Founded in 1990, Air Charter Service is now one of the world’s most successful aircraft charter providers, operational in six continents with 21 offices around the world. The company operates more than 12,000 aircraft charters each year and employs more than 450 staff.
It’s also an organisation with a very complex structure. There are many subsidiary companies, which are all overseen by the parent company, which is based in London. The company board meets 10 times a year and there are currently 13 board members, recently increased from 11. When preparing materials for each board meeting it involved collating reports from every single subsidiary company as well as coordinating and collecting materials from countries all over the world.
Not only was this a major logistical task and highly time-consuming, it was also costly in terms of the sheer volume of printing involved, as Agnes Zarnecka, Company Secretarial and Legal Administrative Assistant explains:
“Sometimes the reports would run to 500 pages each time, and each board pack would take at least two days for me to complete. I would have to chase people for their reports in countries in different time zones, managing last minute changes and even getting the physical board packs to board members was a problem, given many of them spend much of their time travelling around the world.”
For Group Legal Director, Omar Saeed, the whole approach to meetings and board packs was not suited to how the board wanted to operate:
“It was time consuming and expensive, while inserting last-minute reports or making any other last-minute changes was difficult. There was also a constant concern relating to confidentiality.”
The meeting process was simply not working for Air Charter Service, and the board directors took a collective decision to look for another option.
The board at Air Charter Service was tech-savvy and knew that a digital platform to manage its board packs and meeting processes would be a strong option for them to pursue. They conducted extensive tests and trials of the six leading online board portals and decided that BoardPacks was the best option for them.
“eShare allowed us to conduct a lengthy trial of BoardPacks and it soon became clear that it was the right platform for us,” continued Agnes Zarnecka. “It was compatible with all our existing systems and we were able to tailor it to suit our own specific needs. Right from the off if was easy-to-use and extremely user-friendly, so much so that even some of the less techie board members were up and running with it almost immediately.”
BoardPacks has had a phenomenal impact on both the board members that use it for meetings, as well as the teams that collate and share all the materials for board meetings, according to Agnes Zarnecka.
“With our previous approach to board meetings, even the printer was feeling the strain! Printing such massive board packs was really costly and we estimated that we were spending £7,700 on printing board packs every year, so BoardPacks has immediately given us a cost-saving on that.”
“It has also freed up much more of my time. Preparing board packs takes me 25% of the time that it used to and allows me to use that time much more productively elsewhere – it has truly made my working life much easier.”
BoardPacks has also had a profound and lasting impact on those that use it in board meetings, as Omar Saeed explains:
“We now have the precious ability to easily add last-minute reports, a feature we use often. For the board members, it makes meetings easier, for example any notes made at a board meeting are easily accessible in one place. Overall it has made the Company Secretarial function more efficient, and BoardPacks has given us savings from reduced printing and stationary costs, as well as substantial amounts of time.”
One of BoardPacks’ most impactful features is the mobile app that allows board members to use it on their mobile devices or tablet, even when offline. This was indispensable for Air Charter Service, given that its executives spend so much of their time travelling.
“Our directors love BoardPacks and could not really contemplate working without it now,” said Agnes Zarnecka. “It means they have everything they need in one place, whether that’s the current agenda or an archived report. It’s also much more secure than our previous system. We need to send confidential documents and when we did that physically there was a risk that it might go awry or that the recipient will have moved on to their next destination if they were travelling. Now it is safe and secure within the BoardPacks system.”
“When you factor in the very professional and patient customer service provided by eShare, it is safe to say that everyone with Air Charter Service is very happy with BoardPacks.”