Feb 14, 2021

Workplace transformation: before and after COVID-19

Georgia Wilson
5 min
Business Chief EMEA speaks to Elie Khatami, Customer Support VP, EMEAI, Honeywell Aerospace on the workplace environment before and after COVID-19
Business Chief EMEA speaks to Elie Khatami, Customer Support VP, EMEAI, Honeywell Aerospace on the workplace environment before and after COVID-19...

As we come to the close of January 2021, Business Chief EMEA reflects on the workplace environment prior to the impact of COVID-19 back in March 2020, and looks forward to the emerging trends in 2021 and how the aerospace industry has evolved due to COVID-19.

Honeywell and the workplace environment prior to the outbreak of COVID-19

“Prior to COVID-19, our local support team had a strong physical presence at customers’ sites along with frequent leadership visits at our key customers’ location,” began Elie Khatami, Customer Support VP, EMEAI, Honeywell Aerospace. “However, aligned with the current situation, we have adapted to a virtual presence but our focus on customer satisfaction remains the same. In fact, our focus has increased even more because we believe during these unprecedented times our customers need us more than ever.”

One of the key highlights for Honeywell Aerospace prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 included the company’s Annual Operator Conference. “While we can’t wait to see our customers again at our conference, until then we will continue to share our product improvements, advancements and updates via webinars/podcasts. Lastly, we used to organise our Technical Coordination Meetings, product training and others at our site which is now virtual,” adds Khatami.

Being a technology leader in the aerospace industry, Khatami explains that Honeywell Aerospace offers a diverse product and services portfolio covering engines and power systems, wheels and brakes, avionics, and electrical and mechanical components, to help make flying safer and smarter. When it comes to the company’s technology focuses and strategies prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Khatami explains that “Honeywell Aerospace is committed to our long-term goal of becoming one of the world’s leading software industrial companies by integrating products and services through connected technologies.”

Finally three key trends that Khatami experienced prior to COVID-19 included: 

1. Connected offerings for flight operations, flight efficiency and connected maintenance from a single user interface driving sustainability, optimising operations, and reducing costs with advanced analytics. 

2. Cost savings via applications such as Honeywell Forge which has been implemented globally across a diverse range of airlines and aircraft, providing an immediate impact. 

3. Improved customer experience by identifying growth opportunities and understanding the needs of customers in order to offer the best solutions. 

Honeywell and the workplace environment’s transformation following the outbreak of COVID-19

In comparison to the industry prior to COVID-19, Khatami explains that “the pandemic had an overwhelming effect across all industries, and we are prepared to adapt to changes and drive our strategy as situations demand.”

During the ongoing pandemic, Honeywell Aerospace has had to reduce face-to-face interaction with its customers, “however we are making sure that we are always available for our customers for whatever they need, when they need and where they need,” adds Khatami. “We have increased customer touch points by means of virtual platforms and our technical support engineers are always on standby to remotely connect and troubleshoot any technical issue.”

Listening to its customers, Honeywell Aerospace has also implemented changes to the way customers can interact with the company with the introduction of its new Hub, which is manned 24/7. 

“Some of the employees in this Hub are highly experienced with more than 20 years of experience. We have housed them together in a single operations center at least until we are allowed to return to site but till then it includes our Technical Field Service Engineers, AOG fulfilment team, Honeywell Connected team and Technical Pilots. This will allow much faster collaboration internally to resolve customer issues quicker,” says Khatami.

In addition to these measures taken, Honeywell Aerospace took actions to reduce multiple contact numbers down to one. “We are also working on a ‘single’ case that will be used for all customer issues negating the need for a customer to have multiple interactions with different Honeywell teams. We will also continue our focus towards digitisation of order management via machine-to-machine with fewer manual intervention to increase efficiency and speed. Our much improved, easy to navigate and award-winning portal is an example of enhanced customer experience which we will continue to improve,”adds Khatami.

Reflecting on what it believes to be core technology focuses and strategies now - compared to prior to COVID-19 - Khatami comments that “core technology focus and strategies remain in place, which is being further strengthened by bringing new technologies from our safety and hygiene side of the business.” 

With speed to market being of the essence, Honeywell introduced its Honeywell UV Treatment System shortly after the pandemic set in. Airlines who have already deployed the UV Treatment System include JetBlue, Azul Airlines and Qatar Airways. “In clinical studies, ultraviolet light has been found to be capable of significantly reducing certain viruses and bacteria when properly applied at prescribed levels. The Honeywell UV Treatment System can treat an aircraft cabin in less than 10 minutes for just a few dollars per flight for midsize to large airline fleets.”

Finally three key trends that Khatami seeing in the industry following the outbreak of COVID-19 include: 

1. Online tools which are becoming the norm, such as Honeywell Aerospace’s GoDirect Trade platform, “a one-stop online trading portal for new and used Aerospace products.”

2. Aircraft Hygiene products such as Honeywell Aerospace’s UV Treatment Systems that are both efficient and cost effective. 

3. Growing demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which in response Honeywell Aerospace has launched an array of PPE that not only protects airports and airline workers, but airline passengers too. “Currently, we offer two versions of our Honeywell Safety Packs for air travel: one for passengers and one for the flight crew. To address growing demand for masks during the outbreak of Covid-19, we quickly ramped up production to make millions of the N95 masks in both the United States and India. Our facilities in Smithfield, Rhode Island and Phoenix in the US together produce more than 20 million N95 disposable masks monthly to combat COVID-19 in the US.”

Share article

Jun 10, 2021

People Moves EMEA: Kearney, KPMG, Oliver Wyman, Skoda

Kate Birch
4 min
Consulting and sustainability take centrestage this week with executive movements at Kearney, KPMG, Oliver Wyman, Skoda, Syngenta and Laing O’Rourke

It’s been a busy week for executive transitions across EMEA and especially in the world of consulting, with partner/CEO announcements at Oliver Wyman, KPMG and Kearney, and in the role of head of sustainability, with new CSO appointments at Laing O’Rourke and Syngenta Group.

We round up the biggest executive moves across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Nick Studer announced as CEO of consulting giant Oliver Wyman

Set to take the top job at consulting giant Oliver Wyman next month, Nick Studer has been named CEO and Dual President of the firm’s economic and brand consulting subsidiaries NERA and Lippincott and will be based in London. Having been with Oliver Wyman for more than two decades, becoming partner in 2003, Studer has since served in a variety of international leadership roles, including head of Global Corporate and Institutional banking Practice, before becoming managing partner at the start of 2021.

According to Dan Glaser, CEO of Oliver Wyman parent Marsh McLennan, Studer has not just led many of the firm’s practices, but he “has been a leading voice for change and a major driver of our Inclusion and Diversity agenda”.

Delphine Bourrilly to lead Kearney in France

Seasoned consultant Delphine Bourrilly has been appointed leader of consulting firm Kearney for France, one of the firm’s larger locations in Europe, becoming fifth head of the Paris office. Having been with Kearney for more than a decade, most recently leading the Leadership, Change and Organisation practice across Europe, Bourrilly has an array of client successes under her consulting belt, including overseeing an operating model transformation at a large retailer. Prior to this, she spent five years at UBS. According to Geir Olsen, Head of Europe at Kearney, Bourrilly’s “talent, energy and charisma will be critical in leading Kearney through its next growth phase in France”.

Roland Villinger becomes head of corporate and product strategy, Skoda Auto

A consulting veteran, Roland Villinger has been appointed head of Skoda Auto’s corporate and product strategy, a newly created area for the Czech car manufacturer that combines two departments. Described by Skoda’s CEO Thomas Schafer as “an international experienced leader and proven digital expert”, Villinger most recently oversaw the implementation of Volkswagen Group strategy and was also previously chief strategy officer and chief digital officer at Audi AG. Prior to this, he spent 25 years at consultancy McKinsey including serving as a senior partner and running McKinsey’s operations in the APAC region.

Hanan Alowain promoted to Partner, public sector, KPMG

Becoming the second Saudi female partner in the history of KPMG, Hanan Alowain has been promoted to Partner in the firm’s Public Sector function. With 14 years of experience in human capital and social development in the Kingdom, including the last three and a half years at KPMG, Alowain is a Harvard Business School graduate with extensive experience both in the public sector, as director of research and development for the Saudi government’s Ministry of Labour, and the private sector, including as a partner at investment & development group Eradah.

Vicky Bullivant named Laing O’Rourke’s first-ever group head of sustainability

Seasoned ESG leader Vicky Bullivant is joining Laing O’Rourke as its first-ever group head of sustainability from Drax Group where she was head of sustainable business and responsible for developing the firm’s climate ambition, social strategy and community and charity policies. Having led the world’s first company ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, and the UK’s first energy company to commit to improving skills and education for one million people by 2025, Bullivant boasts 25 years of ESG business experience in highly regulated sectors, FTSE 100 companies, government and NGOs.

Bullivant spent eight years at Experian, where she was head of corporate affairs and community, nearly four years as head of corporate responsibility at Eon, five years as group head of sustainability at Rolls-Royce, where she turned around the firm’s performance in the Dow Jones Sustainability index, as well as sustainability heads at Tate & Lyle and Drax Group.

Daniel Vennard joins Syngenta Group as new CSO

Former global director at the World Resources Institute Daniel Vennard has been appointed chief sustainability officer for Syngenta Group. Based in Basel, Switzerland, Vennard will be responsible for developing and implementing the Group’s sustainability into its business strategy. Bringing extensive experience in the development of sustainability strategies and in launching global sustainability programmes that deliver growth and impact, Vennard most recently served as global director at the World Resources Institute, Vennard founded the Better Buying Lab bringing together scientists to develop, test and scale innovations that help consumers opt for sustainable plant-based food.

Prior to this he spent 15 years at Mars and Procter & Gamble in sustainability, corporate strategy and marketing and brings “creativity and remarkable expertise in sustainability” that will “help us further advance regenerative farming practices and help mitigate the harmful effects of global warming”, says Erik Fyrwald, CEO, Syngenta Group.


Share article