A growing regional airline needed to improve their lease, contract management and payment processes to increase auditability. Lease data was still being tracked in Excel spreadsheets and leases were not fully abstracted due to the lack of a database system. Payment processes and procedures were lacking in consistency. As part of the due diligence process a detailed RFP was issued. The selection team reviewed the benefits of using Qube Horizon and chose them over all others. The airline now has a fully functional, auditable lease tracking and payments system that continues to improve their internal accountability.
Growth brings challenges
With questions being raised during annual accounting audits, the real estate and finance teams at Alaska Airlines came to the hard realization that there had to be a better way to track leases and contractual obligations. Internal auditors were demanding more control as it related to tracking not only their lease and payment information, but meeting stringent requirements to maintain the Sarbanes Oxley status. This led to a review of existing, perhaps even antiquated, lease and contract management systems. It quickly became apparent that tracking billions of dollars relating to lease payments via excel spread sheets had to come to an end.
A positive change
Alaska Airlines selected Qube Horizon, and embarked on the implementation in Spring of 2015. Leases were abstracted, validated and entered, capturing landing/passenger rates for airport related activities as well as more traditional rents and payments. The data governance and controls in Qube Horizon helped ensure the data was complete and accurate.
The team then moved on to the data management process. Automated audit controls track data changes down to field level. Summary data governance messages are entered and reported as needed so the audit teams can review and understand these data changes. Payment processes have been streamlined so the approval of airport generated invoices is validated against actual flight data captured from the airlines operational systems. Actual landing, departure and passenger volumes feed into Qube Horizon automatically.
“Being able to plug raw data into Qube Horizon with a live feed was amazing,” raved Shaunda Groce, Lease Administrator for the airline.
Forecasting rent payment amounts is an invaluable asset to the lease management team. The effort to produce quarterly forecasts dropped from days to seconds with Qube Horizon.
On the facility management side, Alaska Airlines has started maintaining service based contracts to generate reminders for actions against contracts like service and construction projects.
Looking forward to further improvements with Qube Global Software
According to Groce, who works with the software nearly every day, she remains ‘’…super impressed with its functionality. The response time to receiving answers to specific questions has been in real time. Everything is addressed in a timely and professional manner.”
According to Groce, when she makes an inquiry, the support team will discuss possible solutions with her until a resolution has been determined. “Payment sheets had to pull accurate data, and that in itself was a work through…but we got through it.” Trusting in the functionality of Qube Horizon, she’s able to quickly and easily navigate through the system.
“At times, I simply forget how to do something…and the team comes to the rescue, adding suggestions and tips for future use.” Looking forward to the upgraded version in Chrome,” Groce says with confidence that “the system is a great tool for us.”