Amongst the many problems FBOs are now facing after losses of 80-100% traffic in Q1/Q2, is how to significantly reduce cost in order to recover revenue. Cost saving is not a new issue and yet now the industry requires a far more effective solution to achieve impactful results. We explore how an FBO/Handling Network and their Partner locations can tighten their belts whilst actively improving the group wide customer experience and premium delivery of services that clients want to return for, through 3 measurable actions.
1. Reduction in team size by utilising the cloud and automation
During the pandemic FBOs ran with skeleton crews, or not at all. Suddenly locations with 16+ crew members were run by teams of 3, and smaller sites by a single Manager. Coping with the Handling; Scheduling; tracking of updates; communicating with Immigration Authorities, their Partner FBOs, Managers and Client Operators, became impossible without error.
Working beyond the limit is unsustainable, but returning to pre-pandemic ‘normal’ is no longer an option.
Businesses must adapt and look to cloud-based multi-site solutions to effectively manage their customers, staff and services and free up resources for winning and growing business.
Centralise your Finance team
How will multi-site FBOs condense their finance teams at each location? The automation in modern software around billing and invoicing means every FBO can be managed by a single team. You can set pricing and eradicate calculation errors, allow flexibility for diverse operations, access other parts of a system without having to communicate with other departments, and remove the cost of staff at every location.
Centralise your Ops team
Similarly, network FBOs are merging Ops teams so that only Handling staff need be at each location. Savings in office space alone can make the difference between a cost-efficient operation and expensive running of the FBO.
Establish uniformity across the network
When team members are sick or on leave, they can be covered by staff operating from another location: they pick up the same system, the same processes, the role their covering’s tasks, the customers accessing that location. Why expense the travel or use up time learning the ins and outs of that specific FBO?
2. Connect locations and partner FBOs
Connect your Partner FBOs and Operators
A key challenge faced by networks is maintaining connection and communication with partner FBOs and Handling Sites. Streamline the handling request process between the Network and the Partner FBOs or Handling Sites to automate data entry and keep communications and systems updated in real-time and at a minimum.
Allow view only-access to areas of your system for both parties to stay on top of operations without picking up the phone or sending another email. Receive automatic updates from each point of their handling process to keep track of the passenger journey for your Operator.
Set standards across the network
Achieving standards requires regular training, audits, client feedback and a team to keep track of service levels. Through uniform process creation within software you can check statuses, track SLA’s, report on any combination of data within the system and provide customer preferences as push notifications to ensure the highest levels of service across every location.
Customer retention is a constant priority for premium FBOs. Enhancing the customer experience through as personal and professional service as possible is the difference between a Passenger or Operator choosing your facility over the cheaper option across the ramp.
The solution is to make your customers feel like they are known, welcomed and valued. Your staff should be armed with knowledge of their journey and preferences, no matter the location or whether they have served the customer for a day or for 10 years. Deliver exceptional experiences.
Use the power of the network to understand your customer. Where are they travelling to and what services do they request? What would a marketing message say to them to offer similar services in other locations? Agile businesses are no longer relying on branding and customer loyalty. They are proactively building and retaining revenue from intelligent sales and marketing, with each FBO and their regular customers no longer a Silo, but an integral part of the network.
3. Remove paper and time-costly processes
As traffic gradually returns to pre-COVID levels with reduced teams still performing the same manual data workloads, the value of automation really becomes more apparent. Having the tools to cut down communications, reduce manual processes, and often remove them altogether can result in almost immediate cost savings. The automation of workflows enables staff to read off their task lists and receive real-time updates, without requiring briefing. Employees can concentrate on the premium customer service your business strives to achieve for increasing critical customer retention.
By combining the time, labour, communications and potential penalty costs due to manual errors and applying this across your business, it’s clear the value automation can bring to FBOs.
myairops – how we help
We need to be the member of your operating team dealing with all the tiresome and costly admin work. We want to be tracking delays to flights, credit limits on contracts, time taken to complete tasks and highlighting ways to improve. airops fbo enables you and your teams to have at their fingertips the operational and business intelligence that underpins best decision making and growth across the organisation, whilst sharing the customer details that mean your clients feel like they receive a personal experience at every location and keeps them coming back.