Detailer Finds Success Is All in the Details

 - October 19, 2011, 1:38 PM

Grant Hundley, president of Global Appearance Partners, spent nine years with NetJets as manager of aircraft appearance for the U.S.-based fleet. Last October “I thought it was time to move on and do something different based on what I’d learned about the detailing business. What we’ve done is develop a different approach to aircraft detailing,” he told AIN.

Hundley said one of the challenges is that many operators don’t pay attention to detailing. “Fortunately there are some good markets for detailers such as fractional operators and corporate flight departments that aren’t big enough to have an appearance department of their own.”

Seeing that as a niche market, Hundley formed Columbus, Ohio-based Global Appearance Partners, drawing upon relationships he’d established in the industry. Hundley explained the benefits of having his company act as the middleman that brings clients and detailers together.

“There’s a lot more to this than people think and we take care of it for our customers. I have known most of the detailers we work with for years. We’ve checked their insurance, FAA-approved drug-and-alcohol program when appropriate, training and capabilities. Our clients don’t have to worry about anything,” he said. More…

Hundley said his company gets calls from customers all over the world and so far he’s been able to take care of every one. “It’s unusual to get a call from someone where we don’t have a detailer in reasonable proximity. If we don’t know anyone near the customer location we look for a detailer in the area we haven’t worked with before, and then check them out pretty carefully. Sometimes it may not be the most experienced operator, so we’ve established a good training program that allows us to coach him through the process.”

Hundley said the company is in the process of developing a small network of vendors that can hit the road. “The goal is to be able to dispatch a team with a go-kit anywhere in the world within 24 hours,” he said. Hundley is projecting that ability within the next year to 18 months.

“The other primary advantage to using Global Appearance Partners is cost. The longstanding relationship I have with our vendors allows me to negotiate a better price for the customer, often significantly less than customers could get on their own. After we work with someone for six months or so we get a pretty good idea how they operate. Using our industry relationships combined with our understanding of how the operator works gives us the opportunity to offer a contract that can be used in forecasting an annual budget. Detailing is all about paying attention to detail.”