Signature rethinks bottom line

 - January 10, 2008, 10:17 AM

Signature is in the process of developing a new national pricing strategy to replace its current Prime Rate program. The new program, scheduled to be introduced in April, is designed to generate more individual “face time” with the chain’s widely varied client base. As part of the reorganization, company management has been streamlined, with two newly titled regional sales vice presidents splitting the 44 Signature locations nationwide. Eleven selected site managers have been promoted, each being given local regional responsibility for two or three other nearby FBOs.

The existing customer-relations department will remain intact under v-p Mary Miller and will also be responsible for participation at trade shows and other public events. Longtime Signature executive Sy Farmer has been designated director of overall operations. David Vaughn is the new eastern sales v-p, based at company headquarters in Orlando, Fla.; and John Hagel, formerly of Raytheon Aircraft Services, is the new western sales v-p, based in Dallas.

The new pricing program is scheduled for “rollout” in April. Starting this month, Signature will begin contacting some of its larger customers to solicit feedback for the new program. Executive v-p of marketing Steve Lee told AIN that the new program is a result of extensive survey work involving current Signature customers, large and small. The result is a focus on more individual pricing programs. Lee said, “We’ve never really had a ‘sales’ department before. From the survey results, we realized that too much ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t work.”

With the focus on custom-tailored sales agreements rather than uniform fuel-purchase requirements, Lee said Signature hopes to establish more palatable pricing arrangements for as many individual customers as possible.

Another goal is to tie in Signature’s relationships with other BBA- owned business aviation service providers–notably Dallas Airmotive–under the same parent-company corporate umbrella. “We call it cross-selling,” said Lee. If an operator does business with Dallas Airmotive for engine overhauls, that operator should be entitled to consideration for discounts on fuel at Signature FBOs. “We’re way overdue on trying to establish that kind of leverage,” said Lee.