Ground Clutter

Mr. Integrity Ralph Hood is a Certified Speaking Professional who has addressed aviation groups throughout North America. A pilot since 1969, he’s insured and sold airplanes at retail and distributor levels and taught aviation management for...

"With Windows 2000 in place, we now have a little more control with the security of users who can log in — authorized people who can connect to our network, our traveling pilots, and executives.3

"When I met these folks, their equipment was archaic, the network was slow and dangerously overloaded. It had very little security across the board, [from] virus protection to everybody having their passwords in bright letters on the wall."

Some of the cost estimates from Loder on the company’s computer system upgrade:

  • $600-700 per unit for some 50 new computers; others were rebuilt from parts and spares; average cost with monitor: $1,000;
  • 2 printers; $1,000 each;
  • 2 new file servers; $6,000 per unit;
  • "countless man hours."

"We do more work now, faster and better with technology improvements in our lives, and yet its probably difficult to recognize because the more you can do, the more you do do. We never do seem to get to the 3- day work week. We work more and push that envelope on how much more we can do.

"In my dealings with other people in the industry, I find it’s quite a luxury to have a full-time IT guy. For this place, the first thing the FBO realized in hiring me is that I’m no longer an outside vendor; I don’t have to be called in to get something done. I’m less expensive as a salaried employee.

"Bill [Haberstock] and I can talk and we develop the system on an ongoing basis. A big advantage of an internal IT guy is being able to discuss the big picture."

Loder says an in-house training capability and program are another advantage. One server is dedicated to training and testing of new programs. "I want to try it, to use it before it goes live," says Loder.

He sees a need and an opportunity for more collaboration among IT personnel, with a goal of information sharing by FBOs and corporates. "It’s not that there are trade secrets to be had," he says. "There’s nothing harmful in supporting each other while not giving away the competitive edge."

Loder can be reached at (801) 933-7562 or

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