EVA talks to Aiham Bader, Founder and CEO of Click Aviation Network
Q: What was the inspiration for founding Click?
A: Today, everything is connected. You have a GPS satellite that talks to your car and even your phone. This connectivity is changing the way everyone does business.
Building a business from the ground uptakes the right people backing you up all the time, so what we’re doing at Click Aviation Network is revolutionising the aviation business through end-to-end control of the value chain. We are in a sense unifying the skyways.
We are introducing a single unified approach to aviation where players operating in the aviation sector – from Charter Brokers, Operators, Suppliers and other service providers – can come together under one roof, explore business opportunities and enable ways to increase efficiency, explore opportunities for business growth, eliminate risks, enjoy operational consistency, reduce costs and build credibility.
Steve Jobs famously said that his task wasn’t to give people what they said they wanted; it was to give them what they didn’t know they needed. Evolving technology and emerging customer preferences offer a real set of completely new opportunities for the aviation industry. By collaborating with the right set of partners, companies can forge better relationships with customers and improve their financial performance in a sustainable way.
Q: This is a very multi-sided, complex arrangement in which Click seeks to enable relationships and business opportunities to be explored between very different types of organisation. It sounds like this is both an IT platform-driven solution, a kind of shared procure-to-pay IT system, as well as having some of the features of an IT marketplace, where different vendors, with different services to offer and different procurement requirements, can meet and agree prices and terms. Is this correct?
A: To begin with, we bring in a wealth of industry experience and commitment to the business of forging innovative change. Working with us gives players in the aviation sector access to the resources, people and time that are necessary to understand and tackle challenges they rarely have the resources to do.
We have built a strong global network of relationships. We have secured resources that will give members the advantage to stay above the competition. Our designated Commercial and Vendor Relations team work closely with on-ground suppliers to secure the most competitive prices available whilst ensuring that the reduced prices do not hinder quality. We have in place quality metrics, quality checklists and process improvement plans. Furthermore, we regularly run quality audits and process analysis in order to update and improve our quality plans.
A platform such as ours that empowers the framework between the network members is merely the starting point. We collect and process data into information that leads into knowledge. We manage the knowledge and share it across the network.
Q: What specific benefits are there for operators, brokers and others?
A: If we take an operator, for example, the Click Network gives them the ability to manage their aircraft, crew profiles and documentation via our web-based system. At the same time, they can showcase their capabilities and aircraft availability to all the brokers on the network and can forge specific and unique relationships with individual brokers via a secure and private portal that is unique to them. They can have the same direct connectivity with their suppliers by inviting them to connect to their portal on the Click network. Naturally, this gives them the ability to monitor and manage all service requests, including flight planning, refuelling, ground handling and catering, as well as tracking aircraft progress around the globe.
For suppliers, it enables them to list and showcase all the services they can provide to operators, together with the associated fees, and the locations that they can service. It also enables them to process service requests direct from the operater or via Click’s own operations control centre. The system makes it simple for suppliers to generate and submit invoices directly from operator orders, as well as giving them the ability to provide updates on the progress of all requests.
It is important to realise that Click’s Operational Control Centre (OCC) is itself an important source of value add for our members, whether they are operators, brokers or suppliers. The OCC’s overview of the network enables Click to provide members with data analysis, business intelligence reports and market forecasts, as well as ensuring that all quotations provided across the network are competitive. The OCC is also a fully-fledged trip planning operation and is well positioned to provide timely overflight arrangements and landing clearances, PPRs and slots, all with a clear view of the relevant regulatory and/or political requirements for the various missions.