Posted by Jonathan
Welcome to our latest blog post. This week introduces a new theme for our blog posts – interviews. And to kick this new theme off, we’ve interviewed the Managing Director of AVSpares, Stefan Fletcher. We find out how he got into the aviation industry, what interest he has in Aircraft spares and MRO services as well as what his vision is for the future of the aviation marketplace.
Hi Stefan, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
No problem at all, it’s great to talk with you regarding something I am so passionate about. It’s also exciting to be able to share my views.
As you mentioned, my name is Stefan Fletcher, and I am the Managing Director of AVSpares Ltd. I think it was written in the previous blog post, but AVSpares was acquired back in May 2021.
We made the acquisition as we felt there was a gap in the Aviation marketplace sector for things to be done differently. In terms of the day to day, my role tends to lean towards marketing of the site, and sales generation. We have a brilliant team behind the company who cover tech and project management. All things considered, we’re moving in the right direction to achieve the things we want to with AVSpares.
Great intro, before we get into the Aviation piece, what do you get up to in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with my family and getting out in the fresh air, walking the dog and enjoying the wonderful area that I live in which is called Devon (it’s in the UK). I also have a love of travel, and seeing new places. It is great to meet new people through either work or pleasure. I also enjoy some downtime in front of a good movie too.
Devon is a beautiful place, but it isn’t known for Aviation. So, how did you get into the aviation industry in the first place?
I didn’t actually grow up in Devon – I originally studied IT, and that’s how I left education. I ended up working with an Aviation based business in Hampshire UK. I found myself involved in more of the day to day operations but after more than 12 years of working there I became more involved in the IT, Quality management and general project solutions. It was great as I built a lot of knowledge of both Embraer and DeHavilland aircraft, sourcing aircraft parts and MRO services. I have worked in airlines and MRO facilities too, and more recently was involved in creating a business that filled a gap in the locating of tooling and GSE equipment for loan worldwide.
Aviation is one of those industries that gets into your blood, and I am ever so pleased that it did. It’s a great industry to be working in. I enjoy the forward thinking of the industry and the people, its social side is a great bonus. It’s a sector that still believes in deals being done with a hand shake, and old fashioned values.
Aviation is definitely something that gets into your blood, so how did you end up being the MD of an Aircraft Spares and MRO marketplace?
Well, the company became available to purchase in October of 2014, and as part of my previous business partnership, it seemed like a good move to make. Avspares.com has been around since 2007, and was originally created to compete with the other platforms out there at the time. As I said earlier, last year there was an opportunity for me to venture out on a new project. I’d luckily got to know a few people who were also interested in the space and so it seemed that it would be a great opportunity to take AVSpares and turn it into a modern and fully featured site. That’s where it sits today with plenty more additions coming in the near future.
You mentioned the AVSpares started out to compete with other platforms, but can you tell us what AVSpares is and how it’s better for sourcing Aircraft spares?
It has always been a simple to use online marketplace search tool for the aviation industry allowing users to search for all manner of Aircraft spares, spares, tools and electronic related items. It offers a search for MRO repair services too. We have a great loyal following of users, and this is growing as we develop the site. Unfortunately, it hadn’t been modernised for some time, so we are committed to update the site to where it needs to be. It will host some great new features aside from supporting aircraft spares and repair sourcing, so watch this space and keep a close eye on the newsletters, and releases.
With the the opportunity arising to explore new projects, why did you decide you wanted to build an Aircraft spares and MRO services platform?
Funnily enough, I personally used the site for many years in all aspects of the roles I performed with previous companies, and found it to be a great resource for support. AVSpares is a great platform, it’s been known for keeping things simple, but effective. We now have 52,000 listed users with 5,800 of those regularly logging in, listing inventory and sourcing parts and aircraft tooling through the system. The opportunity to build on top of an already great platform was too good to ignore.
AVSpares has been around since 2007, so there must be a few competitors. How is AVSpares different from them?
Well the most important thing for us is to keep it affordable, simple, and responsive. Affordable in the way of a single plan of membership, whether you are a user sourcing items or listing your stock. Simple in that it becomes your go to tool for all things related to Aircraft spares, tooling and MRO services. We want to integrate it into your day, and with our future plans, it will certainly simplify the process. It needs to function quickly and give you the results you need and provide the answers you want.
Great answer! Looking into the future, what do you want to achieve with AVSpares and what is the future for Aircraft part and MRO sourcing?
We simply want Avspares.com to be the one place that our customers can find everything they need to source, and with the new features coming very soon this will all be possible whether it be technical documents, engineering labour, teardown package deals, and freight or transport quotes. This is where I see the platform heading.
It sounds like you have some brilliant plans for AVSpares future. Before we end, can you tell us any exciting news about AVSpares?
Not so much news, but as I have alluded to above – we want the site to be bookmarked as the place to find what you need in all aspects of aviation and electronics sourcing. We are committed to putting it back where it belongs and ensure it is used worldwide.
It should be thought of as a sales tool as it progresses and moves more away from the marketplace it has been in the past. The full intention is to make it a much needed addition to all of those working in the aviation maintenance sector. We are very excited about the new features that are coming in progress in the background, and look forward to seeing the reactions of our customers.
Just a quick note to thank Stefan for his time. In blog next week we will be revealing an upgrade to our RFQ emails which a lot of our users have been requesting, so watch this space. We might even include our first video!