Airport Management: Strategic Business Plan

Values

The main values of the airport should be safety and quality of service. Safety is crucial because airports are viewed by the general public as vulnerable places. That is why convincing our customers that they are secure in our airport should be the most fundamental goal. Therefore, we should be committed to ensuring the security by all means and communicating it to the audiences as the airport’s priorities. Since we are a small airport, we also recognize supporting the economic vitality of our region as a major value. We are an important component of our region’s external economic and social connections, which should shape our vision of being a link and a mediator in many types of interactions (Redondi, Malighetti, and Paleari 87) We should not forget that we are part of the national air transportation system, which why we should be determined to comply with its standards and promote technological advancements to be prominent in the business on our level and to strive for new levels. Also, our values include being environmentally friendly and innovative.

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Future

Businesses rarely perish from moving too fast, and they often perish from moving too slowly (Bradley par. 8). The entire approach to problem-solving should not be with the purpose of preserving everything the way it is and keep things as they are but to grow and improve. That is why looking into the future should be an important part of any strategy. Along with introducing innovations, planning is crucial for the concept of the vision for the future. Although yearly milestones of development are necessary, they may not be sufficient. Traditional five-year strategic plans need to be developed by industry experts. Also, annual evaluation is needed to ensure that plans are followed. Composing more long-term plans is difficult in the modern world, but the management and the leaders should nonetheless challenge the business by asking, “Is all this going to bring benefits in tens years as well?” and analyzing possible outcomes of current activities.

External Environment

Strategies should be based on the so-called external environment scanning data. Many factors influence the performance of an airport that does not depend on the internal decision-making. They may include new regulations and policies, the economic situation, the technological advancement, and the market circumstances such as the emergence or elimination of competitors as well as products or services. The assumption that should never be made by the management is that the external situation will be the same. When making major strategic decisions, an airport should assume that external factors will change, possibly hindering the development. Also, a safe assumption to make in the modern world is the constant advancement of technology, which requires the majority of businesses, including airports, to invest in technologies in order not to fall behind.

Existing and New Products and Services

A strong emphasis on the work of an airport should be put on customer service. The high quality of customer service requires extensive and regularly updated staff training. This area should be a priority. There is a wide range of possible additions to customer service. However, a small airport in the early stages of its development should concentrate on providing basic services with the highest quality. Thorough research is required to identify whether customers need additional services. Introducing too many such additional services, e.g. ground transportation, may not pay off because, while concentrating on them, the management may experience the lack of quality in essential services.

Criteria for New Products and Services Evaluation

Evaluation is the process that is closely connected to initial planning. When the decision to introduce a new product or service is made, it is based on a certain rationale. Also, expectations from the product or service introduction are clearly pronounced. Afterward, the results of introducing something new need to be compared to the initially declared expected outcomes. This is a major tool for evaluation. However, there is another prominent tool that should be taken into consideration, too: benchmarking. A company should constantly monitor the achievements of related companies and other businesses that provide similar services. Examples from other airports’ stories of successes and failures should be examined by our airport’s management and leaders to determine whether we are moving the right direction.

Customer Groups

Small airports are closely connected to the communities within which they operate. Under these circumstances, corporate social responsibility becomes a crucial aspect of our work. Along with identifying new customers, which is an important aspect of strategic planning, we need to consider the customer groups that the airport will serve. In doing so, the airport should be involved in various kinds of community service and sponsorship campaigns. Also, charity should be on our agenda. Underprivileged, deprived, and vulnerable customers should receive aid from us in the form of discounts. The purpose is to show that we care about the well-being of our community (Cowper-Smith and de Grosbois 66). This will help assure our potential audiences of our commitment to the community and attract new customers.

Criteria for Market Opportunity Evaluation

The concept of a market opportunity recognizes that markets constantly generate opportunities for businesses to improve in terms of products or services because the customers’ demands, requirements, and interests transform in the course of time. There are two main tools for assessing market opportunities: market research and customer feedback (Low and Chen 5315). The two balance each other, which is important because research may fail to take into account the actual preferences of customers, while feedback may fail to be systematic and comprehensive. The criteria for new market opportunities should be recognized necessity, costs, benefits, and the rate of successful implementation by similar businesses.

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Factors for Customization of Practices, Products, and Services

I strongly believe that the considerations of quality are more important to airport customers than the considerations of price, although both matter. If the same services provided in an airport can be received by customers in other places at substantially lower prices, customers may be dissatisfied. However, if the same services are provided with higher quality, it may outweigh the price considerations. That is why I recommend treating the quality as the primary factor for practice customization. Requiring street pricing might be an option, but the decision to implement it should be based on a thorough analysis of the airport’s performance.

Competitive Advantage Factors

The notion of competitive advantage is the driving force for airport managers to organize the operation of airports in a way that optimally meets the requirements of customers by means of examining their airports’ performance against the performance of other airports or companies providing similar services. The comparative analysis is primarily based on identifying internal strengths by conducting the benchmark analysis. However, competitive advantage is not about performing certain services on the same level of quality as similar companies but also providing unique services or services of unique quality. A small airport may strive to occupy a niche in the industry. To do so, it is necessary to conduct industry analysis to determine which competitive advantage factors and opportunities have been overlooked by competitors. However, we should primarily identify our own strengths. They include the location and the existing target audience in the local community. Small airports provide unique services to certain normally stable groups. The strength of having a permanent audience should be used as a competitive advantage.

SWOT

The main strength of the airport is the resource advantage. Being a small airport associated with certain neighboring communities, the airport has the advantage of serving the consistent needs of these communities. When talking about strengths, we should not forget about the technical capabilities of our airport. If the airport is suitable for the operation of a wide range of aircraft types, it is a significant contribution to the strengths. A weakness that we should recognize is limited resources due to the airport’s scale, which can hinder the development, prevent the fulfillment of our potential, and damage the effectiveness. More specific weaknesses can be identified by reviewing the airport’s activities and observing with which issues it has been struggling the most.

These may include financial issues, community relations, and maintenance. A major opportunity is designing and introducing additional services to increase customers’ interest and loyalty and attract new customers. Implementing the industry’s trends should also be considered as an opportunity. The threats to the business include extensive government requirements and limitations in terms of security. They are capable of complicating the operation of an airport and preventing its full-scale work. Emphasis should be placed on enhancing the strengths (community relations), overcoming the weaknesses, using the opportunities, and preventing potential damage (dealing with threats) (Campbell, Edgar, and Stonehouse 187).

Emphasizing New Products and Market Areas

The greatest emphasis of the airport’s activities should be placed on three branches: creating a new industrial park, improving the air cargo services, and pursuing the provision of better services in the area of the general aviation industry. Prioritizing activities is a crucial component of strategic planning. As a small airport, we should focus on these three areas to ensure that our operation does not only serve the basic needs of our customers but also facilitates further advancement.

Strategy Viability Assessment

Assessing strategy viability is important because even the best strategies are doomed to fail if implemented under improper or inadequate circumstances. One of the ways to provide such an assessment is considering the financial performance indicators. Ratios describing the indicators of liquidity, leverage, activity, and profitability can be used for these purposes. However, there are also non-financial indicators that should not be disregarded. These include technical operation, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, customer feedback, and growth indicators compared to those of our competitors.

Strategy

The strategy to be implemented to ensure the achievement of goals and the fulfillment of the mission is the focus strategy. For small airport businesses, the advantage of the strategy is that it emphasizes the importance of location as a strength and customer groups as a priority (Yayla-Küllü 646). The SWOT analysis shows that the airport should focus on providing high-quality services to its community, and the focus strategy is the most appropriate one for this purpose. We need to serve the targeted needs of our existing and potential customers. The strategy includes providing unique services and performing in a manner that would prevent other businesses from competing with us in the area of these particular unique services.

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Works Cited

Bradley, Chris. “Companies Frequently Die From Moving Too Slowly.” The Economic Times, 2016, Web.

Campbell, David, David Edgar, and George Stonehouse. Business Strategy: An Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Cowper-Smith, Allan, and Danuta de Grosbois. “The Adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility Practices in the Airline Industry.” Journal of Sustainable Tourism, vol. 19, no. 1, 2011, pp. 59-77.

Low, Chinyao, and Ya Hsueh Chen. “Criteria for the Evaluation of a Cloud-Based Hospital Information System Outsourcing Provider.” Journal of Medical Systems, vol. 36, no. 6, 2012, pp. 5314-5330.

Redondi, Renato, Paolo Malighetti, and Stefano Paleari. “European Connectivity: The Role Played by Small Airports.” Journal of Transport Geography, vol. 29, no. 1, 2013, pp. 86-94.

Yayla-Küllü, Müge. “Capacity Investment and Product Line Decisions of a Multiproduct Leader and a Focus Strategy Entrant.” Decision Sciences, vol. 44, no. 4, 2013, pp. 645-678.

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