Business Controller in the Aviation sector
While searching for a permanent Business Controller for the Engineering and Maintenance department at TUI, a vacancy was opened for a consultant. That's how our finance consultant Frederik started his mission at Tui. The initial scope was to maintain the daily activities, but ended up broadening, also including support in an ERP merge.
The TUI Group is one of the biggest players within the European avionics world. The Belgian aviation branch on its own - TUI Fly Belgium - has more than 30 aircrafts, and serves passengers all over the world on over 120 destinations. With their distinct focus on a modern and clean fleet, innovation is key at TUI Fly Belgium, which is the 2nd biggest operator on the Belgian market, with over 1.150 employees.
The initial connection between TUI and TriFinance was established quite some time ago, with a former TriFinance employee working at TUI. Frederik started at TUI to replace another TriFinance colleague.
The main worry of the client was to keep the existing ‘Business as usual’ flow going, while searching for a permanent replacement. The main responsibilities included:
- Monthly stock valuation;
- Provisioning for fixed contracts;
- Calculation of the Maintenance provisioning for Aircraft maintenance.
Due to the complex environment, and the large amount of items in stock, an extensive follow-up in Excel was implemented. Due to the way the follow-up was done, the complicated reports from the ERP system, and the large amount of data in the files, getting familiar with these Excel files was the main priority and difficulty.
The ERP system being used by TUI was AMOS, a specially designed ERP system for being used by avionic companies. Using most of the functionalities in the system required a more avionic-engineering background, so gathering the required knowledge was another challenge.
After a couple of months, it became apparent that TUI wanted to implement the ERP system on a group level, so a merge was required. Being the only financial profile in Belgium to work with the AMOS system, support was provided, a.o. in assessing the different parameters that would be impacted, trying to negotiate solutions that would work for all involved entities, and having monthly meetings. This also allowed Frederik to go to Luton Airport (UK) a couple of times, in order to join these meetings.
After a while, a permanent replacement was found, to take over the role of Business Controller. The client however, asked a thorough handover to this new colleague, while also assisting in the ERP merge.
Due to the strict reporting lines (directly to the financial director for the BeNe region), a lot of work had to be done without supervision, which obviously required a hands-on approach. Closings were executed timely, the audit questions for the quarter- and year-end were taken care of, and the complex Excel files were updated and optimized.
“As a consultant, getting such a project gives a huge boost in your skills, such as getting more confidence in working independently. My main learnings in this project were a first controlling experience in a rapidly changing environment, hugely improving my Excel knowledge, and getting to know different new systems (such as the AMOS ERP system, RACS and EasyForm for bookkeeping)", Frederik says.
"Getting involved in all of the engineering activities in an avionics environment, and having an office with a view on the hangar where the aircrafts get their maintenance, made this project a once-in-a-lifetime experience!”