United's Unimatic system gives its pilots clear flight plans, information on maintenance and schedules for the flight crew. It also measures the weight of the plane, freight and passengers in order to balance the cargo for a smooth flight. While all of these tasks can be performed by hand, the Unimatic system cuts down on the cost, time and additional staff necessary to do so.
In the past, United experienced flight delays and cancellations because of user error while employing the Unimatic system, with more than 260 flights affected at once during the prime time for morning departures and arrivals. This cost the company more than 10 million dollars as well as the trust of their customers.
The impact of the user error could have been lessened if the entire company understood the way the Unimatic system works; this allows everyone to be on the same page regarding money and time to invest in the program's improvement. By running tests when the system is not operating at a peak time, disaster can be avoided, and regular maintenance must be performed to keep the Unimatic system running properly. All employees responsible for running the system should be properly rested, be scheduled no more than 40 hours per week and share responsibilities among the crew.