What Keeps You Up At Night?

It’s a great question. Certainly not an easy one to hear. But it’s a question that’s been on my mind following a day-long meeting we had to discuss long-range planning for Ground Support Worldwide . Of course, everybody’s bound to toss and turn...


It’s a great question. Certainly not an easy one to hear. But it’s a question that’s been on my mind following a day-long meeting we had to discuss long-range planning for Ground Support Worldwide.

Of course, everybody’s bound to toss and turn over the uncertainty of the economic times we’ve all been enduring for several years. Just when it looks like things are picking up, it all comes to an abrupt end with news of a potential national collapse in Greece. Or was it Italy? Or maybe it was Portugal. For us in the U.S., a recent headline in USA Today put it well: “Consumers Won’t Spend Until Economy Improves, Which It Won’t Until Consumers Spend.”

If we had some degree of certainty, we could make plans – buy equipment, hire more people, build an addition. But the uncertain make no plans.

Let’s be more certain about our uncertainty. Only then can we think about how to confront problems that we do have more control over than we might think. Afterward, we can all go to bed with solutions on our minds rather than worries.

We did identify a few major issues that are keeping Ground Support Worldwide readers up at night. The cost of equipment, for one. And not just the price tag of a brand-new tug, but the cost of maintaining a 20-year-old model. What options do you have when it turns 25? Or 30? Buy new? Buy reconditioned? What’s new in financing a GSE fleet? What about electric? Can you count on it through three shifts?

Another cause for insomnia was employee retention or, rather, employee training. I understand ground service can mean low pay, but how much does it really cost if the new guy, who doesn’t know any better because no one told him any better, plows the belt loader into the side of the plane? I know that plane’s not going anywhere, but why did it have to happen at all? Are there any outside training consultants who you may not know about who could help set up a training program? What have you tried for training?

The work of ground service sounds straightforward, but since I’ve walked around planes at gates over the past few months, it’s easy to see how razor thin the margin of error is for such “simple” work.

I’m sure you’d agree with some of our further discussions, but I’d rather get the ball rolling and hear more from GSW readers. You can email me at steve.smith@cygnus.com or call (920) 563-1644. Or join our LinkedIn group. We’re also less than 30 days away from revamping how we communicate on the Web. So stay tuned online.

So what does keep you up at night? Ask yourself. Ask others. And let me know what you decide.

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