Meet the Team. Anna Balan. Product Manager


26 May 2022

- Hello Anna, please, tell us about yourself. Did you have any experience in aviation before working in Awery?

Hi, it was not in aviation specifically but I have been working in the logistics sphere for the last 7 years - I worked for an international shipping company and was dealing with truck and marine shipments,  after that I joined a startup business in the aviation industry as an operational manager. I really liked the innovative spirit and drive for constant improvement, so a job in Aviation  IT was the  obvious direction for me. So Awery was the perfect company to join, where I started as a project manager. 

- Did the knowledge and skills you acquired at your previous company help you when you became a project manager in Awery?

Yes, sure. In my previous workplace I was in charge of Flight planning and operational management like documents preparation for customers and crew. We also used an ERP system for the processes automation so when I started in Awery I was acquainted with the workflow on the customer side and had had experience in ERP system adaptation process as a member of the customer project team. It really helped me be on the same page with Awery’s clients from the first day and have a good understanding of their business pain points.

- Anna, how did you become the product manager for CargoBooking?

Since I joined Awery, my job was taking care of our customers during the implementation stage and managing the system customizations. I was responsible for clients who use the Awery ERP modules for Air Charter Brokers and Cargo Airlines and supervised new features development for them. So when the company decided to launch a new product for automating the interaction between Air Cargo market participants I was excited about thai innovation and applied to lead it. 

- What is the most challenging part of your work?

When you deal with a new product in a tightly competitive market a lot of aspects are challenging. However, the most important and challenging goal for us is providing customized solutions according to each Airlines and GSAs’ requirements in a short period of time. Processes, pricing models are unique in each company so we face new approaches, rules, and policies that have to be implemented rapidly.

- CargoBooking team- what does it look like?

Generally, there are more than 30 people involved in the process. 

There are 5 people specifically dedicated to CargoBooking and, also we share with Awery ERP development, QA, and design team. I work with Vladimir, our COO in the development team on resource allocation issues. With the delivery manager, Taras, who is in charge of creating customizations and launching system setups for new customers. Nikolay and Yana both combine support and development tasks, onboarding and day-to-day questions. Yaroslav supervises back-end development and new functionality development.

- Could you please, describe your typical working day?

Ok, so first of all I check my mailbox and customers’ tasks monitoring system to be sure that everything is OK with clients' systems. After that we have a short team meeting to discuss the days priorities. Usually, I have 2-3 meetings per day with client follows and presentations to new ones, as well as internal meetings with colleagues: marketing, development teams, check-up meetings and  management. 

Now our team and my efforts are dedicated to creating step-by-step user guides. The system is changed constantly, so our materials must be updated all the time.

- Anna, what plans does the team have for CargoBooking in 2022? Are there some main directions for product development?

We have a lot of plans for new functionality development and system usage growth.

If we talk about the functionality development roadmap, I would say that the main direction for us for 2022 is making the booking creation and management process more flexible and rapid. 

Two months ago we launched a new tool, eMagic, that gives CargoBooking users the ability to automatically convert emails, tables, and images into digital requests. This tool uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology. Every day we work on improvements to make images and text recognition more precise and effective.

Our second goal is to give users the ability to make changes in their bookings, develop easy rates and capacity management directly through CargoBooking.

Another functionality we are going to work on is related to improving the system interface and interaction between GSA and Freight Forwarders workflow and providing integrations with Airlines IT systems. 

-Anna, please, tell us a bit about your life outside of work.

Ha, ok. So, I like sports. My passion is gymnastics. I love reading, especially books about psychology & finance. Recently I’ve finished a course about financial markets and financial management. 

Oh yes, the main one -  from December 2021 I joined the program Women in Aviation and Logistics, this is a great opportunity for women to receive support and mentorship from the best professionals in the industry.

Thank you, Anna, hope we will hear a lot of great news from CargoBooking and you in the nearest future.