Prepare For 2012
Control What You Can!
Back in the late summer of 2008- I was with a group of aviation professionals meeting with a major aviation lender. Late in the afternoon of the first day is when the global economy headed off a cliff into the great abyss.
The stock marked tanked; the people in that meeting who had smart phones were checking the market and their retirement accounts- and were only half present in the meeting; even at the 2008 NBAA Convention- folks were still more focused on the financial news than on what was happening at NBAA. I know I was…
At some point I felt sort of numb - I realized that I'd better get my own smart phone so I could stop asking people why the frown-face and get the news for myself! Slow-forward to today- and we still are facing a lot of bad news:
• Will BARR be lost forever?
• Will user fees come back?
• Who will win the 2012 election?
• Are we in a double-dip recession?
There are so many major issues dominating aviation that it can get you down! While we can have some impact on the major issues (write your Congressperson- vote- etc)- regarding our aviation operations we need to pay close attention to what we can control.
One of the beautiful things about flying is that you have little choice but to focus on the task at hand - otherwise things can get out of hand! You cannot fly an approach to minimums while having a heated political discussion. You need to focus-in on what you can control. As aviation managers- that means your operational excellence- cost management and strategic planning.
Operational excellence means keep working on improving your business- and flying-skills. Keep plugging away on that Masters’ degree- and don't skimp on the safety and training budget.
Cost management means keeping track of your costs. You need more than a few cost accounts to effectively manage your budget. (Speaking of budgets- 2012 is coming - so now is a good time to work on your budget. Make sure that you can communicate these costs to the executive decision makers. They can't have any surprises. And you can't manage what you can't measure.)
Strategic planning means looking ahead at least three to five years. Is your utilization increasing? Are there future upgrades to the aircraft required? When should you replace your aircraft? Are you getting a new aircraft?
Are you prepared for the questions from the executives about why the aircraft 'costs so much'? If all else fails- go wax your airplane. While we may not know what the economy will do- and whether the aviation operation we have now will continue as it is- we need to do all those things that keep us prepared.
Besides- waxing the aircraft has a therapeutic effect (and results in reduced drag- thus saving fuel and reducing greenhouse emissions).
David Wyndham is an owner of Conklin & de Decker. The mission of Conklin & de Decker is to furnish the general aviation industry with objective and impartial information in the form of professionally developed and supported products and services- enabling its clients to make more informed decisions when dealing with the purchase and operation of aircraft. With over 1-800 clients in 90 countries around the world- Conklin & de Decker combines aviation experience with proven business practices.
More information from www.conklindd.com; Tel: +1 508 255 5975
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