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Vancouver International Airport

Seamless communication and collaboration across a uniquely wide range of job duties and responsibilities.

ThoughtFarmer YVR Case Study

How one of Canada’s largest airport authorities uses their dynamic intranet capabilities to provide seamless communication and collaboration across a uniquely wide range of job duties and responsibilities.


Vancouver International Airport’s (YVR) mission is to connect British Columbia proudly to the world, and it has long prioritized striving for the highest quality of service and operational excellence in every area. So much so, the airport has been named Best Airport in North America for 12 years in a row.

A diverse set of positions spans the organization, and in many ways, YVR functions like its own little city. With positions ranging from firefighters to accountants, culture managers to customer care specialists, maintaining clear communication and intuitive knowledge management has been some of their biggest priorities.

Managing a dispersed workforce

YVR’s desire to provide the most consistently enjoyable experience for travelers has driven them to continually grow and expand their service offerings. For example, customer care used to be outsourced, but is now managed by an internal team, so they can provide higher-quality service.

Over the last ten years, YVR’s staff has grown from 500-600 to 880 in 2023. As they’ve expanded, the range of positions and responsibilities that are governed by their own management team expanded too.

Covering so many different types of positions across their organization means that a substantial portion of their employees don’t have a traditional workspace, with a desk or designated phone extension. This has created unique challenges for YVR in maintaining clear communication with teams, and offering them quick, easy ways to access essential information.

The goal to provide more seamless collaboration tools, better knowledge management, and information sharing via a mobile app led YVR to ThoughtFarmer’s Cloud intranet solution; migrating from their existing ThoughtFarmer On Premise solution.

Migrating to mobile functionality

Airports are operational 24/7. Maintaining open, accessible communication with so many different team members performing unique roles within the organization has been a long-time challenge for YVR.

This is why migrating to a ThoughtFarmer Cloud intranet solution made the most sense; particularly since it would provide their teams with mobile app accessibility.

ThoughtFarmer allowed YVR to make their intranet accessible on any digital device, which made encouraging engagement and adoption from day one much easier. The mobile app gives teams on the tarmac and throughout the terminals the same access to their intranet as those sitting at a desk in their office.

To ensure that every team member had immediate access to the app, YVR was able to push installation on each employee’s assigned mobile device. This guaranteed accessibility for every applicable employee from the moment the new intranet was launched.

“A lot of people here have operationally driven jobs. They don’t have a desk. Proactively forcing them to check this platform, they absorb by osmosis. It’s become our home screen, our homepage.” Christopher Richards, Marketing Manager for YVR, explained.

Customizing content for meaningful engagement

Since their migration to the ThoughtFarmer Cloud system, YVR’s team has noticed an improvement in employee engagement with special events, due to new customization features in their intranet campaigns. Ultimately, this has increased participation with the new intranet for team members across the entire organization.

These new customization features have allowed for campaign ‘take-overs’ of their intranet, where they can more directly curate the type of information team members are taking in on a day-to-day basis, through unique banners and pinned background posts.

In addition to their launch board, which helped draw engagement for launch day, YVR has also started using internal newsletters more frequently for sharing information. More specifically, now YVR is able to regularly deliver vital organizational updates and news, directly to their employees.

“We started a weekly update that goes to peoples’ inboxes, which links to the intranet site. So, for mobile users, if they missed something important, it’s pushed to them that way. Combined with our quarterly newsletters, where we showcase some operational roles, we’ve seen an uptick in mobile users.” Gemma Konopa, Culture Manager for YVR, tells us.

Continuing to connect YVR’s diverse teams

Since migration of the ThoughtFarmer Cloud has been implemented, YVR continues looking ahead for new, innovative ways to use their intranet to improve their teams’ communication and collaboration.

The mobile functionality of their intranet now provides easier instant access to the information their teams need. As the diversity of roles within YVR continues to adapt to the needs of their employees, as well as the clients they serve, their new intranet is ready to support them along the way.

“Our workforce is changing. People work in different ways, so how do we make this tool accessible to everyone? The cloud solution enabled us to do that.” Gemma adds.

Ready to migrate your intranet to ThoughtFarmer Cloud, so you can reach the same levels of success YVR has achieved? Contact ThoughtFarmer to book a chat.

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Coleton Thielmann
Account Executive