Practical cost savings for ASA...

CFI2766

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My contribution to the topic of 'Saving ASA': SLICE THE GO.

A-tach, A-tech, whatever you want to call it.

I gave myself a tour of the home office last week and was struck with just how many people are occupying space and drawing a paycheck from ASA. There are HUNDREDS of cube dwellers enjoying an 8-5 life. It was beyond description.

It baffles me that the cost savings drive seems to be focused so clearly on the people generating revenue, namely the pilots, while the people that populate the costs and expenses portions of the Profit and Loss sheet sit in air conditioned comfort working for the weekend.

Expensive building renovations. New flat screen monitors for new computers. Expensive overhead projectors. Spiffed up offices with high dollar furniture. Free lunches for outstation gate agents brought into town on the company's dime for 'training'. These are all features of the home office.

There are waaaay too many people
in the GO that don't produce revenue. My opinion: If you don't touch an airplane or speak face to face with fare paying passengers each and every day you work for ASA, then you should have to justify your salary before the next dime is asked for from the pilot group.
 

WalterSobchak

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My opinion: If you don't touch an airplane or speak face to face with fare paying passengers each and every day you work for ASA, then you should have to justify your salary before the next dime is asked for from the pilot group.
On behalf of our brethren over at ASA...here's some justification for at least a few of those "cube dwellers" that "don't touch an aircraft or speak face to face with fare paying passengers each and every day".



(Yes, I know what you meant...I just haven't been a smart aleck on FI in over a week and saw a golden opportunity. :D )
 
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CFI2766

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Yeah, I get what you are saying. We have some very, very good dispatchers at ASA. Like other places, we also have some very bad dispatchers. I'm not taking a shot a dispatchers directly, per se.

(Now, if you --not you specifically, but in the third-person plural-- plan my flight to the last drop of fuel, with little reserves and not a bit of contingency fuel, when there is weather all along the route, and/or at 1700 local on a Friday, welllll, I think it should be noted. Do this with the regularity that it seems to be happening at ASA and I think you should be placed on a lavatory service detail before you ever get to dispatch another flight.)

Back to the original topic: there just seems to be waaaay too much in the way of overhead for me to be comfortable with the amount of sacrifice that seems to be on the horizon for the pilots at ASA.
 

777forever

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I think you need to do a full research about every different department, everybody's specific job and responsibilities then come back with a full report before I'll believe "there's too many people"

You may be right but I think its highly disrespectful to those employees to just be mongering around the A-tech, eyeballing the amount of people, and then proclaim "there's too many people" without having any clue what these people do or without having any experience managing an airline.

Some of them probably look at the seniority list and say "Damn, there's too many pilots!" Which in this case, is true.

We'll leave it up to Brad to decide if there's too many people or not. He's doing an awesome job so far and has already cleaned out many of the bad apples.

Have you read "Among Friends?" The cost saving program is going on company wide. They are not "going after the pilots" In no company email or company press release have I heard them asking the pilots for cost savings. Only recently has ALPA sent out an email saving the company asked to negotiate PBS in good faith.
 

Kream926

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do you guys need the bobs?
 

SLUF4

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gym memberships to all pilots and FA's..the weight reductions may save a couple of pounds of fuel. put on your thinking caps.
 

Stifler's Mom

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Oh, and remember: next Friday... is Hawaiian shirt day. So, you know, if you want to, go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.
 

CFI2766

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I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday...

Not a half day, but a normal day...that would be great...

Also, we need to talk about your TPS reports...
 

Flybywire44

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Did they not just layoff a few people at the GO? If Skywest Inc really wante dto save money they'd let Skywest run our GO from their HQ...
 

sweptback

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Did they not just layoff a few people at the GO? If Skywest Inc really wante dto save money they'd let Skywest run our GO from their HQ...
If they really wanted to save money, they'd merge the companies.
 

ASA_Aviator

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My contribution to the topic of 'Saving ASA': SLICE THE GO.

A-tach, A-tech, whatever you want to call it.

I gave myself a tour of the home office last week and was struck with just how many people are occupying space and drawing a paycheck from ASA. There are HUNDREDS of cube dwellers enjoying an 8-5 life. It was beyond description.

It baffles me that the cost savings drive seems to be focused so clearly on the people generating revenue, namely the pilots, while the people that populate the costs and expenses portions of the Profit and Loss sheet sit in air conditioned comfort working for the weekend.

Expensive building renovations. New flat screen monitors for new computers. Expensive overhead projectors. Spiffed up offices with high dollar furniture. Free lunches for outstation gate agents brought into town on the company's dime for 'training'. These are all features of the home office.

There are waaaay too many people
in the GO that don't produce revenue. My opinion: If you don't touch an airplane or speak face to face with fare paying passengers each and every day you work for ASA, then you should have to justify your salary before the next dime is asked for from the pilot group.
G,

I know you haven't been here long enough to have a comparison, but the GO probably has 10% to 20% fewer people working there than it did before the SkyWest purchase. Maybe even more than that, but I'm not sure. Additionally, many of them are on pay-freezes.

Also, there are waaaay fewer pilots who work in the office doing project work. It was a very expensive way to get things done, especially if they were doing what amounted to analyst-level work.

There are a lot of departments that do a lot of small things that add up to our airline running smoothly. Keep in mind that many of the things that you may complain about not getting done properly can only be done by adding more staff, or at least not firing any more of them. Don't reduce the number of pay auditors, for example, and expect your paycheck to be accurate. We probably need more of them already.

Most of the people in the GO are doing their jobs plus what used to be someone else's job for the same pay as before. The entire company is taking in the belt-line, trying to survive hard times. No one, not the pilots, not the flight attendants, or the GO workers, will make the only sacrifices. We are all in this together.

Please try to remember that people who work in the GO are just as much a part of this company as you are, and have just as much vested in its survival.
 

ASA_Aviator

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You may be right but I think its highly disrespectful to those employees to just be mongering around the A-tech, eyeballing the amount of people, and then proclaim "there's too many people" without having any clue what these people do or without having any experience managing an airline.

Some of them probably look at the seniority list and say "Damn, there's too many pilots!" Which in this case, is true.
Well said. It is certainly the case that our upper management is looking to every corner to save money, not just to the pilot group.

About PBS, while it certainly will make us more efficient in many ways, is probably mostly about image to Delta. If we are the only ones without it in the DCI portfolio, we appear to be more inefficient to them, and it puts a big red target on our heads. We need to do whatever we can to appear to want to be efficient. I think we are doing a good job with that with Project APU, single engine taxi, and operation D-0. PBS would really help our image as well.
 

sweptback

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G,

I know you haven't been here long enough to have a comparison, but the GO probably has 10% to 20% fewer people working there than it did before the SkyWest purchase. Maybe even more than that, but I'm not sure. Additionally, many of them are on pay-freezes.

Also, there are waaaay fewer pilots who work in the office doing project work. It was a very expensive way to get things done, especially if they were doing what amounted to analyst-level work.

There are a lot of departments that do a lot of small things that add up to our airline running smoothly. Keep in mind that many of the things that you may complain about not getting done properly can only be done by adding more staff, or at least not firing any more of them. Don't reduce the number of pay auditors, for example, and expect your paycheck to be accurate. We probably need more of them already.

Most of the people in the GO are doing their jobs plus what used to be someone else's job for the same pay as before. The entire company is taking in the belt-line, trying to survive hard times. No one, not the pilots, not the flight attendants, or the GO workers, will make the only sacrifices. We are all in this together.

Please try to remember that people who work in the GO are just as much a part of this company as you are, and have just as much vested in its survival.
So, now that you identified yourself as a GO-insider, what exactly do you do?
 

CFI2766

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G,

I know you haven't been here long enough to have a comparison, but the GO probably has 10% to 20% fewer people working there than it did before the SkyWest purchase. Maybe even more than that, but I'm not sure. Additionally, many of them are on pay-freezes.

Also, there are waaaay fewer pilots who work in the office doing project work. It was a very expensive way to get things done, especially if they were doing what amounted to analyst-level work.

There are a lot of departments that do a lot of small things that add up to our airline running smoothly. Keep in mind that many of the things that you may complain about not getting done properly can only be done by adding more staff, or at least not firing any more of them. Don't reduce the number of pay auditors, for example, and expect your paycheck to be accurate. We probably need more of them already.

Most of the people in the GO are doing their jobs plus what used to be someone else's job for the same pay as before. The entire company is taking in the belt-line, trying to survive hard times. No one, not the pilots, not the flight attendants, or the GO workers, will make the only sacrifices. We are all in this together.

Please try to remember that people who work in the GO are just as much a part of this company as you are, and have just as much vested in its survival.
Kudos to you for a well articulated response.

Look, I'm not personally attacking any one specific individual, nor am I attempting to be 'disrespectful'. Also, I specifically avoided framing my thoughts in an adversarial pilots versus the khaki-wearers way. My sentiments here aren't personal: I'm being strictly analytical. Let's face the facts here: our future as a company, and therefore my immediate professional future, depends on reigning in costs. I get it.

I believe that my tenure here is an asset, not an impediment to objective thought. On three separate occasions I toured the GO and observed the same thing: a lot of people not doing a whole lot.

Prior to flying, my background was business consulting and teaching. I obviously don't have access to ASA's books, the real ones with day to day, pro forma data, but I do have the experience and common sense to know that there was a LOT of wasted payroll dollars.

Every day ASA seeks to improve the productivity of the front line staff with new initiatives. Project APU, Cost Index flying, PBS, name the acronym. All I'm asking is for the same effort from the back-office, especially if there are furloughs in the near future. (If there are fewer pilots, wouldn't there by definition be less of a need for the support provided by the GO?)

One final reflection: you mention pay freezes and doing more work for a given salary. Aren't the line flying pilots doing the exact same thing? Take the average hourly rate from 5, 10, and 15 years ago. I'd comfortably speculate that it hasn't kept pace with inflation over that time span, much less seen any growth. Food for thought.
 

777forever

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Kudos to you for a well articulated response.

Look, I'm not personally attacking any one specific individual, nor am I attempting to be 'disrespectful'. Also, I specifically avoided framing my thoughts in an adversarial pilots versus the khaki-wearers way. My sentiments here aren't personal: I'm being strictly analytical. Let's face the facts here: our future as a company, and therefore my immediate professional future, depends on reigning in costs. I get it.

I believe that my tenure here is an asset, not an impediment to objective thought. On three separate occasions I toured the GO and observed the same thing: a lot of people not doing a whole lot.

Prior to flying, my background was business consulting and teaching. I obviously don't have access to ASA's books, the real ones with day to day, pro forma data, but I do have the experience and common sense to know that there was a LOT of wasted payroll dollars.

Every day ASA seeks to improve the productivity of the front line staff with new initiatives. Project APU, Cost Index flying, PBS, name the acronym. All I'm asking is for the same effort from the back-office, especially if there are furloughs in the near future. (If there are fewer pilots, wouldn't there by definition be less of a need for the support provided by the GO?)

One final reflection: you mention pay freezes and doing more work for a given salary. Aren't the line flying pilots doing the exact same thing? Take the average hourly rate from 5, 10, and 15 years ago. I'd comfortably speculate that it hasn't kept pace with inflation over that time span, much less seen any growth. Food for thought.
You mean your business consulting & teaching background gives you the ability to eyeball any company and tell if there's too many people? Common sense must go a long ways these days....
 

Abernathy

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You mean your business consulting & teaching background gives you the ability to eyeball any company and tell if there's too many people? Common sense must go a long ways these days....
It gives him a whole lot more credibility than you. At least he's got some experience in his past to back up his statements.

I wouldn't doubt for a minute that we have too many people in the GO doing nothing more than drinking coffee and complaining about pilots and FAs.
 

WalterSobchak

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I believe that my tenure here is an asset, not an impediment to objective thought. On three separate occasions I toured the GO and observed the same thing: a lot of people not doing a whole lot.
We got our collective tails kicked yesterday with broken airplanes and low vis in SoCal that wreaked havoc on every system. However, if the average person that doesn't know the in's & out's of what we do in here watched me work yesterday...they could argue that I was "not doing a whole lot".

Just because you don't know what they do...or, in my case, the fact that they make it look easy, doesn't mean they aren't worth what they are paid. It takes alot of people to cover the back-office end of things...and, when it comes to office jobs at an airline's GO, it's feast or famine. Either you're getting your butt kicked, you're working steady, or you're not busy at all. That goes for all departments...and it's almost always either #1 or #3 of those options. Looks like you might have caught a few people on a "famine" day.

One final reflection: you mention pay freezes and doing more work for a given salary. Aren't the line flying pilots doing the exact same thing?
Isn't that, in essence, what you were asking of them in your original post?

I get your basic point...and, i'm not trying to be argumentative with you...but, in my personal business consulting experience (still a side gig of mine), I've come to realize that, no matter what the business, there will always be days where people will be standing around. You keep them around for when the workload goes through the roof...which, in our business, is more often than ever before.

Before you decide that someone needs to lose their job, go sit with that person if you think they're doing nothing...
 
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Speedtape

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We got our collective tails kicked yesterday with broken airplanes and low vis in SoCal that wreaked havoc on every system. However, if the average person that doesn't know the in's & out's of what we do in here watched me work yesterday...they could argue that I was "not doing a whole lot".

Just because you don't know what they do...or, in my case, the fact that they make it look easy, doesn't mean they aren't worth what they are paid. It takes alot of people to cover the back-office end of things...and, when it comes to office jobs at an airline's GO, it's feast or famine. Either you're getting your butt kicked, you're working steady, or you're not busy at all. That goes for all departments...and it's almost always either #1 or #3 of those options. Looks like you might have caught a few people on a "famine" day.


Isn't that, in essence, what you were asking of them in your original post?

I get your basic point...and, i'm not trying to be argumentative with you...but, in my personal business consulting experience (still a side gig of mine), I've come to realize that, no matter what the business, there will always be days where people will be standing around. You keep them around for when the workload goes through the roof...which, in our business, is more often than ever before.

Before you decide that someone needs to lose their job, go sit with that person if you think they're doing nothing...
Well said, Old (or Young) Wise One!
 
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