West Atlantic Group is a dedicated cargo airline that specializes in mail and express freight, offering its customers customized, efficient solutions for air freight services, maintenance and aircraft leasing. With the merger of two of Europe’s most established independent regional cargo airlines – Sweden’s West Air Group and UK-based Atlantic – the company runs four 24/7 airline maintenance facilities, located in Malmö, Coventry, Isle of Man and Oslo.
Before the merger with Atlantic, Anna Ingvert, who is in charge of line administration and scheduling for West Atlantic, recalls what it was like to schedule 30 people at one location.
“I was using Excel before Humanity. There weren’t that many people at the time, which was about ten years ago – only about 30 people in Sweden. As we grew and then merged with our sister company in the UK, this was when we started looking for different options,” Ingvert recalls.
Why was Excel no longer cutting it? Ingvert remembers that the biggest problem was that Excel didn’t give her the ability to add all of the most important details needed to make her schedules work.
“It didn’t take that long to schedule people in Excel, the problem was not being able to give more information. I had to use codes to enter details for shifts, like locations,” she said.
Ingvert eventually developed a code system to help her add all of the important details she wanted to include in each shift. The code system ended up becoming so complex that the employees were having a hard time deciphering it!
“I then had to create another Excel sheet to explain all of the codes that I was using!” Ingvert added.
Not only that, but the more information she entered into Excel, the slower the process became.
Eventually, the spreadsheets ended up crashing regularly and working very slowly because of how many details needed to be included in each cell.
West Air ended up making the switch to Humanity in 2014.
Goodbye codes and having to give employees a detailed key to follow in order to understand their schedules! Humanity finally gave Ingvert the ability to create shifts that were as specific and detailed as she needed them to be.
West Atlantic has many aircrafts and they operate in many different parts of Europe. And while their teams are based mostly in Sweden and the UK, their engineers are often sent to different locations to repair and maintain aircrafts when needed.
“Now it’s easy to tell the guys exactly where they are supposed to be, when they are working and what hours they are scheduled to work. It’s so much easier with Humanity.” Ingvert said.
Instead of having to include a bunch of cryptic codes in her spreadsheets to tell employees where they are working and what their tasks are going to be, Ingvert uses Humanity to clearly define every important detail for every shift she creates.
“What I can say is that it takes me the same time to schedule 200 workers with Humanity as it took me to schedule 30 workers using Excel.” Humanity also helps West Atlantic put together more accurate timesheets.
“Being able to see the exact hours that they worked helps me a lot, because I wasn’t able to do that in Excel. It helps me and it helps the staff to get paid more accurately,” Ingvert said.
While Ingvert can’t exactly say how much time she saves using Humanity compared to when she used Excel – because the situations are completely different and they have many more employees now – she estimates that she is spending about 50 percent less time on scheduling now.
The diverse solutions that Humanity brings to the table as a staff management tool allow the effects of making the switch from Excel to be seen and felt across the company.
Take leave management, for example.
“The vacation summaries are very important to us. I create them to see who is on vacation and I export all of these reports to HR to show them exactly what type of leave requests everyone is submitting,” she said.
Ingvert explained that since West Atlantic has employees working in different countries, different rules apply when it comes to how sick leaves and regular leaves are counted. All these variations are handled by the company’s HR department.
“Our HR team is benefiting from Humanity as well. They used to have to write down all of the leave information on a piece of paper.”
“Now we just print our leave reports from Humanity and send them to HR so that they have all of the information on the leave types all of the workers have taken so that they can pay them accordingly,” Ingvert said.
This is important for West Atlantic and its staff because sick leaves and vacations count towards an employee’s time off differently in Sweden and the UK.
Ingvert stressed that employees really enjoy using Humanity because it’s so easy to access. They can use it on any device, mobile app, tablet or computer, as long as they have Internet access.
The relationship that West Atlantic employees have with Humanity also benefits Ingvert in ways that she wouldn’t have expected when the company started using it.
“You find out about new features in Humanity very often, especially with employees having questions for me. Then I have to go in and learn something new that helps me use Humanity more thoroughly,” she said.
“It takes me the same amount of time to schedule 200 employees with Humanity as it did to schedule 30 with Excel.”
Anna Ingvert, Line Administration