One of the World's Largest Airlines

An airline company asked us to assist with their procurement process - advising on how best to proceed and how to engage effectively with prospective suppliers.

The Requirement

One of the world’s largest airlines had realised its customer engagement strategy was in urgent need of renewal. After years of under-investment, its contact centre technology was obsolete, with spare parts and vendor support no longer available. That in turn meant that it was no longer able to service clients well across traditional contact channels nor in a position to enhance service and capitalise on new channels.

Further, despite the company’s size and buying power, vendors were sceptical about investing their time in a tender process. Because the airline had tried and failed a number of times to build a strong enough business case and strategic rationale to gain approval and move forward, supplier perception was that the organisation was not serious about investment.

The airline asked us to assist with the procurement process – advising it on how best to proceed and how to engage effectively with prospective suppliers.

The Solution

In order to address additional concerns about complexity and gaps in the airline’s proposals we were engaged to validate and expand on the scope of requirements before taking it to the supplier market, and to ensure they were fit to proceed with the procurement process.

Working with the IT and key business stakeholders, we reviewed and enhanced the airline’s proposals. We validated the requirements and clarified the scope, ensuring that there was sufficient information to give vendors confidence in the project and enabling them to provide appropriate responses.

Using our market insight, we provided a shortlist of suitable suppliers and initiated the engagement, with a more credible and considered proposal brief.

The previous failed attempts to deliver change had not only affected supplier perceptions but also damaged relationships internally, between procurement and the wider business. Recognising that the procurement team had limited resources and understanding for managing a project of this nature, we set up and worked with a small and specialist group of business and IT stakeholders across procurement, operations, technology, commercial and contracting to define and lead a collaborative procurement process.

As negotiations progressed, the airline relied on us for guidance on market solutions and pricing. We insisted that technical, commercial and contractual principles were incorporated from the outset, which introduced a fundamental change in the airline’s traditional approach to procurement. With a robust and market-appropriate specification, and with vendors fully briefed and engaged throughout all stages of the process, we were able to support the airline in selecting a preferred supplier from three highly competitive and proposal compliant bidders.

The Result

Through our market insight and procurement expertise, the airline was able to launch and complete a successful procurement exercise. The solution delivered the technical requirements and met the commercial aims – with our negotiation skills ensuring it benefitted from a substantial improvement in the total solution price.

Now delivered, the project has delivered a greater level of access to customers. The chosen technology is enabling the airline to build personalised and consistent experiences and omnichannel functionality for customers and making customer journeys more reliable and effective, whether initiated online, via mobile apps or the contact centre.

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