Integration – the key to co-ordinated movements

By Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive, London Executie Aviation (LEA).

At LEA, we have reached an important milestone in our journey with Luxaviation – while still in its infancy, the partnership is 18 months old. Like any 18-month-old learning to grow, we have found our feet, adjusted to our environment and worked out how to co-ordinate the different elements of our new body.

Once the building blocks and inevitable teething problems were completed, the process of integration began – and is still progressing. We have had to consider our aircraft, our geographic presence, our operations and technology, maintenance, crew and business processes.

Successful integration is the key to avoiding risks and realising the true potential of the merger. For LEA, one of the most significant integrations with the Luxaviation Group has been that of operations. The Luxaviation Group provides us with access to more than 250 aircraft worldwide and the integration of the operations platforms across the group ensures that everyone can see where all those aircraft are at any given time. As the main charter operator within the group, LEA is able through the integrated platform to sell any aircraft from within the group, giving greater power to our charter business.

As part of this integration process, we needed to incorporate LEA’s successful scheduling and commercial software platforms, which provided a number of key features, into the new system. Failing to transfer them, many of which are combined operational and commercial features, could have had a very negative impact on the business. Our operations director, Leigh Westwood, spent over six months, including time with the system developers, ensuring that all of LEA’s requirements were either available in the new system, or listed for development prior to its adoption by LEA. While this resulted in a delay in the integration, we knew that the added functionality would be beneficial to all the entities in the group.

This newly developed platform also allows better financial tracking and analysis of jobs, which permits us to make better informed commercial decisions and ensure we remain competitive in the market.

We are also now looking at the options available for integrating our financial accounts. At the moment, we are using a software package that pulls financial data and formats in from many systems to allow improved corporate planning. In the future, we will also consider the advantages and efficiencies of having a common platform.

Co-ordinating the movements of this new partnership has been a journey, with many obstacles and lessons learnt as well as fantastic achievements and the occasional high-five.  As the LEA team looks forward to taking the business forward in 2016, we can already see the benefits of our new relationship, still in its infancy, but up and walking confidently toward the future.

Published in BlueSky, 10 December 2015

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