Articles Tagged ‘John Gifford’

Southwest Airlines: Quick Turn Arounds (Case Studies of Great Companies)

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

1. Overview

Modeling after the California intra-state airline, Pacific Southwest Airlines, entrepreneur Rollin King and lawyer Herb Kelleher started Southwest Airlines in 1967.

Southwest Airlines’ goal was to make life simpler for travelers who wished to travel the distances between Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio. The need was there, the Texas economy was booming, and the business model made eminent sense.

However, the existing entrenched power base was not willing to relinquish its control of the the Texas airline market uncontested. Kelleher suspected as much, and was determined to raise twice his initial figure of $250,000 venture capital, because of the likelihood of a prolonged fight to get Southwest off the ground. It turned out to be even more difficult a proposition than even Kelleher imagined.

Kelleher filed Southwest’s application to fly between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio with the Texas Aeronautics Commission (TAC) on November 27th, 1967, and on February 20th, 1968, TAC approved the application. However, the day after TAC voted for approval, Braniff, Trans-Texas, and Continental successfully filed a restraining order to keep Southwest from flying, arguing that the markets were already saturated; the restraining order was upheld in the intermediate appellate court but was over-ruled in the Texas Supreme court.

Four years after its incorporation, Southwest was finally ready to fly. On June 18th, 1971, Southwest was finally off the ground, in spite of additional efforts by existing airlines to keep it grounded.

Southwest differentiated itself from the other airlines, especially in its excellent customer service, lower fares, and in its use of older, smaller, close-to-downtown airports which were more convenient for business travelers.

The key factors in the early years for Southwest’s success were:

1) Profitability
2) 10-minute turn-around
3) Steady growth rate
4) Low debt; low leveraging
5) Outstanding stock performance
6) Lowest fares
7) Market dominance
8 Most productive work force
9) Low turn-over
10) No furloughs
11) Highest customer service ratings
12) Cancels fewest flights
13) Best safety record
14) Youngest fleet
15) Most emulated

In 1978, airlines and the newer airports (shunned by Southwest) made their influence felt once again, this time through legislation, spear-headed by congressman James Wright. Ultimately, this legislation’s impact was gradually mooted.

Out of this early contentious history of Southwest Airlines came a fighting attitude of us vs. them, a spirited, passionate belief in the mission they represented which was giving people the “Freedom to Fly.” This was a unifying force for both employees and customers as Southwest made it possible for “the common man” to fly.

2. Focal Strategy: Key Metrics and the 10-minute turn-around

Out of necessity, Southwest mastered the capability of the 10-minute turn-around of their planes. In September of 1971, Southwest had four 737’s to cover all their routes. When a federal district court ruled that Southwest could not fly charters outside Texas, the fourth plane became a financial liability.

In order to service their routes with just three planes, it became necessary for quick turn-arounds. No one thought they could do 10-minute turn-arounds, but they did, enabling them to make do with just three planes. The quick turn-around became a strategy for economy, as well as on-time performance.

At the present time, metrics still play a large part in Southwest’s success and customer service excellence. The four key measures that Southwest Airlines tracks are:
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Radio Indy Smallbiz Guide

Friday, July 13th, 2012

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If you want to listen to Radio Indy Smallbiz shows by phone, call (317) 664-5620 and enter Conference ID: 279015#

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Danny O’Malia – Tuesday, July 17th, 4:00-4:30pm
Link to connect to Danny’s program

Danny’s guest this week will be Jon Quick, Indy media maven.

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Hazel M. Walker – Tuesday, July 17th, 4:30-5pm
Link to connect to Hazel’s program

Hazel’s guest this week will be Victoria Mavis, also known as the Queen of Coffee ConversationsTM. Victoria is a speaker, best selling author and human resource (HR) expert that is regularly sought out by business owners and member organizations for her integrated approach in balancing people programs with HR compliance to produce profits.

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Danny O’Malia – Tuesday, July 24th, 4:00-4:30pm
Link to connect to Danny’s program

Danny’s guest this week will be Detlef Rathmann of SCORE (retired execs coaching start ups).

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John Gifford – Tuesday, July 24th, 4:30-5pm
Link to connect to John’s program

John will be interviewing David Osborne of Dale Carnegie of Central Indiana, whose duties include Regional Sales Manager, Executive Consultant, and Trainer.

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Danny O’Malia – Tuesday, July 31st, 4:00-4:30pm
Link to connect to Danny’s program

Danny’s guest this week will be Andy Corman of AC Trash Hauling. Sound boring? It’s NOT! You need Andy even if you won’t admit it to yourself (I know I do).

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Radio Indy Smallbiz Guide

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

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If you want to listen to Radio Indy Smallbiz shows by phone, call (317) 664-5620 and enter Conference ID: 279015#

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Danny O’Malia – Tuesday, May 22nd, 4:00-4:30pm
Link to connect to Danny’s program

Danny’s guest this week will be Mike West, Fast Times Indoor Karting, with a “500” theme

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Deseri Garcia – Tuesday, May 22nd, 4:30-5pm
Link to connect to Deseri’s program

Deseri’s guest this week will be Dr. Theresa Bayt, and the topic is: Create Your Optimal Health Vision.

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Danny O’Malia – Tuesday, May 29th, 4:00-4:30pm
Link to connect to Danny’s program

Danny’s guest this week will be Bill Noel, Netheads. with a discussion about fun computer education.

Danny O’Malia – Tuesday, June 5th, 4:00-4:30pm
Link to connect to Danny’s program

Danny’s guest this week will be Russ Dodge, local radio maven.

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John Gifford – Tuesday, June 5th, 4:30-5pm
Link to connect to John’s program

John’s guest this week will be Darlene Willman, Executive Director of the U.S. Small Business Conference, most recently held May 18th in Carmel, and founder of ACCOMPLISH Coach and ACCOMPLISH Magazine & Radio – a professional speaker, author and business mentor.

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INDY Top 50 Business Connectors – Part 2

Thursday, May 10th, 2012


Of the INDY Top 50 Business Connectors named by the U.S. Small Business Conference, 9 have been authors and or hosts on indysmallbiz.com and Radio Indy Smallbiz and are being featured here on www.indysmallbiz.com in the week leading up to the Conference taking place next Friday, May 18th. Go to http://ussmallbusinessconference.com for information about the Conference.

Listen to John Gifford’s and Scott Manning’s interviews conducted by Darlene Willman of the U.S. Small Business Conference at:
http://indytop50.com/top50 (access at upper right of page)

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