Why the Ethiopian Airlines Has Turned Paperless

Why Ethiopian Airlines Has Turned Paperless


Paperless technology has revolutionized the efficiency of companies across the globe since its inception. In late 2017, The Ethiopian Airlines decided to join other companies that had adopted the trend and added paperless technology on its plate.

The Ethiopian airline commands a large share of, the pan African passenger and cargo network. With an affinity for growth, the management has continued to steer the company to greatness over the years. The company’s vision 2025 is a strategic plan that will see the airline grow to be a force to reckon with on the African continent.

For the last seven years, the airline has actively been digitizing its internal processes and going paperless is one of the latest operations. With a 50 million dollar investment in digitalization, the company is confident that the paperless technology will be beneficial for the airline. As of September 2017, the company announced that it had already fully and successfully digitized processes like;

  •  Flight operations
  •  Commercial operations
  •  Supply and procurement chain maintenance
  •  Human resources
  •  Aircraft maintenance
  •  Online learning
  •  Management authorizations

According to a September 2017 press release, Mr. Tewolde Gebre Mariam, the group’s CEO, announced that the company had decided to embark on its latest venture, going paperless. The two paperless systems that the company is currently using are; Full fledged ERP relaying on Microsofts ASP technology.

ERP is an acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning. The system integrates purchasing, sales and marketing, inventory, planning finance and HR into one seamless system. ASP stands for Application Service Provider and allows airline staff to serve customers over a network without the need to install costly software.

According to Tewolde, the airline hopes to leverage the latest technology advancement to gain a competitive edge on the global airline stage. Some of the benefits that the enterprise hopes to realize are;

  • Cost reduction
  • Efficiency in service provision

Cost reduction

Paper is expensive. Filing information using paper requires constant replacement which costs money. Research shows that most companies spend millions on paper on average per year.
To maintain a flawless filing system, a company would need to hire a professional librarian, which costs money. A paperless technology eradicates the need for a librarian because it allows anyone to store and retrieve files.
Paperless technology also reduces storage space. An enterprise can either save on rent by doing away with a storage room or use the space for other profitable ventures.

Efficiency in service provision
Using paper for documentation can lead to slack in service provision when it comes to documenting retrieval. In large organizations, an employee would require going through countless files to retrieve a document which can be time-consuming.

Paperless technology, on the other hand, eases the document retrieval process. All an employee needs to do is click on a computer file and open a document in minimal time.

The company has also decided to use a biometric application system as opposed to using identification cards. A biometric system is faster and much safer when it comes to authentication.

Tewolde says that the company has already gone green by using a fleet that consumes less fuel and emits less carbon. Going paperless is yet another way to keep the “going green torch” burning.