STACK.aero: All systems go
When it comes to software systems a large section of business aviation organisations are running operations on outdated, inefficient and unsuitable platforms, according to STACK.aero’s head of Business Development, Cat Buchanan.
“Our industry is very niche and with that comes some very unique workflows,” Buchanan told Corporate Jet Investor (CJI). “When trying to do our day-to-day tasks and administrate flights, using generic software that hasn’t been purposely designed for our industry, creates multiple hurdles, leaving you hitting your head against the wall.”
Often, companies that are using generic software systems are usually using multiple systems together and a variety of different workarounds to suit specific needs. “As different problems arise, a new system will then be applied to try and alleviate that problem,” said Buchanan.
The second issue is the centralisation of data, or lack-thereof, within the industry. As a range of systems are implemented, company data becomes spread across all of them, causing huge inconsistencies. Buchanan states that instead, a “central source of truth” is needed.
“Rather than having one central source of truth with all your data in one place, you’ll instead have data on WhatsApp, some data in your CRM [customer relationship management] system, data in your accounting system, data in your FMS [financial management system] and of course there’s email. So, what we have done is create a system that is bespoke for our industry. It takes into account all the niche workflows used in business aviation, eliminating workarounds, creating huge efficiencies in our operations, whilst centralising data on one platform.”
In May STACK.aero launched STACK.aero BOS, a core system to manage all aspects of the “Trip Request Lifecycle” and associated operations. The layout and functionality options vary according to the subscriber: charter brokers, charter operators and, soon, corporate flight departments.
Buchanan said: “On the whole an operator’s sales team will have slightly different workflows to a broker’s sales team. The platform’s core functionality is the same for both, but allows for flexibility in layout and workflows depending on the end user.”
For corporate flight departments it is all about the approval process. “They’re not going to clients per se or getting payment approvals, but they are getting requests internally and seeking executive approval. It is a very similar workflow process to the commercial side, but it too has its own nuance.”
STACK.aero’s system is based on global CRM platform, Salesforce – clients do not need to be pre-existing users. “Our customers get all of the horsepower of Salesforce.com, they get all of the assurances of data security and privacy that come from utilising a global platform, but then, owing to its malleable architecture we have been ablate build this platform on top,” said Buchanan.
“As an industry, focus on what you do best, focus on charter sales and let us focus on the tech to support you in doing that,” she added.