As Web Manuals (Booth S109) marked a decade in business last month, co-founder and CEO Martin Lidgard organized some of the Malmo, Sweden-based company’s nearly 60 employees for a “world tour.” To accomplish that, employees were split into teams of two or three people visiting three to four of its customers in about 70 countries.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the team,” Lidgard told AIN. “Half the team has worked at the company for maybe a year and a half or less. So there are a lot of people who haven’t had the chance to visit customers or see the inside of the industry. Our team will be learning about what the reason is for us being here. On top of that, they’ll gain all these insights to be able to innovate around and improve our services and our products. This is sort of a post-Covid activity to reconnect with the industry.”
Web Manuals got its start as an extension of a company providing a “general web solution platform” that Lidgard and his partners founded. That company’s clients included airline and travel customers, and one of them asked Lidgard to provide PDF distribution that required its employees to sign that they had read the document.
“They were really happy with it,” he said. “It saved them two full-time equivalents just with that simple solution.” That eventually led to the formation of Web Manuals, which was initially funded with proceeds from the sale of the web solutions company. The company started with eight customers and six employees, and now has more than 450 customers, 2,000 users, and almost five dozen employees.
The company offers digital documents and related services for small to midsize commercial and business aviation companies, as well as MROs, airports, flight academies, helicopter operators, and eVTOL and drone companies. Documents it deals with are primarily on the operational side, such as flight operations manuals, maintenance manuals, cabin crew manuals, safety manuals, and security manuals. “Anything related to how the operation of the business is going,” Lidgard said.
Europe is where the company has seen its biggest successes, with about 15 percent of the market there. In the U.S., the company has “just a fraction” of the market. A third of its business comes from wet-lease companies and regional airlines, while another third comes from business aviation. The remaining third includes helicopter operators and airports.
Lidgard said there are plenty of opportunities to expand its market share in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. “Growing in Asia and North and South America is definitely a top priority at this point,” he added.
In terms of industry sectors, Lidgard explained that ground handlers and air traffic control organizations show promise as new segments to tap for Web Manuals. “I think safety is a topic that’s coming up more and more,” he added. “More attention from authorities and standards organizations in terms of the non-flying side of aviation. There’s great opportunity beyond what we originally foresaw.”