Scott Salmirs

“Driving service excellence is our company DNA” – Scott Salmirs, CEO, ABM

Scott Salmirs, President and CEO of our parent company ABM Industries [pictured above with OmniServ Group Managing Director Antony Marke [R] and Blackjack Managing Director Jason Miles [L]], recently flew over to talk to OmniServ and Blackjack staff at our Heathrow headquarters, and we had the chance to sit down with him and get his thoughts on what’s going on in the aviation industry and what the future holds.

Scott highlighted two linked themes – technology and innovation – and discussed how ABM was leveraging them to deliver enhanced services to its corporate clients and business partners in a way that helps them deliver a better, smoother and more enjoyable experience both in airports and in the air to their clients, the passengers.

In terms of the technologies that are going to enable ABM to continue to provide clients, partners and passengers with the service levels they demand, Scott thinks beacon technology is “a real stand-out for us – to be able to geo-locate staff and assets across an airport is going to be able to help us leverage our people and to enhance the client experience.” ABM is already using beacon technology at a number of US airports and also increasingly at Heathrow, with plans to introduce it at more of the UK airports OmniServ works with.

He was amazingly complementary about the work we do at Blackjack, particularly in driving service excellence, which of course is a key part of our company DNA.

ABM has always had a service culture mentality, and Scott believes employee engagement is vital to maintaining that attitude. “You can’t fake a service culture. You can’t fake a service mentality,” Scott observed. “That is the strength of ABM Aviation. Invest in your people. Create engagement. Create an enriching environment and you’re going to end up having an amazing offering.”

Clients around the globe want the same thing – “they want first class service and they want it as efficiently as possible and that’s what we’re striving to do.”

Blackjack, he says, has a service attitude that is second to none – at airports: “You’ll always know who the Blackjack person is because they’re the first person that comes right up to you and goes above and beyond in customer service. And you see that enthusiasm just pop. That’s an amazing differentiator compared to our competitors.”

Blackjack is also hugely important for ABM Aviation because it associates the group with some of the world’s biggest and best-known brand names – “when you’re dealing with the kind of elite client base that Blackjack has, it elevates your entire brand.”

More than that, Blackjack exemplifies the very best in service culture: “Blackjack is leading the way at ABM in terms of elevated client experience. Blackjack is a division that ABM could lead with – it could create our expansion. In Europe, for example, what better way to lead into an airport where we don’t have a presence than through the Blackjack offering?”

Blackjack is also perfectly placed to take advantage of the way airports are changing from places you went to get somewhere else to places you enjoy visiting – destinations in their own right and increasingly “real centres of gravity for cities.” As airports morph into centres for business, commerce, shopping and even leisure within the world’s great cities, as well as travel hubs, Blackjack can blaze a trail for ABM as a whole.

Scott concludes: “Airports are changing character. When we have ABM Aviation and Blackjack in the middle of that centre of commerce and centre of shopping, it’s going to leverage the ABM brand beyond anyone’s expectations.”