Page 4: Strategy
A strategy is the plan by which the aims and objectives will be put into action. NATS’ strategies centre around three key areas:
- Innovation – developing new and creative products and services to retain market position and grow the business
- Partnerships – creating alliances to strengthen its position and open up new markets
- People – enhancing the organisation’s skills and competencies so it has the resources to meet challenges.
NATS is moving from a UK-focused business to a global one. For example, new contracts for consultancy services in the USA, Middle East and Asia-Pacific have contributed to forward orders worth £495 million. NATS’ strengths in innovation are helping to deliver ground-breaking products and solutions. These will help it compete and establish the business as a market player in other countries, ensuring continued growth and expansion. For example, the ‘Heathrow Dashboard’ now provides live, real-time data on arrival and departure delays to help air traffic control operators make decisions.
Working with and through partners to deliver new solutions is helping NATS to expand its reach into global markets. For example, NATS has established a relationship in Spain with Ferroser, a private investor in transportation infrastructures. The joint venture (known as FerroNATS) enabled NATS to win a bid for running airport tower operations in Spain.
NATS’ services are dependent on the expertise and innovation that its people can deliver. NATS’ Human Resource Management strategy is focused not just on attracting but also retaining people with high levels of skill. NATS needs people with scientific or engineering backgrounds, as well as wider business skills such as finance, administration, intelligence gathering or sales. With its increasingly global markets, NATS people have the opportunity to work around the world.
NATS training and development schemes enable the organisation to continue to develop the competencies which give it competitive edge and drive its vision forwards. People may join NATS at all levels – from school or college as air traffic controllers or engineering technicians or as graduates on its science or engineering graduate schemes.
In addition, NATS also offers industrial placement schemes, where students can include a year working with NATS as part of their degree courses to develop skills and learn about the industry. NATS employees have opportunities to develop their abilities, for example, through secondments.
Effective strategies require careful assessment of the progress made during the timescale of the strategies being set. The monitoring of the changes is summarised in the final section of the case study.