After a Merger
mergers and acquisitions Continental Airlines realized it had become a
company that consisted of silos of employees each performing the same
job function but being compensated based on the pay scale of their
previous, pre-merger organization. This disparity in compensation
caused friction between management and employees. As a result,
management was tasked with developing a plan, agreeable to the general
employee base that equalized their compensation according to seniority
over a period of time. Continental Airlines needed an application that
would facilitate the development of the new compensation plan.
Several vendors informed Continental management that such a system
could not be developed in the time frame needed.
presented Alliance Data with a three-fold challenge:
a decision support system capable of analyzing the impact of various
compensation alternatives on the companyÍs bottom line.
system flexible enough to immediately implement any compensation
plan that was finally chosen by ContinentalÍs employees.
developed system with the companyÍs new payroll system that would be
coming on line at the same time.
would also be responsible for communication explaining the complex
compensation plan to the employee population.
dispatched what it affectionately calls the Emergency Response Team
(ERT) of highly skilled and motivated consultants to rapidly assess
the situation, determine a feasible solution for the given time frame,
and then formulate and execute a system development plan. Alliance
Data consultants worked around the clock to support the negotiation
process and to provide the needed visibility to total cost information
of each compensation alternative discussed.
The systems were
developed and implemented on schedule and Continental management was
able to negotiate a compensation plan for its employees that satisfied
their needs while still having visibility to the total cost of each of
Upon settlement of
a compensation plan Alliance Data assisted with the communication of
its terms to each of the employees affected. Alliance Data consultants
set up shop in the baggage handling areas to assist Continental HR
staff with the explanation of each individualÍs compensation plan. The
long-term payment system came on-line as planned prior to the next
payroll after final settlement of compensation terms.
Rapid Development Methodology
Alliance DataÍs Rapid Development Architecture
"Whenever I have a
complex systems project that needs to be developed and implemented
within a tight timeframe, I call on Alliance DatańI can be sure that
they will come through for us."
Director of Compensation ņ Continental Airlines