An article written by Olivier MICHARD, aeronautical consultant and project manager.
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A new era is on its way in everyday’s life !
There is a simple reason for that : a strong market trend has now been initiated and is being widely developed in many fields and activities. Your personal email address is likely to be a free of charge service, as well as your social network profile, some of the software’s installed on your laptop, your favorite search engine, etc. Simply take a short time now to remember how the world was before that… and how it would be if we all had to pay money from our pocket for all such services.
Aviation technicians, let’s talk the business model language !
Most of us, aviation technical professionals, are rather technicians than business men ! As technicians, we often know very well technical aspects and regulations, but quite less often the basics of how to develop a business and determine ahead of the market, what we may sell and to whom our products and services may be sold. How could you change the way your company is doing business ? At this time, I guess your company delivers products and services to well identified customers, which in turn will pay invoices for them : there is a price for each service and for each product. Take a blank sheet of paper, and draw the flow of money between your customers and your shareholders and employees, going through all your products and services ; include then any third party also using directly these products and services. At the end, you should have something quite close to what your current company business model is !
Aviation technicians, let’s go for new technologies !
Massive development of IT and communications technology has dramatically changed our way of communicating with others. The combination of such technology, with an increasing number of companies running “free of charge business models”, gives unprecedented opportunities to individuals who would be able to caption these and transform them into new ways of proposing products and services to the world. I can only recommend to all those who would like to push for changes in how their companies are doing business today, to simply document themselves on terms such as peer to peer, online community, social media, open source, or freemium. You will be able to find within minutes so many examples of corresponding applications already in place in your everyday’s personal life, but also may be in your professional activities. I would now recommend before you read further, that you try to find existing aviation technical services that you know and which use such new technologies ; a tougher exercise would then to be find such aviation technical services delivered free of charge to end users.
Aviation globally out of the move !
So far, for the vast majority, if not all of the aviation technical services, there is a fee to be paid for the service, thus keeping the aviation industry far away from the global move towards free of charge services described above.
There are a few emerging exceptions to this global situation however. Free of charge online access to aircraft assets available for lease or sale has been possible for quite a long time now, on some aviation media websites ; the intention there is either to grow the flow of potential subscribers to the publications, to charge the advertising company (but not the one looking for an aircraft), or both ! More recently, an aircraft modifications database has been set-up online ; you can find for free any STC holder for your contemplated modification worldwide. The STC holder is charged to have its modifications listed.
So what’s next ?
Any aviation technical service that can be standardized and delivered to mass may be a suitable candidate for a business model rebuild. For instance, we may consider some forms of training, technical publications, technical records related tools, softwares dedicated to airworthiness, maintenance and logistics, parts traceability, etc. But beyond reconsidering how we make money with existing services, we may also imagine new ways for improved productivity, or even new services, through collaborative platforms, cloud data storage or professional social media.
Conclusion : new entrepreneurs wishing to pioneer aviation business ?
The intention of taking such steps is of course to safeguard business in a changing market environment, but also to improve turnover through wider access to market or development of new products.
Without the modern communication tools, social media and open source publication tools, this article would never have been written and published, and you would more than likely never have heard about me. But here it is ! If you think that aviation technical services should step-up to transform their business model towards new market trends, simply jump in the move, rethink the way you sell your services and products in light of this article, document yourself on existing IT tools that could fit the goal, and go forward ! In addition, I would be happy to discuss concrete thoughts or ideas for such new or rebuilt services with interested readers. You may use the contact form on my website ; all personal details will remain confidential.
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