In 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright took off in what is generally credited as being the world’s first successful "powered aeroplane". If the Wright brothers are widely recognised as taking us to the skies, it was Anthony James Walter in 1932, and his newly founded parts distribution business A J Walter Aviation, that kept us up there. Known today as AJW Group, the company is a world-leading independent component parts, repair, and supply chain solutions provider recognised for transforming efficiency in commercial, business, and defence aviation.
With operations spanning over 1,000 airline customers in 100 countries, it’s AJW Group’s systems that keep it soaring. When the group approached us in 2022, it sought support around the scoping and implementation of a system capable of taking its dedicated sales, worldwide service team, and global stock management to new heights.
Flying with low visibility
The group had recognised that an improved 360-degree view of its customers was essential for successfully navigating its key markets. By 2022, global economics had significantly heightened this business need. Post-pandemic, the aviation sector was taking off again, challenging aviation manufacturers and commercial airlines to ramp up operations.
Every business of AJW’s size and complexity will identify with the people, process, and technology challenges this presented. Disparate systems had led to siloed data and an inability to access or utilise customer information in meaningful ways. Factoring in the global scale of AJW’s operations made pipeline management and process alignment challenging.
AJW Group had three key goals:
- Understanding, integrating, and implementing HubSpot CRM, Marketing, Sales, and Ops Hub Enterprise
- Consolidating data
- Defining, documenting, and implementing group-wide processes
Phase 1 was defined by a series of process mapping workshops aimed at getting a deeper understanding of the group’s goals and challenges. This gave us context into the group’s dynamics, its IT infrastructure, and how we could approach the implementation successfully. We examined its sales and buying processes, which went on to inform a comprehensive solutions design document.
In pursuit of a crucial business evolution, we faced challenges hindering intelligent marketing and maintaining an intuitive solution for diverse teams. Previous CRM issues prompted cautious optimism, emphasising the need for a partner understanding our unique requirements and business complexities.
From project onset, BabelQuest stood out, showcasing a commitment to align with our goals through meticulous scoping. Critical integrations, especially with our inventory control system and third-party data conduits, were seamlessly executed and their detailed approach and exciting vision instilled confidence in a successful outcome.
Becky Newell, Director of Marketing, AJW
In Phase 2, we built and delivered the group’s HubSpot platform, broken down into CRM set-up support; system administration and upkeep; establishing users, permissions, teams, and partitioning; technical set-up; marketing, sales, and operational set-up; and crucially, end-user training for each hub.
CRM Implementation Consultant Chris Grant led the configuration of each hub, leveraging his deep platform expertise and learnings from the HubSpot CRM Implementation and HubSpot Platform Enablement accreditation processes.
AJW completed the integration side of the project, consulting with Chris to ensure the final solution integrated with their external systems and the aircraft data stored within.
The training and user acceptance testing Chris delivered ensured AJW could continue unlocking HubSpot’s full potential post-completion and equipped leadership with the skills and knowledge required to train their teams, which they then tested. Based on feedback, we revised record structures and some reporting elements, but the biggest win was the creation of internal champions to drive adoption and maximise AJW’s investment for years to come.
A fully integrated CRM suite with global access
The scale of the implementation can’t be overstated. From start to finish, the project took 15 months. The key project team at AJW was five plus departmental representatives from across the business, Campaign Manager, Lucinda Wates, our point of contact dedicated to delivering their part of the work.
As of December 2023, 104 users across the group are actively using the platform each week, working consistently, in accordance with Chris’ newly standardised processes. From a people and process perspective, the solution has transformed the way AJW is able to work, but the strongest results can be seen in how the whole group can now utilise its data.
By integrating successfully with the group’s external systems, the HubSpot CRM suite has given AJW the 360-degree view of its customers that it needed.
It's early days but the impact has been extraordinary - everyone has embraced HubSpot with enthusiasm. HubSpot’s intuitiveness, insights, and ability to provide a 360-degree view have revolutionised the way we operate, whether at a desk or travelling the world, we’ve enhanced decision-making, streamlined processes, and can maintain the high level of customer service that AJW is known for.
The intuitive nature of HubSpot has made it easy for our teams to navigate and leverage its features effectively providing the 360-degree single source of truth we needed to improve collaboration, eliminate silos, and foster an interconnected and informed work environment.
Agne Noden, Director - Group Business Development, AJW
AJW Group transforms aviation efficiency. We’ve transformed them.
Organisations of AJW Group’s size and complexity don’t adopt new systems overnight. Like the aircraft it maintains, the group is a miracle of moving parts, every day a collaborative endeavour between people and technology. Like any organisation, its future depended on its technology’s ability to talk to each other, and its people’s ability to do the same.
Just as the Wright brothers experienced several crashes before lift-off, the organisation founded so long ago by Anthony James Walter overcame previous implementation setbacks, persevering in the face of its incumbent systems and a challenging marketplace to innovate. Now, with its people on-board, and all its data in one place, you could say the sky’s the limit.
If I were to sum up our experience with BabelQuest, I would choose: "Transformational, Expertise-driven, and Empowering."
BabelQuest’s expertise has been instrumental to the successful implementation, they have not only optimised HubSpot to its full potential but also ensured that we are fully equipped to utilise the tools.
Lucinda Wates, Campaign Manager, AJW