Managing a corporate flight department today requires a multitude of talents and abilities. More and more, what you need to know falls outside of the traditional aviation skill set.
For example, you may find yourself in a situation where neither you nor anybody else in the organization is an expert in a particular area of need. Or, perhaps your flight department enjoys great diversity in its internal skill sets, but you just don’t have the bandwidth to get everything done.
You Don’t Have to Do it All
Whatever the case may be, seeking outside help from a third-party is often a good idea. But wait, there’s a problem here.
The DNA of the prototypical aviation professional often makes that a difficult decision. The reaction to a tough organizational challenge on the horizon very often is, ‘Give me the yoke, I’ll get us through this myself!’
As you know, aviation professionals are ‘take charge’ people and are inherently reluctant to admit that there just maybe things they can’t do well on their own.
As an Aviation Director, you need to move beyond that thinking and make smart business decisions.
A flight department is a ‘business within a business’ and you need to start thinking like a CEO in new, and perhaps nontraditional, ways.
5 Reasons to Partner with a Trusted Business Aviation Consultant
Below are the Top 5 reasons why today’s leading Aviation Directors are reaching out and partnering with at least one outside business aviation consultant. They’re doing so accomplish the challenging goals and objectives that have been placed upon them.
1. Specialized Skills
It takes a pretty broad experience base to run a flight department today, and not many Aviation Directors come equipped with it all.
Those who have come up through the key functional areas such as Flight Operations, Maintenance or Scheduling, may feel like a fish out of water when asked to speak the language of business or address business issues that have been placed before them.
For instance, you may be asked to generate a fleet plan with a quantitative analysis of capacity and demand, or to weigh-in on the financing or tax implications of an upcoming aircraft purchase.
This might be tough to do if you’ve spent your entire career in the cockpit.
A trusted outside advisor can help you speak the language of business and develop a solid response in a short period of time.
2. Force Multiplication
Flight department teams don’t have a lot of bandwidth. If sized right, you’re pretty-much consumed managing the day-to-day operations and ensuring the crisp execution of your mission.
If a big project comes along, such as IS-BAO registration, you likely don’t have the internal resources to get it done in a timely fashion. Sure, you can achieve IS-BAO registration with internal resources, but it would likely take a year or more.
With a trusted advisor and outside resources, you can cut that time in half. Because outside resources come and go around your needs, they are a cost-effective way to take-on big projects.
Make sure you have capacity at the ready when high-priority and/or short-cycle time initiatives arise.
3. Imminent Deadlines
Nothing happens in business today with enough lead time. Everything is required yesterday. The speed of business is lightning fast and you must be ready.
When you get the call to ‘evaluate a new basing strategy and provide the revised operating budget and manpower projections by midweek,’ you can’t ask for a reprieve.
An ongoing relationship with a trusted outside advisor can help get the job done accurately and on time.
The most successful Aviation Directors make sure they are always in a position to provide ready answers, not excuses.
4. Shrinking Resource Pool
Large corporations today are challenged to do more with less. The internal cost pressures on publicly traded companies is enormous. The result is a marked decrease in corporate overhead and staff support, and the support from corporate that you used to enjoy is just not there anymore.
As an Aviation Department leader, you must be able to accomplish more with less corporate support. The organizational competency of ‘working independently’ is more important than ever.
With a trusted outside advisor, you can reach out and access your own ‘corporate support staff’ whenever you need it. And you can be sure they will be there.
5. Outside Perspective
There’s a well-known biblical passage that says, ‘no prophet is accepted in his own country.’
Like it or not, this is sometimes true in business. There may be instances where you simply need to draw upon an outside advisor to help make your internal business case. The unbiased, external perspective on industry practice that an outside advisor can provide may just be the ‘tipping point’ that helps you achieve your objectives and win your case.
Select an outside advisor who has a broad perspective on the industry and an unblemished reputation of outstanding client service.
Using outside resources and building a relationship with a trusted outside advisor is not a weakness, but a strength. It’s not an option, but a necessity. It’s an essential element among the Aviation Director’s options for innovative and creative approaches to today’s myriad of complex business issues.
What experiences have you had as a result of relying upon a strategic business aviation consultant? What advice, if any, do you have for someone who has yet to outsource a project for the first time? We encourage you to offer industry feedback in the comments below!