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Monday
Mar272017

FBO Operations Tip: Want a Stronger Bottom Line? Mind Your Fuel Margin

Consulting with various FBOs over the years, we have discussed a strategy for improving bottom line performance that several FBOs have utilized with positive results. In a nutshell: Mind your fuel margin, and don’t be afraid to raise your fuel price.

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Wednesday
Feb152017

Kick the Tires, Light the Fires: FBO Industry Poised to Take off in 2017

At the Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference last week, we encountered nothing short of unbridled enthusiasm for an industry on the cusp of recovery after nearly a decade of depressed fuel sales, fluctuating fuel prices and consolidation.

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Tuesday
Feb072017

2016 FBO Fuel Sales Survey Shows Mixed Bag Results, Forecast for 2017 Is Very Bullish

Although FBO fuel sales were mixed in 2016, the industry widely expects sales to increase in 2017, according to the results of the Annual FBO Fuel Sales Survey released today by Aviation Business Strategies Group at the Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Thursday
Jan262017

How to Run a Better FBO in 2017

By John L. Enticknap and Ron R. Jackson, Principals, Aviation Business Strategies Group (ABSG)

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average punching through the 20,000-point ceiling, a new president taking office and an economic engine that seems to be cranking out more horsepower, there is a lot of buzz going on within various U.S. business sectors, including the FBO industry, for a healthy recovery in 2017.

Recently we sent out our Annual FBO Fuel Sales Survey and early returns indicate that there is a new wave of optimism spreading across the country for a recovery in 2017.  The final results of our FBO Fuel Sales Survey, as well as our FBO Industry Forecast, will be released at the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, Feb. 7-10, Ft. Worth, Texas. For reference, here is the link to the 2016 survey

With all this good news coming in, here is a look at some successful business strategies we recommend for FBO owners and operators to think about in 2017.

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 1. Increase Operational Productivity
  a. Establish performance goals for customer service delivery,
  b. Measure the productivity of your line service department and maintenance activities.
  c. Increase fuel sales at point of connection.

2. Produce Better Financials
  a. Fine-tune your financial dashboard and obtain information you can act on.
  b. Conduct a market study to help establish better fuel margins.
  c. Measure your financial returns through cash flow analysis and financial ratios.

 3. Mitigate Risk

  a. Create a safety-minded culture.
  b. Invest in an employee training program such as NATA's Safety 1st program.
  c. Develop a strong safety management system (SMS).

4. Build Long-term, Profitable Customer Relationships
  a. Train all employees in good customer service practices.
  b. Empower employees to resolve customer issues at the point of transaction.
  c.  Provide consistent service which builds customer trust.

Along with these strategies, we recommend a continuing education program for the FBO owner, operator, manager and supervisor. Author Stephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about the habit of sharpening the saw, a metaphor for having a balanced program of self renewal.

An excellent source for continuing education and self renewal within the FBO industry is to attend the next NATA's FBO Success Seminar which will be held March 7-8 in New Orleans. These strategies and others will be discussed in more detail.

Please leave a comment on this subject below. If you have any questions, please give us a call or send us an email: jenticknap@bellsouth.com, 404-867-5518; ronjacksongroup@gmail.com, 972-979-6566.

ABOUT THE BLOGGERS:

John Enticknap has more than 35 years of aviation fueling and FBO services industry experience and is an IS-BAH accredited auditor. Ron Jackson is co-founder of Aviation Business Strategies Group and president of The Jackson Group, a PR agency specializing in FBO marketing and customer service training. Visit the biography page or absggroup.com for more background.

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© 2017 ABSG

Monday
Dec192016

NBAA Convention Focus Stays on Safety for Operators and FBOs

By John L. Enticknap and Ron R. Jackson, Principals, Aviation Business Strategies Group (ABSG)

With more than 27,000 attendees descending on Orlando, Fla., for the annual National Business Aviation Association convention Nov. 1-3, there were more than enough attractions and distractions to keep us busy for the duration of the show. 

Besides the more than 1000 exhibits catching our eye at the Orange County Convention Center plus the aircraft static display at Orlando Executive Airport, we had to constantly stay engaged with our main goal of getting a feel for what FBO operators and aircraft owners were thinking with regards to the state of the business aviation industry.

For the most part, the mood was light and guardedly optimistic. Our informal spot fuel sales survey of several FBOs showed some surprising results with several operators reporting above average aircraft movements the past few months. In fact, one operator indicated they uplifted a record amount of Jet-A fuel in October.

We attended several educational forums to get an idea of what aircraft operators are concentrating on to provide the highest level of safety while operating in the business aviation environment.  We also wanted to obtain a perspective on what aircraft operators are expecting from their FBO providers with regards to meeting safety standards.

Several aircraft operators we talked to who fly internationally are adhering to the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO). They find that the process of adopting the standard, which includes incorporating a safety management system (SMS), changes the internal culture of a flight department to become more safety conscious.

To some, an active SMS program provides greater visibility to what’s going on within the safety culture. One operator said employees in the company have a great outlet with an SMS system in place to voice their concerns about safety issues because they see the results put into practice.

“It’s the greatest safety enhancement since TCAS,” one chief pilot said. “It makes us better and makes the company better.”

For FBOs, the International Standard for Business Aviation Handlers (IS-BAH) registration program is the equivalent to the IS-BAO program for aircraft operators. It also incorporates an SMS program and is designed to help enhance an internal safety culture.

We asked several aircraft operators that if two or more FBOs were in consideration for servicing their aircraft, and at least one was IS-BAH registered, would they select the IS-BAH registered FBO over the other choice or choices? They all indicated that an IS-BAH registered FBO would receive a more favorable consideration. 

To find out more about the IS-BAH registration process, please read our blog post: Is IS-BAH Right for Your Operation?  Also, another blog post might be helpful: Creating an SMS Environment a Plus for FBOs.

Please leave a comment on this subject below. If you have any questions, please give us a call or send us an email: jenticknap@bellsouth.com, 404-867-5518; ronjacksongroup@gmail.com, 972-979-6566.

ABOUT THE BLOGGERS:

John Enticknap has more than 35 years of aviation fueling and FBO services industry experience and is an IS-BAH Accredited auditor. Ron Jackson is co-founder of Aviation Business Strategies Group and president of The Jackson Group, a PR agency specializing in FBO marketing and customer service training. Visit the biography page or absggroup.com for more background.

SUBSCRIBE:

Subscribe to the AC-U-KWIK FBO Connection Newsletter

© 2016 ABSG

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