We interviewed Adrien Thominet of ECS to discuss new innovative services which includes new technologies.
Adrien was born in 1972 in Paris, France. After graduating in business economics, Adrien started his career in New York as Commercial Director at FICOFI. In 1995, he joined ECS Group as Commercial Manager of the company’s Aero Cargo business unit, where he subsequently became Managing Director. In 2009, Adrien accepted the challenge of leading the commercial development of the Group, before his appointment in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer.
ECS is the Global leader in GSSA Services. The ECS portfolio spans across 47 Countries with 137 offices, 69 subsidiaries, over 950 employees carrying over 902,000 tonnes of freight for its airline partners.
An award winning GSSA, ECS prides itself on its Leadership, entering into long-term partnerships with its airline partners and committing to furthering the airline development throughout the network. Trust, transparency and traceability are the core principles of how the ECS Group does business. The ECS group offers the air cargo industry worldwide knowledge and experience with a complete cargo outsourcing solution.
The ECS group is the worlds leading GSSA and generates around one million tonnes of cargo annually. Adrien has over 20 years experience in the industry and is chief operating officer of ECS and has been since 2011 and he joins me today. Thank you so much. A very warm welcome to our air cargo forum.
Now you have been in the industry for many years as we said and we know that you’re one of the main supporters of this event. Can you tell us briefly why?
Well Munich is obviously the best place to meet all our customers. To meet new prospect people so definitely this is the place to be. We’re investing a lot to be there. We are in the crucial period of the year where the business is very good actually so this is the perfect moment to meet all our customers.
And innovation and technology are one of your main focuses at the moment. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Definitely, we believe that this industry is changing today. So we have to be ready in terms of technologies to build and to deliver to our customers. The new IT platform where we’re gonna give to them, again transparency and visibility on the business that we’re doing for them.
And how has this changed since the rise in social media?
Well of course the social media is helping us a lot because we have the capacity to communicate much faster and well quicker and even much larger scale than we were doing. So of course the social media are helping us. The last month, I guess we have multiplied by four, the connections and then the followers on all our Twitter, Facebook and so. So this is definitely helping us.
And do you think the rest of the air cargo industry are keeping up with this technology?
I believe they’ve no choice. I mean, it has to be like this but it is also very important to give a gain of conform to our customers that indeed today we are giving them the best exposure as possible so this is crucial.
And what’s your leading development areas in the world?
Actually I will say Southeast Asia is definitely the primary area. We have invested, we made acquisitions of two big companies in Asia and actually the development of Asia, which means the exports out of Asia. The intra Asia development is massive. So today we’re covering 11 countries in Southeast Asia. So this is definitely today our focus and we just open seven countries actually in South America. And this is the second part of the development of the group, so within six months, we have suddenly opened 17 countries. That’s between Southeast Asia and South America. So those are the two kind of areas where we have a very specific focus.
And GSSAs are having to offer a much wider range of integrated services than before. So in your opinion, what are the key factors needed here to succeed?
Well first it’s still human or person to person business. So we still are very, very focusing on bringing good people in the group. Second indeed, we need to be able to purposely align a lot of innovations in terms of technologies, new ideas or new contracts with them. We are changing totally the standard contract relationship by bringing some kind of hybrid solutions sometimes. Which is very helpful as well to develop our activity.
And you said that there’s still a person here. Technology hasn’t taken over yet.
I believe that the human will remain very dominant but not in the same positions. Means instead of having people doing operations that capture our customer service. The IT can replace this kind of duties and activities but those people that were employed for the data capture for example can be employed now to develop new kind of services to the customers. So this is much more a transformation rather than replacing a situation.
And in summary Adrien, what do you think are the main challenges that we face in this industry?
Well I believe, we are again to be ready to provide new ideas to change totally our mindset to be more ethics, more professional in the approach and to have the capacity to give much more transparency and efficiency to our airlines.
Excellent, well thank you so much for your time today and your opinions, and we look forward to seeing you probably at the awards.
I will be for sure. – Good luck for the rest of the week, thank you. – Thanks a lot, thank you.
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