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Entries in Annual FBO Fuel Sales Survey (8)

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

Friday
Oct282016

Business Jets, FBO Fuel Sales and the Pending Election

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

Normally we stay well clear of the political arena when developing content for this blog. However, a U.S. presidential election year can sometimes create a negative effect on the economy, which can spill over into the business aircraft sector and potentially result in less FBO fuel sales.

Recently we talked to a few FBO owners and operators who participated in our Annual FBO Fuel Sales Survey and Forecast, and they indicated that fuel sales have leveled off a bit this past quarter.

We conduct our survey in January and release the results at the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in February. In the survey, we ask FBOs not only to indicate their fuel sales in relative terms for the completed year, but also to forecast what their fuel sales will be for the year ahead.

AdvertisementOver the past several years, the forecast has held pretty close to the actual results. The forecast from our last survey indicated that the outlook for 2016 remains optimistic with more than 90 percent of respondents predicting the same or increased fuel sales this year compared to their 2015 results. Further, 58 percent of FBOs surveyed predicted an increase in fuel sales. Of those, 40 percent expect an increase of 1 to 4 percent; the remaining 18 percent forecast an increase of at least 5 to 8 percent.

The question is: Will this trend hold up for 2016, or will FBO fuel sales results mirror what some of the largest consumer companies have been experiencing during this election year?

In a report issued this month by Bloomberg, companies such as Yum! Brands, Gap, McDonald’s, Signet and others, blamed poor sales on the election process.

Here is an excerpt from the report:

To hear retail executives tell it, the battle for the presidency between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton is causing Americans to put off buying everything from romance novels at Barnes & Noble and jeans from the Gap to burritos at Yum! Brand Inc.’s Taco Bell. They might even be delaying wedding engagements, not good news for companies like Signet Jewelers Ltd.

“The preoccupation with this election is keeping them at home, glued to their TVs and at their desktops,” said Len Riggio, the founder and chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble Inc. This election is “unprecedented in terms of the fear, anger and frustration being experienced by the public.”

The question for our industry is: Do you feel the election has put a damper on the economy resulting in less FBO fuel sales? 

Please give us your answer in the space provided below.

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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© 2016 ABSG

Tuesday
Jan192016

FBO Fuel Sales Survey: 54 Percent of FBOs Say Fuel Sales Increased in 2015

Fifty-four percent of U.S. FBOs say their fuel sales increased in 2015 compared to 2014, according to the 2016 Annual FBO Fuel Sales Survey results released by Aviation Business Strategies Group at the 2016 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in Tampa, Fla.

Of the 54 percent of FBOs surveyed that reported increased fuel sales in 2015, 23 percent reported a 1 to 4 percent increase, 15 percent reported a 5 to 8 percent increase, and 16 percent reported an 8 percent or greater increase, ABSG principals John Enticknap and Ron Jackson say. Enticknap and Jackson are the AC-U-KWIK FBO Connection bloggers.

The increase in fuel sales in 2015 builds on increases in the two previous years. For 2014, 49 percent of responding FBOs reported a year-over-year increase in fuel sales. Surveyed about 2013, 43 percent of FBOs reported greater fuel sales compared to 2012.

“This is the first time since we started the survey that more than 50 percent of the respondents experienced an increase in fuel sales over the previous year,” Enticknap says.

Although a majority of FBOs reported increased sales, 28 percent of FBOs responding to the survey experienced a decrease in fuel sales in 2015, Enticknap says. The other 18 percent of FBOs says fuel sales were flat.

“This is still a fractured marketplace that is showing some positive signs of recovery,” Enticknap says.

FBOs also provided a forecast for 2016. Most FBOs participating in the survey — 58 percent — say they expect an increase in fuel sales in 2016 compared to 2015, Jackson says. Although no respondents expect to increase fuel sales by more than 8 percent, 18 percent expect a 5 to 8 percent increase, and 40 percent expect a 1 to 4 percent increase.

“Looking ahead, more than 90 percent of surveyed respondents said they expect to have the same or increased fuel sales this year compared to their 2015 results,” Jackson says. “If this forecast holds up, 2016 could prove to be a watershed year for the industry.”

These expectations for 2016 are similar to expectations FBOs had for 2015. One year ago, the Annual FBO Fuel Sales Survey found that 61 percent of FBOs were predicting an increase in 2015 fuel sales. In all, 89 percent had been expecting flat or increased fuel sales in 2015.

When asked about their expectations for the economy in general, 41 percent of the responding FBOs said the economy is not heading in the right direction, and 27 percent have a positive outlook about the economy. The rest — 32 percent — were undecided.

Transients’ Tankering Taking Hold

Finally, Enticknap and Jackson asked about fuel purchases by transient customers in this year’s survey.

“Nearly half the respondents indicated that up to 40 percent of aircraft customers coming onto their ramp did not buy fuel,” Enticknap says. “With the current U.S. FBO business model relying on fuel sales to fund their operation, this is an alarming development.”

Enticknap attributes this phenomenon of aircraft stopping on an FBO’s ramp without a fuel purchase to two factors. More flight departments are choosing to tanker fuel to their destinations and back to their bases. And more jets are more fuel efficient.

To adjust to this trend, Enticknap offers the advice he and Jackson share with FBOs at the NATA FBO Success Seminar: FBOs can charge customers a ramp fee and a fee to use the facility, he says.

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