Canadian Charter Airline Strengthens Accountability and Performance with GQueues and Google Apps
Enerjet is a charter airline service with 100 employees based in Calgary, Alberta, and regulated by Transport Canada. It was founded in 2007 by airline veterans and entrepreneurs to meet the growing needs of Canada's energy industry for safe, reliable air transportation. During the weekdays, Enerjet transports industry workers to northern Alberta for major oil and gas projects. On weekends, the airline also provides service to Canadian tour operators offering travelers warm, sunny getaways in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Making Work Visible Across Departments
Enerjet maintains a reliable flight schedule, consistently delivers top customer service and meets all safety regulations. Doing so requires consistent collaboration of all personnel, including sales, flight operations, technical operations, QA, and HR. Enerjet has been committed to Google Apps from their launch to reduce the need for an internal IT department and focus more on their core competency as a top rated charter airline. Despite the helpful features of Google Apps, there was a need to improve the coordination and timely completion of tasks for individuals and for teams within Enerjet.
Each employee and team had developed their own way of taking notes, tracking assignments and managing projects, such as memo apps, notepads, Word docs and email. This inconsistent approach made it difficult to share and coordinate work in real time, and tasks could easily fall through the cracks. The lack of visibility prompted the company to search for a collaborative tool to streamline their work.
In an effort to standardize and simplify the office, Enerjet's CCO Darcy Morgan looked for a task manager that integrated with Google Apps. Morgan discovered GQueues in March 2014, and was immediately impressed by its collaborative features and potential to transform how Enerjet teams work together. Google Apps integration was also a critical factor in Morgan's decision to choose GQueues as Enerjet's task management system. "Providing integration between GQueues and the Google platform was absolutely fantastic for us. It was a major factor in choosing GQueues," he reflected.
Redefining Teamwork with GQueues
Enerjet decided to adopt GQueues company-wide. Setting up shared queues throughout the organization took initiative and some persistence, since Enerjet was redefining its work style, in addition to using a new tool. Soon after rollout though, managers found key advantages provided by GQueues over their previous manual processes.
"For Enerjet, the shared queues feature is the cornerstone value derived from GQueues," said Morgan. Executive, leadership, sales and planning teams all use shared queues as their system of recordkeeping in meetings. When a team comes into a meeting, a shared queue is utilized both as the agenda and record of what is being discussed. If a document is pertinent to the discussion, it is attached to the corresponding task using GQueues' Google Drive integration. Every team member on the shared queue can then easily access relevant documents needed to complete tasks.
Chief Commercial Officer
Teams also use collaborative queues to organize projects and set shared deadlines. Tasks are assigned to team members from these queues using GQueues' Google Contact integration. Each assigned task is given a deadline and reminder, and appears on Google Calendar, so teams know exactly when the work is due.
GQueues makes it easier for Enerjet to create, track and report completed action items that meet or exceed customer expectations and safety regulations. Assigned action items are completed by team members and then moved to archived tasks in GQueues. Once archived, Enerjet can reference the actions completed that demonstrate to Transport Canada they have followed procedures according to documentation.
Morgan also noted the ability to create tasks from anywhere makes shared queues even more valuable. By using the GQueues Chrome Extension, employees create tasks directly from their browser without logging into GQueues. With GQueues for Gmail, they quickly turn emails into actionable tasks. Teams also add and assign tasks on the go using the GQueues iOS and Android apps. Using these features, team members are more likely to track their work and stay in sync with each other.
Morgan has found GQueues so central to Enerjet's success, that he now checks it first thing in the morning, even before email, to guide his daily work and help his teams manage their resources.
Improving Accountability Company-Wide
Since starting with GQueues, Enerjet has noticed a substantial improvement in accountability company-wide. By working in collaborative shared queues and assigning tasks to specific individuals, project plans and commitments are visible to the entire team. Seeing tasks with deadlines on Google Calendar enables team members to realistically plan their work and ensure responsibilities are completed on time. "Without question, GQueues helps us hold each other accountable," Morgan stated, which in turn, helps them collectively exceed the expectations of their customers.
Similarly, with all tasks now stored and tracked in GQueues, work is less likely to fall through the cracks. Ad-hoc requests are no longer lost in email inboxes, Word docs on a computer, or notepads on a desk. GQueues provides powerful functionality through a simple and intuitive interface. "It's almost as easy as a sticky note, but it's much more valuable because tasks in GQueues are shareable, trackable and manageable," said Morgan.
Meetings are more productive and valuable at Enerjet now that they are facilitated with GQueues. Team leaders use shared queues to create agendas ahead of time and participants leave with a clear set of responsibilities. Since agenda queues are shared, everyone can reference commitments made at previous meetings and review upcoming discussion topics.
GQueues has also provided Enerjet with a consistent level of continuity no matter what circumstances arise. When someone is sick or on vacation, or as teams evolve, others can easily step in to complete the tasks and still meet deadlines, since everything is visible in shared queues. When reflecting on GQueues, Morgan said, "It is a very sharp tool specifically focused on collaborative task management. It's the best in terms of tracking, accountability and shared responsibilities."