Harry is a commercial pilot and owns an aircraft ferrying company based in Orlando, Florida. He runs a massive operation which involves amongst other things, the management and transfer of large amounts of money earned from aircraft ferry deals. He has only one desk and a computer stationed in the aircraft hangar, there amidst the aircrafts coming in and going out.
The first thing Harry does once an aircraft returns and deposits are paid, is planning the next flight and consulting his fuel budget. The next step is determining whether he will be able to manage the ferry himself or have to contract another pilot, and part of this decision depends on the amount of piling admin he has to take care of on his computer. On a typical ferry week, Harry takes delivery of a Cessna 206 that he has to fly for a client to Scotland. Being an aviator first and foremost, he naturally wants in on the flying action. So he gets on the phone and calls Joe, an ex-military fly-boy with hundreds of transatlantic flights completed in his ferrying career. They receive the aircraft from the engineer with all the airworthy certificates and they tow it out for fueling.
While fueling, Harry hurriedly goes back to his computer to enter the detail of the fuel purchase and work out how much cash he will need to pay his co-pilot and how much he’ll need for making fuel payments along the way for each successive flight leg. Soon after take-off they head north towards Canada and after their first stop in Nova Scotia, Harry receives a call to deliver a private jet to Ukraine. However, in order to accept and undertake this new assignment he has to return to the office to do the necessary paperwork. Harry quickly calls Mary, another experienced ferry pilot to come over and continue the fight with Joe while he returns to the office to process the paperwork, flight plans and en-route permits for the new assignment. At an additional cost to Harry, Mary agrees to take over the job and boards a flight from Los Angeles, California, arriving a day later in Nova Scotia. In the meantime, Harry also has to board a plane to Florida, arriving four hours later to prepare for the new ferry trip to Ukraine.
Each day that a delivery falls behind, and with every outsourced flight, Harry loses money on the deal and the total ferry costs rise. Now, back in his hangar office he has to attend to mounting admin first and move funds between bank accounts, paying for the two flights he funded with the company’s credit card. His next move is to call Jared, a more experienced jet pilot to help him ferry the private jet to its new owner in Ukraine.
Harry’s business could be run much more efficiently, and his profit margin raised much higher, if he contracted a virtual assistant to take care of logistic administration and finances on the ground. Moreover, he would be able to do more of what he enjoys most: flying.
A virtual assistant could save Harry thousands each day on unnecessary travel. He could coordinate his ferries much more effectively and receive organised information electronically on the go, further facilitating instant decision-making without having to actually be in the office to do so.
Harry’s story illustrates the reality of many aircraft ferrying pilots and people working in logistics in South Africa. Many are too hesitant to take on the responsibility of full-time staff, not even mentioning the cost and hassle of office space, vacation days, employment contracts, taxes and more. Considering a virtual assistant could add value to their businesses, saving them significant time and money while expanding their reach in the industry.