers in the industry, as well as their own internal users, a specification of requirements was produced describing their ideal future state and a vision of the new real estate processes they needed to adopt.
A Compelling business case from Horizon
Managing $2 billion of annual construction and refurbishment projects takes a huge effort with the development and redevelopment of space within airports. American Airlines discovered that they needed a tool that could help them to manage and control these large volumes of transactions and dollars.
Their key requirements were the removal of manual interventions and the re-keying of data between real estate and other applications such as finance, project accounting and legal. A single point of entry system that would enable complete automation was an essential requirement.
“They were responsive to our needs”
Through the automation of interfaces between Horizon and Microsoft Word, all manual intervention in the drawing of contracts has been eliminated. In a matter of moments, project information from Horizon can be included in a standard Word contract template and produced for approval and execution. Previously, this simple procedure was highly labor intensive and time consuming. American Airlines can now negotiate a contract and produce it instantly.
Immediate, simple access to project data was vital to American Airlines. The airline knew that it had to provide its project managers with reliable and effective information in an effi cient and timely manner in order to ensure the proper management of their projects. With $2 billion real estate under management, clerical errors and out-of-date report inaccuracies cause unnecessary costs to pile up. As a result of tightening the project management process, American Airlines has gained signifi cant cost benefits and savings.
Troy Dowling commented, “We were extremely impressed with Horizon. They were responsive to our needs and did all that they could to help us understand their offer and worked with us to achieve our goals. Their initial meetings were focused on our requirements and they helped us to understand the issues we were facing. This consultative approach throughout the project has meant our objectives were and continue to be met.”
Horizon maintains thousands of lease records for American Airlines. The accuracy of the data, with changes and updates made to records as they happen, means reports can be generated immediately and used in the effective management of the business. Furthermore, Horizon shares financial information with the SAP fi nancial management application used by American Airlines. The real estate management team can now share information with other departments and divisions, giving the real estate operation complete context in the American Airlines business environment.
“We were extremely impressed with Horizon”
A modular approach from Horizon
The consultative approach employed by Horizon, together with the modular flexibility of Horizon ensures that the system can be confi gured to meet the needs of their customers.
Troy Dowling was impressed by the complete package. Horizon is only a component of the total solution offered by Horizon. With their team of highly professional and experienced consultants and support staff, they have provided the knowledge we need to ensure we get the most from Horizon.
The Horizon Real Estate Database enables organizations to record a wide variety of data. A corporate real estate user, such as American Airlines, requires information relating to landlords, leases, vendors, titles, properties, buildings, units and occupiers. This information storage facility, plus the ability to confi gure screens and templates to meet individual requirements, can all be found in Horizon.
American Airlines had some unique needs that Horizon was well positioned to deliver. When space is leased within airports, it is often established as a package of combined elements, such as a baggage area, checking-in area and a sales area. A number of different components in different parts of the airport may make up a letting. As a consequence, multiple rent and expense items are generated from a single occupation.
American Airlines has implemented a number of Horizon modules suited to their needs, including: expense recovery; accounts payable; purchase ordering; project accounting and budgeting; maintenance and repairs, scheduler and alerter and the fi nancials interface.
Troy Dowling is effusive.
“With Horizon, we are always able to get the solution we need.”
American Airlines is enjoying measurable benefi ts from Horizon and has seen improvements not only in their ability to manage and control costs, but also in the effi ciencies delivered to the business.
When we saw Qube in action we were blown out of the water by all the different things it can do for us. We are still finding new things it can do.