In the hot seat….. Justin Blockley, Commercial Director, British International Industries (Bii.aero)
AviTrader MRO: Can you briefly tell us how Bii came about?
Blockley: Bii was founded in 1976; our Chairman Christopher Cradock bought the name British International Industries for his growing export trading business. We originally traded in generating sets for power supply, but quickly Bii was contracted to provide standby power for an overseas military airport, and from this we began to concentrate on the military marketplace supplying spare parts to old Nato aircraft Hunter such as Canberra, Harrier and Jaguar. This worked well for us for several decades but over the past few years our business strategy has altered and we are now focusing on the commercial aviation market.
AviTrader MRO: What are your current capabilities in terms of components and MRO?
Blockley: We manage component supply, repair and servicing requirements for international airline customers, operating modern Airbus and Boeing aircraft including 737NG/747/757/767 and RJ inventory. Our
team focuses on maintaining component performanceand reliability. We work closely withour repair vendors to consistently improve component performance, reduce aircraft downtime and always ensure compliance to our high quality standards.
AviTrader MRO: Bii is evolving from a military spares provider to focus on the commercial market. What led to the change in strategy?
Blockley: When I initially joined Bii in 2015 the company was primarily focusing on military spares, but as the most successful business models were concentrating on the commercial spare parts sector so I decided to set up a new business team to develop Bii’s services for the commercial market. It was evident that these global air forces operating Hunter, Canberra, Harrier and Jaguar aircraft were increasingly re-equipping with Russian and Chinese aircraft and led to a steady decline in our military component sales and support. Being so close to Gatwick and Heathrow is also a huge benefit for us and our commercial airline customers so the change in strategy from military to commercial has driven a multi-million dollar turnover that is steadily growing.
AviTrader MRO: How can airlines, especially start-ups ensure a cost-effective spares inventory system?
Blockley: Many airlines are now choosingto consign their excess stock to Bii. They reduce their own inventory levels confident that we can manage scrappage, repairs and realisation of dollars on their behalf. Pooling is particularly effective when airlines look to cut costs and reduce their inventory. The current trend is to now share component pools, or outsource rotable programmes. This method is popular with start-up airlines because it ensures that operators lessen the need to the carry excess inventory previously needed to safeguard repair turnaround cycle times and ensure dispatch reliability. Now spares providers like Bii who can offer 24/7 global AOG support provide this reassurance.
AviTrader MRO: The 747-400 has reached a crucial phase in its career. How do you gauge the market for spares demand and availability for the type?
Blockley: The 747-400 is highly capable of moving 660 passengers in a two-class layout and has a max payload for cargo of 112,760. There are currently over 400 aircraft remaining in service globally and the 747 has fallen into a specific market from a spares support opinion. Through several consignees and Bii’s owned stock, we specialise in having ‘ready to go’ rotables for this platform.
AviTrader MRO: It’s stated that Bii specialises in stock appraisal and the realisation of profitable returns – What does this mean for the customer?
Blockley: Once an airline consigns their excess stock to Bii, we will sell excess, manage the stock for repair, and establish loan/ exchange pools on behalf of the consignee. Our fair and collaborative business terms ensure that our customers get the best deal when they choose to consign their stock to us over other aircraft spare parts suppliers. Although currently many companies are using advanced technology to commodify the provision of spares, we realise that the most important aspect is to build relationships with our customers and apply a personal touch to each customer transaction. Some examples of the returns we have delivered include: 78% return achieved for Boeing 737NG and a 72% payback for RJ/BAE 146.
AviTrader MRO: What’s next in the pipeline at Bii?
Blockley: Over the coming months we will be focusing on further streamlining of our global repair vendor supply chain and reinforcing our presence in the Asian-Pacific region. We see this area as consistently growing and Bii are currently considering opening an office in Singapore. We aim to have representation in key parts of Asia including warehousing for stock. Face to face relationships are at the core of Bii’s business ethos so we also plan to continue sending our highly experienced sales agents to a range of countries as a way to acquire new business and maintain existing relationships with customers worldwide. Bii is always open to new business opportunities and we will continue signing new contracts with airlines and increasing our inventory, we particularly want to focus on consigning more stock in the next few months.