Interview with Teresa García, Manager, Agency Risk Management at IATA Service Center Europe

Posted by media on December 20, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a global airline trading body whose vision is to promote reliable, safe and affordable air services for the benefit of citizens everywhere. It currently consists of 265 airlines based in 117 countries, representing roughly 83% of the world’s total air traffic. It also provides support and services to 65.000 Travel Agencies with the interrelationship with the airlines.

In 2015, IATA began a pilot of Signaturit’s registered electronic delivery service for communications sent to Travel Agencies in European countries like The Netherlands and Portugal. After the successful pilot phase, IATA extended the implementation of the service to all of Europe with an annual volume of over 35,000 emails sent.

In 2017, IATA plans to study the feasibility of extending the use of Signaturit’s registered electronic delivery solution worldwide, meaning that this service would officially become the one used by the world’s major air transport association.

To learn more about how IATA is using Signaturit’s registered electronic delivery service, we interviewed Teresa García, Agency Risk Manager at IATA Europe.

This post is also available in Spanish.



Interview with Teresa García, Manager, Agency Risk Management at IATA Service Center Europe, headquartered in Madrid, Spain.


1. What problems or difficulties did IATA encounter in the past that made you consider using a registered electronic delivery service?

Teresa García: As per the Passenger Sales Agency Rules, “IATA shall immediately inform the agent that some failure has been detected on his part in any matters regarding the regulatory framework (i.e. overdue remittance, lack of submission of financial documents, etc.)”.

In order to comply with the aforementioned requirement, we were using  the traditional certified mail (or postal mail). The number of communications (i.e. notice of irregularities, defaults, etc.) via registered email has been rising significantly over the past 5 years, leading to an increase in mailing costs and a less efficient communication process with agents.

That’s why our Operations Service Centre Europe, located in our Madrid hub, considered a move to implement a simple, efficient and affordable system to comply with legal obligations, through Signaturit’s electronic registered delivery service.

2. How did you resolve this issue with Signaturit?

TG.: Signaturit’s registered electronic delivery service has enabled IATA to reduce mailing costs and simultaneously:

  • Streamline the communication processes by providing the agent with a faster intuitive tool to digitally sign-off documents.
  • Strengthen our legal procedures by certifying all written communications with agents.

3. What value does IATA gain from using a registered electronic delivery service from a trusted service provider?

TG.: Confidence in the quality of the service, and reliable feedback provided on the status of the email. These are key for us in properly managing communications with the agent and to decide on the following actions to be taken.

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4.
Could you quantify the improvement in efficiency that IATA has achieved thanks to using a registered electronic delivery service?

TG.: The improvements can be divided into three key areas:

1. Timing: we have become much more efficient in our process by saving time, not only on the elaboration and process of the physical letter, but also on obtaining the correct answer and feedback form.

2. Proof of dispatch and delivery: through this system, we are able to have a clear dispatch and delivery confirmation of the sent communication. This helps us to be sure about the dispatch, and improves our customer service processes by enabling us to directly contact the recipient if the status of the email shows it has not been properly delivered. It also gives us the opportunity to maintain the correct and updated contact information of our stakeholders and clients. 

3. Cost: this service represents a 90% saving in comparison to the hard copies sent by regular mail. This clearly is a significant step in the direction of cost saving and efficiency.

5. Why has Signaturit’s registered electronic delivery service solution proven to be the best fit for IATA, given all the other solutions on the market?

TG.: First, the fact that Signaturit is an international company is very important to us, as from IATA's Service Centre Europe here in Madrid, we manage and lead operations for 65 countries.

Additionally, innovation and speed are some of our key values. Thanks to Signaturit’s contribution, it has  helped us to re-inforce these values on this project.

Last but not least, the excellent customer service level provided, thanks to customized solutions that have been key in successfully implementing the service, adapting the product to our specific needs.

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6. Why did you choose to integrate Signaturit via API into your CRM?

TG.: All our communications with our stakeholder are monitored in our CRM. Integrating this solution into the CRM enabled the system to be available to all departments, and to all different types of communications.

7. What was the integration process like? How long did it last? Who participated in the process?

TG.: It was quite complicated until we decided on the structure, and how it should be integrated into the CRM and the existing process. The feasibility and the customization part were of the utmost importance.

Cooperation between Signaturit and IATA (IT, and the Operations department) was key for this implementation.


Fact Sheet: IATA

  • First foundation: The Hague, Netherlands, 1919.
    53 members from 32 nations in Europe and North America were involved.
  • Second foundation: La Havana, Cuba, 1945.
    57 members from 31 nations in Europe and North America were involved.
  • It currently consists of 265 airlines from 117 countries, and its members represent 83% of total air traffic.
  • Director General and CEO: Alexandre de Juniac.
  • Headquarters: Montreal, Canada.
  • 54 offices in 53 countries.
  • IATA members’ total passengers in 2014: 2.2 billion.
  • IATA members’ total freight in 2014: 46 million tones.

Source: iata.org



8. How have those who use it daily received the tool? Was its introduction met with any reluctance?

TG.: On the contrary, it was quite welcome! The fact that it was totally integrated into the CRM helped. As did realizing the time and the effort it helped us to save! Now, it has become an essential tool...

9. What type of companies or for what use do you think a certified email solution is a good fit?

TG.: All of those that focus on customer service and would like to improve it through innovation and efficient processes.

Thank you very much Teresa!

***

This post is also available in Spanish

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