The Perfect FBO - by essintaWINGS

Ideas and tips to improve your Fixed Base Operation

Setting the Table for your Three Course Meal

In an April 6thBlog Post by Ron Jackson and John Enticknap, published in AcuKwik’s FBO Connection, Ron and John wrote about a Three Course Meal for FBO Customer Service Success.  The three courses were Attitude, Anticipation and Action.  While the authors are correct in what they portray, they are only focused on the human layer of delivering those three courses. Admittedly, it is ultimately the most important aspect, but how you equip your staff can have a tremendous effect on their ability to deliver the meal effectively.

 Could a software program have an effect on your customer service?  If so how much?  Let’s take a look:

  • ATTITUDE – Surely not…how could a computer program have an effect on a CSR’s attitude?Well, if a demanding customer is at the counter trying to check out, and the antiquated system is slow, cumbersome and doesn’t allow for simple, intuitive processing of a transaction, your CSR’s are sure to get frustrated, and that frustration is likely to manifest itself in a poor customer service attitude.  When it does, your customers will notice.  On the other hand, an effective, easy to use program frees them to address customers’ needs with a smile on their face.
  • ANTICIPATION – a good program, with the functionality to store and access customer notes quickly and track customer activity, allows your entire team to anticipate customers preferences and add that special touch to their experience, like remembering their birthday, or surprising them with a favorite treat. It will also let your team track the status of their service orders, and set customer expectations appropriately, avoiding any unexpected surprises.  This is the type of service level that people talk about, and we all know that word of mouth is the best type of advertising.
  • ACTION – with a good attitude and the knowledge and ability to anticipate your customers every need and desire, they are ready to take quick and effective action, making the customer experience at your FBO a five-star experience.

You can now see that giving your Customer Service team the right tools are part of the recipe for your three-course meal.  If it’s time to give your FBO Management software an upgrade, visit www.essintaWINGS.comto find out how we can provide you with a complete, reliable and easy to use FBO Point of Sale and Management system. EssintaWINGS is brought to you by the creators of FBO Manager, so you can have confidence in our knowledge of the industry and our ability to do the job.

essintaWINGS new version April 15, 2018

  • Fuel Updates
    • "Wireless Fuel - do not append tickets" What this means if each time a ticket comes in from the wireless fuel system it creates a new invoice whether or not there is an open invoice in the system. Thus, if you have 5 separate fuelings you will now have five separate invoices. To use this feature go to Configuration/Locations and scroll to the bottom of the screen. Click the check box to append or not append.
    • "Do not reset fuel meters after 3 days" -- if you are using manual tickets we blank/force a meter entry after three days. You can override this now and always display the last fuel meter. To use this feature go to Configuration/Locations and scroll to the bottom of the screen. Click the check box to reset or not reset.
  • Email Updates
    • EssintaWINGS has relied on our SMTP credentials to send your invoice emails and reports. Now, you can configure your own server settings. This is critically important as it will help ensure delivery from your servers. To setup email:
      • 1) go to Configuration/Locations
      • 2) Scroll to the middle of the screen and locate the SMTP settings
      • 3) Enter your user name and password
      • 4) Enter your host name and port
      • 5) Save the information
      • 6) To test, go to the main screen and click an invoice, send it to yourself.
  • FlightBridge Integration
    • Imagine a FlightBridge reservation coming in and instantly viewing that in essintaWINGS. Now, if the tail number is not part of the database we can automatically add the tail number based on the information from the reservation. Setup is easy!! Just contact us so we can add this for your.

What else is new?

(1) Modified mutliple pilots per transaction on AVTRIP; (2) added printing loyalty receipts; (3) tightened up fuel meter screen on invoices to make it ken proof; (4) modified expiration date and added error checking to validate numbers on credit card screen; (5) Added SMTP credentials so emails come from user's server and will avoid spam or phishing problems; (6) expanded the date range on the salesreport listing table; (7) Added a filter to sales by customer, tail number, product so the customer can be selected; (8) Added a switch so unused fuel meters do not blank out after 3 days but instead hold their value (user configurable); (9) Added a user configurable switch for wireless fuel automation users so the choice can be made to append to open tickets or create a new ticket when using Veeder Root, Liquid Controls, and TCS

and

(1) Pushed major update with credit cards for EPIC, Shell, Avfuel intact; (2) updated security code on manual payments; (3) verified avfuel transactions on test environment; (4) loyalty (AeroClass/AVTRIP): (a) validated AVTRIP card length; (b) default the points amount when picking from the pulldown box; (c) added code to delete a row on the loyalty screen; (5) fixed print customer account balances;

Drive Sales and Comply With Local Laws via EssintaWINGs Customer Countertop Marketing/Pole Display

     EssintaWINGS and EssintaPOS now support Customer Countertop Marketing displays and integrated signature capture.  As an FBO owner or general manager you might ask yourself, “why does this matter?” Customer Counter Marketing displays drive sales and increase business, and more importantly, some states and local authorities require displaying sales transaction data from electronic point of sale systems.  Legacy products in aviation, like FBO Manager and Total FBO do not have such capabilities.

     At the simplest level the point of sale system is “The point of sale (POS) system is the place where your customer executes the payment for goods or services bought from your company.1  Using such a system provides automated pricing, detailed sales history, and can promote opportunities to upsell customers.  Of course, most of us think of a point of sale system as the computer and screen we see at the grocery store, or anywhere else we do business.  Within aviation I had the privilege of writing the first Windows-based point of sale system, FBO Manager by Cornerstone Logic, in the late 1990s.  There are now a variety of products in the market and some are provided by fuel suppliers like EPIC Aviation Compass System or Avfuel’s Avfuel Hub.

User your POS to drive sales!

     One overlooked aspect of a point of sale system is its ability to increase sales. Elizabeth Cranston from Merchant Maverick says, “A digital POS display will often see a 5 to 60 percent sales increase. Not only that, customers who view a digital display will have an increased recall of your brand by 40 to 60 percent.2  Ordinarily we think of reports and analytics, but customer countertop marketing is another element of your POS.  Imagine a pilot coming to the counter and a tablet is scrolling through photos of your FBO, promoting rewards card usage, reminding a pilot to use his branded card, or even offering a discount on fuel for additional gallons. These messages can spark actions that sell more product, save money and create loyalty; all of which boost your bottom line.

     How can you implement customer counter-top marketing?  With essintaWINGS it’s as easy as a uploading a few graphics with your promotions and then just clicking a button in the software.  With any device, like a second monitor, iPad, or Android tablet, your promotions are displayed for the pilot to see while engaging with the customer service representative.

Meet Statutory Requirements

     Can your customers see the sale ring up in real-time?  “Some states–California for instance–require you to provide a front-facing screen which shows customers what you ring up as you ring it up. Turning your screen around to show customers their total after you’ve rung them up does not count. The law states that a consumer must be able to see a transaction being rung up.3  The California legislation requiring electronic POS systems to display sales data to the customer during the sales process is very specific.4  Today when we visit Target, grocery stores, or even a gas station most often there is a “pole display” visibly showing our transactional data.  

     When I developed FBO Manager in the late 1990s such displays were cumbersome and expensive.  EssintaWINGS combines the customer countertop marketing and pole display in a single application for your customer.  As described above, the software allows you to link to any secondary display device. Next, when a sales transaction begins essintaWINGS automatically displays the current sale on the screen showing: items like jet fuel and avgas, quantity, selling price, taxes, and the adjusted price.  The data is totaled for easy review by your customer.

     As a retail merchant, responding to customer needs is paramount, and there are burdens from local, state, and the federal government.  Plugging in a second, low cost device or monitor and simply clicking a button helps your business ensure compliance and drive new business opportunities.  You can see a demonstration of the EssintaWINGS Customer Countertop Marketing and Pole Display here.

EssintaWINGS Certified To Accept EPIC Cards

 

Port Orange, FL - EssintaWINGS developed by John Nelson, formerly of FBO Manager software, has been certified to accept EPIC cards and all other payment forms accepted through the EPIC Fuels payment gateway. EPIC customers began processing on the EssintaWINGS system on March 5, 2018. EPIC branded FBO locations now have a modern aviation point of sale transaction processing software option that is a complete replacement for Compass, FBO Manager or Total FBO.

Nelson and Ken Edwards, both formerly of EPIC, bring first hand experience and knowledge of EPIC’s branded programs and workflows to EssintaWINGS, making it a natural upgrade for EPIC Fuels branded FBOs.

“We’re pleased that EssintaWINGS has met all of the rigorous requirements for certification on the EPIC Fuels payment gateway and that they will provide another choice of FBO Management Software” said Connie Brown, Vice President of Client Services for EPIC Fuels. “Choices are important to our Merchants and with 10,000 tail numbers carrying an EPIC Card, it is great to see more options in the market that make it even easier to accept the EPIC Card.”

Now certified with Avfuel, Shell, and EPIC, EssintaWINGS is positioned to provide nearly every FBO with a flexible, robust, and efficient point of sale system.  Nelson has even built data import routines to facilitate an easy transition to EssintaWINGS from programs like Total FBO and FBO Manager.  EssintaWINGS provides easy invoicing, customer tracking and fast, reliable processing, all through an easy to use interface that you can learn in minutes.  With sales reporting, credit card and contract fuel processing, FBO’s can monitor their business or process invoices from any anywhere. EssintaWINGS is a true web enabled application that operates on any device, including phones, tablets, and both Apple and Windows computers.  

Since its debut in 2017, EssintaWINGS has led the aviation industry in innovations such as fuel automation with Veeder-Root/Liquid Controls/TCS, FlightBridge reservations connectivity, transaction based QuickBooks data integration, and online credit card processing.

For more information on the EssintaWINGS software visit www.essintaWINGS.com or call (386) 256-8537.

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EssintaWINGS Certified To Accept Shell Aviation Cards

EssintaWINGS Certified To Accept Shell Aviation Cards

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: 27 Feb 2018

CONTACT: John Nelson, President

(386) 256-8537

Port Orange, FL - EssintaWINGS developed by John Nelson, formerly of FBO Manager software, has been certified to accept Shell Aviation cards and all other payment forms accepted through the Eastern Aviation payment gateway. Shell customers began processing on the EssintaWINGS system on Feb. 27, 2018. Shell branded FBO locations now have a modern aviation point of sale transaction processing software option.

“Over the past 11 years, John Nelson has helped us provide the high quality service we’re known for,” said Dan DeMeo, CEO of Rabbit Aviation Services. “With EssintaWINGS, we’ll be even faster and more mobile. It’s easy to setup and learn, delivers in-depth reports quickly, and integrates with QuickBooks. With our Veeder-Root EMR3 equipped trucks, the fuel logging and billing process from ramp to terminal is now completely automated; no radio calls or extra action needed to get billing done. Isn’t that what we’re here for? To make fuel stops easy, quick and accurate?”

EssintaWINGS provides easy invoicing, customer tracking and fast, reliable processing, all through an easy to use interface that you can learn in minutes.  With sales reporting, credit card and contract fuel processing, FBO’s can monitor their business or process invoices from any anywhere.  EssintaWINGS is a true web enabled application that operates on any device, including phones, tablets, and both Apple and Windows computers.  

EssintaWINGS can also process payments transactions directly to bank card providers, use the Avfuel Payment Gateway, and is nearing certification with other fuel brands.

“As a former FBO Manager user, I was so happy to learn that John Nelson had created another FBO Software package.  The similarities between the two programs is immediately obvious.   Having a program designed by someone who understands our industry is invaluable.   Integrated with Veeder Root fuel ticket automation, EssintaWINGS is poised to become a leading software option in the FBO Industry”, says Betsy Wines, V.P. Customer Service and Human Resources at Meridian Teterboro.

Nelson has brought two decades of FBO software development and assembled an experienced team to EssintaWINGS. Since its debut in 2017, EssintaWINGS has led the aviation industry in innovations such as fuel automation with Veeder-Root, FlightBridge reservations connectivity, transaction based QuickBooks data integration, and online credit card processing.

For more information on the EssintaWINGS software visit www.essintaWINGS.com or call (386) 256-8537.

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EssintaWINGS Certified To Accept Avfuel Cards

 

PRESS RELEASE

DATE: 24 Jan 2018

 

EssintaWINGSTM Certified To Accept Avfuel Cards

Port Orange, FL - EssintaWINGSTM has been certified to accept Avfuel aviation fuel cards and all other payment forms accepted through the Avfuel payment gateway. Avfuel customers can begin processing on the EssintaWINGS system on January 23, 2018. This convenient, easy-to-use system gives Avfuel customers a modern point-of-sale transaction processing software to run their businesses.

At Avfuel, we’re all about offering our branded network more choices, and the addition of EssintaWINGS to our accepted point-of-sale processing system does just that,” said William Light, Avfuel’s vice president of administration. “We’re dedicated to offering our unique branded FBOs complete solutions to streamline their operations; making EssintaWINGS available to them helps further this endeavor.”

EssintaWINGS is a true web-enabled application and operates on any device, including phones, tablets, and both Apple and Windows computers. EssintaWINGS provides easy invoicing, customer tracking, and fast, reliable processing all through an easy-to-use interface that users can learn in minutes. In addition, with efficient accounting capabilities, and credit card and contract fuel processing, FBOs can check their fuel inventory or enter tickets from anywhere.

Furthermore, EssintaWINGS can process transactions outside of branded fuel gateways and is nearing certification with other fuel brands.

Our staff understands the intricacies of credit card processing and contract fuel management. By combining EssintaWINGS with credit card processing, we have helped our customers save thousands of dollars and thousands of hours in duplicate entry time,” said John R. Nelson, president of EssintaWINGS.  

Nelson has brought two decades of FBO software development to EssintaWINGS and has assembled an experienced team. Since its debut in 2017, EssintaWINGS has led the aviation industry in innovations such as fuel automation with Veeder-Root, transaction-based QuickBooks data integration, and online credit-card processing.

FBOs Of The Future

"Technology improvements for FBOs, fuel suppliers, flight departments, and software vendors will take on a new sense of urgency as industry gains the ability to link systems and cost-effectively deploy system solutions," John R. Nelson - President, Essinta Labs, Inc.

Technology impacts business, but generally escapes headlines as consumer examples abound and are far more newsworthy. In aviation businesses some technology changes are readily apparent. For example, during the last 25 years I have watched the cockpit evolve from using LORAN to GPS to downloadable applications for mobile phones. Navigating waypoints via LORAN was impressive and 20 years ago a moving map overlay during the approach via a phone the size of a deck of cards would have been unimaginable.

Change can create fear, however. Just twelve years ago the technology challenge we faced was the fear of Y2K. Laughable now, fear over com-mutational architecture schemed in the late 1960’s resulted in a massive effort to ensure data would not be lost and systems would run. There were threats of airplanes falling from the sky at midnight on December 31, 1999. Of course, we know nothing catastrophic occurred.

Within our industry we tend to be early adopters of technology. For example, we have moving-map GPS for display in the business aircraft cabin, air-to-ground messaging, and software systems to track parts and predictive maintenance on airframes and engines. The FAA has long made available databases of aircraft and airmen information and worked to deliver weather and flight planning in real-time. A perception exists of pilots' enthusiasm for gadgetry, but workflow and safety has improved due to the aforementioned changes.

Impacts of Technology

FBOs have faced technology challenges and, unlike aircraft operators,have generally been slower o adopt new technology. For instance, credit card processing continues to use carbon paper and manual imprinters,whereas many industries process via mobile applications available for nearly15 years.

A common scene at many FBOs is a self-serve fuel terminal connected via phone lines to client machines inside the FBO, and at the counter there are standalone credit card machines; both with no connectivity to any accounting programs. Interactions with fuel suppliers are primarily manual, requiring phone calls, paper invoicing, and providing no shipment updates to customers. In contrast, outside our industry logistics companies generally provide mobile applications, email updates,and GPS tracking of shipments.

Over the next five years I feel technology improvements in the aviation industry will take on a new sense of urgency, primarily driven by cloud-based information technology and lower implementation costs. Projects dreamed of a decade ago will deploy due to the commonality of mobile devices: sales and credit card swiping on the ramp; coupons as the pilot arrives; line service tracking anywhere on airport property; and instantaneous sales and inventory reporting. Data plans on cellular networks are no longer a concern and give access to the internet affording remote connectivity with no infrastructure.

The FBO of the future will benefit from improvements in communications, shipment tracking, mobile wallets, and mobile location services. Instant access to fuel sales will be available remotely 24-hours per day, allowing smaller FBOs to operate like large competitors. Fuel orders will occur automatically, driven by wireless tank automation systems and send realtime shipment updates like Amazon.com does today. The pilot’s experience will improve due to single data entry at the flight department level and instant reservation alerts at the FBO. Connected to flight tracking systems in the cloud, the FBO’s front desk personnel will receive push notifications of inbound aircraft and deliver higher level customer service.

Workflow Simplification

Technology allows participants in the sales process to enter a free market through pricing auctions or bid systems for the best prices. Even the smallest FBOs will do their bidding and acquisition of fuel via on-line auction systems. Similarly, flight departments will choose an FBO based on electronic decision-making using a combination of fuel price, hangar rates, catering costs, and services.

Fuel companies will use their buying power and demand auctions and dispatch via the best carrier price in a given market. Likewise, suppliers will optimize terminal pricing to provide the FBO the lowest price. Multiple racks will compete for fuel sales or use inventory algorithms in place of weekly or daily pricing and fuel will be sold into-storage real-time.

Other aspects of FBO workflow will simplify via technology. With the pervasiveness of mobile devices, checklists will move to web-based applications. For example, quality control checklists on refuelers will push to line service technicians, and connections to electronic metering systems will prevent flow unless proper quality control procedures are completed. Fuel suppliers will monitor activity and support FBOs with computer based training modules and videos.

On refuelers, VoIP systems will allow fuel supplier representatives to communicate with line service or monitor a fueling operation via video. Around the FBO, checklist applications will track aircraft for revenue and ensure overnight fees for hangar and ramp are applied. The mundane aspects of facility maintenance will also use mobile applications. Connectivity to inventory systems will automate supply ordering for the office, bathrooms,break rooms, and lobby areas.

Technology Barriers

Unlike other industries, a lack of standards exists and there is little potential for cooperation among vendors and suppliers as each makes business decisions regarding integration costs. In other industries open-source agreements have overcome cost and competitive barriers to spawn technology revolutions. As a leading and experienced software provider, we have long recognized the need for technology and have undertaken multiple initiatives over the last two decades to provide cutting edge programs for FBOs. EssintaWINGS is just one example of the many products and services we are developing to help our customers grow through technology and innovation. Our websites are the springboard to interface with external systems and support FBOs allowing transfer of information to outside systems. Our focus at EssintaWINGS is ensuring systems are: scalable, replicable, cost-efficient, and customer centric. Our customers, fuel supplier, card processor, fuel automation provider and FBO, drive our business decision making and determine where investments are made. We serve as a business partner to our customers and are striving to meet the obvious objectives, but also inventing new technology to give us a competitive edge.