LIAT (2019) Limited: Disciplined operations to engender profitability and growth

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By Dr Basil Springer

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6

Today, we look at what is involved in ensuring profitability and growth from the technical and support operations of LIAT (2019) Limited. There are at least five thrusts that are mandatory.

1) Efficient operational management (technical and support) to transport passengers and cargo safely and in a timely manner. Economist David Jordan stated recently in the St. Lucia Times that “if you are looking for an innovative solution, I think it is time that the politicians allow the highly successful business gurus of the region to manage LIAT to resolve the current demise which politicians will continue to face but don’t seem to have a clue as to how to resolve.” I empathize with this in the context of the rationalization of the relative roles of government and the private sector for LIAT (2019) Limited.

2) Adherence to international standards of air transportation excellence to facilitate the development of a competitive environment. Organizations like the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have provided guidelines for activities and their results, aimed at the achievement of excellence in a given context. In order to achieve air transportation excellence, compete internationally and claim a fair share of the market there can be no compromise on these standards.

3) In a culture of continuous improvement, the concept of perfection is reserved for the divine. We mortal human beings must always strive to be better than we were yesterday. We must always seek to make small improvements in whatever we do with the objective of increasing quality and reducing waste, two essential components of increasing productivity.

4) In a cost containment thrust we strive to keep costs to a minimum in a changing environment. There are costs which are as a result of the internal environment and the costs which arrive from the vagaries of the external environment. The former can be more easily contained than the latter, but with expert skills in long term planning and hedging investments, respectively, an evolutionary optimum can be achieved.

5) If our vision remains static or if we keep doing the same things over and over in the face of a changing environment, then profitability and growth will always elude us. We must get into business development mode and expand existing profit centres by building on new products and services and expanding markets.

The secret of achieving a disciplined operations environment is the efficient management (planning, organizing, staffing, leading and monitoring) of the business. Let us focus on acquiring top class management with a passion for success.

Let us seek new clients, one client at a time, based on our previous profile of success, recognizing that the world is our marketplace and the ISO certification is a well-researched protocol of management by objectives which should not be ignored.

As our business operation evolves, we should be focused on embracing the philosophy of continuous improvement, which embodies both increasing quality and reducing wastage.

Profit is basically revenue minus expenses. To maximize profit, therefore, we must not only increase our revenues, we must also contain expenses. The activity of day-to-day cash flow projection management can work wonders towards stabilizing cash flow and projecting profit growth.

Profitability and growth are included among the hallmarks of business success. To these may be added the protection of planet Earth and the happiness of our people – the service delivery and support teams, and our clients.

Next column – LIAT (2019) LIMITED: An awesome staff culture to stimulate sustainability

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant based in Barbados. The views expressed are his own)

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