Japan Airlines case study
Japan Airlines (JAL) is a major airline operating almost 1,000 flights a day on just over 180 routes. They currently fly to 56 countries, have over 220 aircraft and transport approximately 40 million passengers each year.
In late 2013, Japan Airlines (JAL) implemented the FuelPlus platform to help handle their accounting process for fuel. They had previously used a system built by JAL Infotec, the in-house IT provider, but this had to be retired.
Taro Motogami, Project Manager for JAL, explains: “We used the JAL Infotec system for importing fuel tickets, calculating accruals related to fuel, for monthly closing and to check that fuel invoices were correct. However, this in-house system had poor documentation, so we weren’t able to add new functions to it. Therefore, we began searching for a replacement system that would perform all of the same fuel accounting functions.”
TRUST AND COST WERE KEY FACTORS
JAL’s initial search ended in major disappointment. After selecting a vendor, the project went significantly over budget and the airline were not even confident that the technology would work at the end of the implementation. As a result, they stopped the project partway through.
This unfortunate experience shaped JAL’s selection criteria second time around. “When we talked to the FuelPlus representative, we were confident that he would not let us down,” said Taro. “He had the knowledge and expressed himself well. Afterwards, we found out that he was the CEO, Klaus-Peter Warnke.”
“Cost was a large factor too. The implementation cost quoted by FuelPlus was very low compared to other vendors. Usually that would make us worry but Klaus-Peter obviously knew about the fuel management industry and what is important.”
DELIVERED ON TIME AND ON BUDGET
This time, JAL clearly chose the right partner:
“We were able to finish the project within the original budget and schedule, which was really great,” says Taro.
When asked why he felt the implementation had gone so smoothly, he replied: “Because everyone in FuelPlus is so talented and organized. Everyone is very knowledgeable about the application and also what is needed in aviation fuel accounting. There are experts in the systems that provide source data, such as ACARS, as well as experts in middleware and hardware. You get a quick answer and a precise answer every time you ask. We don’t usually get that from other vendors.”
THE BENEFITS OF AUTOMATION
The FuelPlus platform has also enabled JAL to automate aspects of their fuel accounting process that hadn’t previously been possible. Taro explains:
“When fuel suppliers send in electronic invoices now, they automatically import into FuelPlus. Also, the system automatically calculates the unit price at every fuel station. Before we had to calculate this manually using Excel. These features are making our jobs easier and saving us time.”
A PARTNER WE TRUST WITH SAAS
JAL are now interested in moving the FuelPlus system out of their own data center and on to our private cloud, using Airline.One as Software as a Service (SaaS). Taro explains why: “The FuelPlus Support team are very reliable and knowledgeable – about the Airline.One software, but also about the required hardware and middleware setup. We are confident we would get a better service and a faster resolution to any issues.”