Three Things You Can Do Right Now to Optimize Operations in 2016 (Part 1)

While the calendar says 2016 is still a few weeks away, for most flight departments, the New Year planning is well underway. In this two-part series, we’re going to show you easily leveraged opportunities that exist inside and outside of your flight operation to get the most out of the coming year.

In part one, we want you to take a look inside your operation and consider one, two or all three of these simple ideas for 2016:

  1. Think “Big Picture” Optimization—Optimization has different meanings for schedulers, dispatchers, flight crews and passengers. Don’t just focus on your siloed definition of optimization (fuel savings, for example). Remember that optimization in one area can easily ‘deoptimize’ another. Resist the temptation to give in to the generic definitions of optimization (save time, save money, etc.) and ask, “What is the goal of this specific trip? Where should we focus to achieve, or surpass, that specific goal?”
  2. Get Closer, Not Further Apart—Too often, trips are created the same way an airplane is built—fuselage, wings, tail, etc. Assembly lines are efficient when you want to reliably and efficiently produce the exact same thing every time. But have you ever had two trips that were exactly alike? Instead of an assembly line approach, why not huddle at key intervals like a football team? Imagine your team—schedulers, dispatchers, flight crews, even passengers—circled together, focused on one goal while respecting the role that each person plays in achieving it. When you find a huddle style that works for your team, you’ll see they are more confident/focused, make fewer mistakes and are generally more efficient.
  3. Sharpen Your Tools—Articles and publications dating back to 1956 have some variation of this quote: A woodsman was once asked, “What would you do if you had just five minutes to chop down a tree?” He answered, “I would spend the first two and a half minutes sharpening my axe.” Sixty years later, the message still resonates—especially for your flight operation. While your white boards, Post-It Notes and spreadsheets are working, are they truly your sharpest tools? Technological advancements and mobile computing are driving the creation of countless new tools for flight operations. An small investment in just one, along with the proper training, can help sharpen performance by boosting productivity, changing perspectives and fueling morale. And, pairing a new tool with a motivated staff will create new ideas for efficient operations that no one has even imagined yet.


These ideas aren’t new. In fact, they probably rank somewhere between Eat Right and Exercise More on your list of 2016 resolutions. So, think of this post as a nudge to finally pick an idea or two—and just do it.

In two weeks, look for Part 2 of series, where we’ll show that looking outside your operation can spur success just as much as looking inward. Need more tips on optimizing your operations in 2016? Jeppesen can help. Just contact your trusted Customer Service representative directly. Or, you can email or call (800) 553-7750.

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