Mobile Communication Takes Off at Jet AirWerks

Keith Humphrey never expected to have his entire email system shut down for a week. But when the email servers for Jet AirWerks, the small business he founded to repair and sell jet engine components, were attacked by a particularly sophisticated and aggressive virus, he had a problem on his hands. The virus took down Jet AirWerks’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, the entire email server, and all their backups.

“We were dead in the water for about 10 days,” Keith said.

As Jet AirWerks found themselves relegated to the technological stone age – they were faxing information and making records with paper and pen – their one connection to the present was Zinc. With Zinc, employees could take pictures of documents, share files with each other, and easily get a hold of everybody in a group. It was quick, efficient, and didn’t burden the email server – exactly what drew Keith to Zinc in the first place.

Jet AirWerks is an essential part of a complicated supply chain. They work with airlines directly, overhaul shops who support the airlines, resellers, and part suppliers. That means on any given day, there are dozens of short updates and questions exchanged among Jet AirWerks employees to track the various projects. In the past, the company relied largely on text messages for such communications – but between iPhone and Android users and changing cell numbers, simple texts became a hassle or could not be delivered. Zinc gave Keith a single place for all essential daily communication, both 1-on-1 and in groups.

Zinc also helped streamline the organization in some ways as well. For example, Jet AirWerks used to hold weekly all-hands “items of interest” meetings, where the team would collect full updates ahead of time, gather in a conference room, and make sure everyone was on the same page. Now, that role is played by a group in Zinc, where the information can be shared quickly by anyone and with much greater transparency.

Similarly, each new project comes with its own Zinc group, which contains all the key players necessary – even including the IT department or some suppliers. Everything from timelines and strategy to scheduling conflicts can be handled in one place, and nowhere else.

“I wanted something where we can all talk on the same network, and the same system,” said Humphrey.

Whether employees needed to know what a part was or send a last-minute update, Zinc replaced all the texts and one-line emails that used to be part and parcel of their work. And unlike email or text, those messages never got lost.

Ultimately, for Keith using Zinc is about security and simplicity. Email phishing is getting more sophisticated all the time – and despite extensive security training for employees, a virus felt inevitable. With Zinc, a one-touch interface and closed network meant peace of mind, an always-open network of communication. Says Keith: “What Zinc provides is up-and-coming stuff – it’s very useful to us and entirely integrated into the business. This kind of messaging is really the future of what we’re all going to be doing.”

 

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