Carrington and Virgin Atlantic
Over the last few years other competitors have been experiencing cutbacks and short falls in their profit earnings. Not Virgin Atlantic; in 2004, Branson merged into a partnership with a global company based in India, known as WNS Global Services. According to Outsourcing Journal (2008), Jim Carrington, head of procurement for Virgin Atlantic at that time stated, “We needed a partner that understood both the industry and Virgin unique culture.
” This merger with WNS expanded Virgin Atlantics outreach, allocated other business strategies that suited the airlines rapid growth. WNS expert business strategies won the confidence of Carrington and Virgin Atlantic; according to Carrington, “WNS’s knowledge was comprehensive and its solutions flexible. They could talk the talk. ” Branson’s airline began to undergo major business restructuring through process that brought beneficial change to Virgin Atlantic. These changes consisted of a complete analysis to all aspects of Virgin Atlantic’s relations with the public.
Considering that this was a period of economic crunch the major airlines industry was facing catastrophic revenue losses due to the raising fuel cost, unstable economy, and poor business practices, tightening the belt seems to have its rewards for Virgin Atlantic during this turbulence period. It was able to cut cost while implicating a new business practice, which endured the economic crisis surrounding the airline industry, without having to resort to harsh cut backs or lay offs. Virgin Atlantic was in fact expanding and creating its image with the expertise of WNS.
The infrastructure to Virgin Atlantic airline industry began to seek out solutions to cut cost. Outreaching Journal indicates that WNS and Virgin found innovative ways to address attrition rates, often at 30 to 40 percent across the industry. Senior managers put their own bonuses at stake, demonstrating their commitment to resolving the issue. Virgin Atlantic also worked with WNS to provide a comprehensive incentive plan including retention bonuses and free airline tickets to the best performing agents.
Undoubtedly, the incentives that Virgin Atlantic provided for their employees around the world created loyalty among them and their colleagues in general. Of course, Virgin Atlantic was still striving to accommodate the air travel of the public as well by creating an image that was tailor made for the airline customer’s needs, desires, and comfort while in flight. Above all, Virgin Atlantic’s reputation was depending on the quality of service provided. Customers relation depended on their experience before their flight, while in flight and after the flight.
The crucial factor was promoting the accommodations available to the airlines traveler. This meant that Virgin Atlantic needed a sound public relation strategy that in turn offered incentives to the customer while meeting their travel needs. Public relation took on the task of creating and establishing every accommodating need a customer may encounter when choosing to travel by air. WNS and Virgin Atlantic created information attainable by all forms of media. Virgin Atlantic has its own web site where customers can read about the history prior to the buy out of 1980, and after Sir Richard Branson purchased it.
The information on the Virgin Atlantic web site provides customers insight to the types of planes that they will be traveling. The web site provides information on schedule maintenance reports on each airplane in flight. It provides customers inside views of the luxurious accommodation provided inside the airplane itself, the one they would be traveling in. Upon personal evaluation of traveling on other airlines in seat’s that no one could step over the knees of two other passengers to go to the restroom and cramped in like sardines the desire to travel in luxury outweighs the compact travel that other airlines provide at the same cost.
Comparing Virgin Atlantic to American airlines is like comparing diamonds to coal, big major differences, mainly comfort. Because of this scenario occurrence when choosing an air flight even the accommodation, provide by the competition in first class pales in comparison to Virgin Atlantic. When choosing an airline do you consider the accommodations provided? What if you were traveling over the Atlantic Ocean, wouldn’t you like to be able to stretch your body out and recline in luxury? Watch a movie without an elbow poking your ribs when the guy besides you decides to adjust his sitting?
Better yet, would you like someone to crawl over your lap in the middle of an airplane flight? Do you like to look out the window as you’re in flight to see the skies or look over the ocean? Most airlines are so cramped that you can’t even turn to look out the window because someone’s head is your view. Well these are the things Virgin Atlantic considered when they redesigned the interior of their airplanes. Not only does Virgin Atlantic care about the comfort of their passengers they realize the smallest detail of the travel experience.
Virgin Atlantic and WNS decide to cater to all the customers needs. As complex as it seems individuals can conduct their travel plans through their web site by email, phone calls, reservations, ticketing, fares, baggage tracing, frequent flyer inquiries, and post flight complaints. Data processing focused on meal allocation, cabin crew reporting and cargo revenue management. According to Outreaching Journal, airport offices worldwide, Virgin needed to establish an enterprise-wide customer service system in baggage tracing.
WNS re-engineered previous processes to create a new system that streamlines lost baggage support. This includes keeping the passengers informed on the status of their baggage through proactive phone calls, which helps increase customer satisfaction. The business benefits, WNS has enabled Virgin to perform existing processes faster and “implements new ones, such as amendments to bookings,” explains Carrington. By standardizing and automating process, Virgin can focus on more strategic initiatives. Off shoring allowed the airline, “to consider business streams it had not previously imagined,” noted Gover.