Safety first: Martin-Baker upgrades global trade compliance with AEB.

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Martin-Baker is the world’s leading manufacturer of ejection seats and related equipment. Safety and security are the number one priorities for the company, and with increasing regulatory requirements for global trade compliance and export controls, Martin-Baker decided to outsource previously self-managed IT processes and selected AEB – a leading provider of global trade and logistics solutions – as its software partner.

An aircraft ejection seat may represent an aircrew member’s last chance to survive. There can be no compromise – that’s a fact that Martin-Baker fully appreciates. It is the only company offering a fully integrated escape system that incorporates the very latest operational capability and safety standards. Aircrew safety has been the ultimate mission for Martin-Baker for over 67 years and, to date, the company has delivered around 80,000 ejection seats fitted to aircraft operated by over 90 air forces around the world and saved some 7,500 aircrew lives.

Martin-Baker is a successful, family-run business that is managed by the twin sons of the late founder, Sir James Martin. Like their father, the managing directors are engineers and run the day-to-day business together with a loyal and highly-skilled workforce. As a family business, it seemed natural to work with in-house developed systems to manage global trade compliance processes. But over time and with increasing regulatory requirements by UK, EU, and US authorities, this self-developed system reached its limits.

“Our IT landscape was no longer equipped to efficiently and effectively manage the increasing requirements of global trade, particularly the export control aspects. We were looking for a software partner to support our compliance objectives and ensure that we can continue to effectively manage UK controlled materials as well as the re-export of US-origin controlled materials”, explains John Buckler, Head of Commercial Operations at Martin-Baker. He is based at the company’s head office at its original site in Higher Denham, near Uxbridge in the UK. There are further locations in France, Italy, and the United States, and additional representatives all over the world. John Buckler is responsible for commercial and compliance management at Martin-Baker.

Martin-Baker’s customer base is truly global – the company currently serves clients across the aerospace and defence industry in about 90 countries. Its customers are government agencies and military and civil organisations, including most airframe manufacturers and air forces around the world. About 20,000 shipments leave the UK site near Uxbridge every year, 95 per cent of which are exports, and most articles are controlled materials subject to export licence requirements.

“Martin-Baker looked at the marketplace to identify potential suppliers of export compliance systems. We require powerful software functionality to manage UK, EU, and US export controls, which not all providers offer comprehensively. Smooth integration with SAP® system environments was another requirement that not all providers can deliver. AEB met all of Martin-Baker’s needs, and following the full assessment of potential suppliers, we selected AEB as software partner for global trade compliance and export controls.”

Martin-Baker opted for the following solutions from AEB’s comprehensive software portfolio: ASSIST4 Export Controls, ATC :: Compliance Screening, ATC :: License Management, and ASSIST4 Content Storage. The solutions are being implemented in a phased approach:  the first phase went live in January 2016, while the second phase is currently underway and will include the US export control functionality and license management modules.

About 60 users in Martin-Baker’s commercial, production, and shipping departments – including SAP-users, non-SAP users, and export control officers – will be working with the AEB solutions to ensure global trade compliance for all deliveries. The restricted-party screening solution will also be used by the Human Resources teams and includes around 42,500 restricted-party checks per year.

“Phase 1 of the project was a full success – with smooth integration and without any disruptions to the business. Our in-house users are very happy with the straightforward and user-friendly applications and our IT department very much appreciates the fact that updates, upgrades and maintenance will no longer be a burden. Once fully implemented, we will save time and money – and benefit from data accuracy and due diligence through automated and efficient screening and export controls processes. And importantly, we will have full peace of mind that we are in compliance with latest legislation at all times.” John Buckler explains. “We currently focus on the implementation of phase 2, but we’ve already started discussions about AEB’s solutions for automated product classification, export documents, and technology transfer management, and will also consider a roll-out of solutions to the US division of Martin-Baker.”

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