Manufacturing has long formed the backbone of the U.S.’s economic engine, but the industry has undergone enormous change in the last 20 years. Manufacturing is increasingly globalized and decentralized. Parts used in assembly are themselves made all over the country and the world. The machines and robots that are used in manufacturing are made elsewhere and their replacement parts may not be located in the same place as the functioning machine. Factories and plants are often not located near corporate headquarters or there are multiple facilities spread over large geographic differences. People, pieces, parts, products — all are in constant motion between facilities that make, manufacture, pick, pack, and ship. This complexity requires innovative solutions and resources to keep the manufacturing lines rolling. When those lines shut down for a broken machine, a missing part, a late inspection, or a breakdown of communication, millions of dollars in losses can result in a very short period of time.
It might surprise you to learn that charter flights play a key role in keeping manufacturing running smoothly. First, charter flights move needed personnel between multiple locations. Flying charter enables a team to visit multiple facilities in one day, conducting meetings, site visits, assessments, inspections, or deploying changes. The use of charter rather than commercial flights eliminates travel time to major airports, mitigates loss of work time waiting in airport lines, and enables the team to have frank discussions en route because there are no other passengers. The team can travel to more locations in one day than would be possible with commercial and be home with their families that evening, rather than incurring overnight hotel stays.
Charter flights also move critical cargo. When an assembly line breaks down and a part is needed to get it going again, a charter flight can take off quickly with the part on board and fly directly to a general aviation airport very close to the destination facility. Leading Edge has performed this service before, flying a critical part to Detroit, which saved the company from losing a significant amount of money due to a stopped production line. In this immediate, need-it-yesterday world, sometimes overnight isn’t fast enough and same-day delivery is critical to keeping the enterprise running.
Charter flights enable creative solutions to critical business problems, whether that’s a person who has to be somewhere immediately or a part that is needed right away. Having a charter flight resource is another important tool in the executive’s arsenal to stay on top of production pipeline productivity.