FLIGHT DEPT PROFILE
McCoy's builds trade with bizav
Citation duo propels success of lumber company.
Gafford Aero Mx Technician Michael Medcalf pulls McCoy's Mustang out of the company's hangar at HYI.
McCoy's does not keep any mechanics on staff. When the work can be accomplished most efficiently there, minor maintenance on McCoy's Citations is accomplished at HYI by longtime onfield service provider Ken Medcalf, president of Gafford Aero.
McCoy relies on Cessna Citation Service Centers for all the rest. "With San Antonio being so close, we usually go up to San Antonio, or up to Wichita for anything major," Moore says.
"For the big 3-year items and anything major like an upgrade we usually go to Wichita," he continues. "And a lot of times we try to coordinate our FlightSafety recurrent training with major work, so we'll come up to Wichita. If both airplanes don't happen to have something to do at the same time, we'll drop one off in San Antonio and take the other one up to Wichita."
However, many times both airplanes are out at the same time—and nearly all the time they are flown single-pilot. On the first couple of Canadian trips McCoy took 2 pilots—and if there's an exceptionally long trip they still do—but Moore estimates that 99% of trips are single-pilot.
Also, most flights—about 90%—are out and back the same day. However, with several stores in New Mexico, pilots Moore or Marciniak may spend the night out while the executives visit 2 stores a day.
Moore indicated that a number of McCoy's VPs travel frequently to make sure store upgrades are going well. McCoy's VP in charge of day-to-day operations will travel with several regional managers. The regional managers live in their regions, and the aviators transport them to the stores under their purview.
The team also flies human resources executives to oversee personnel matters and hiring along with computer personnel to handle upgrades and system changes. Moore notes, "And then, of course, we've got our annual company meeting in Galveston once a year, and we'll take the weekend and travel 3 or 4 people to and from it. Or somebody will have to come in late or have to leave early or something like that."
Flight dept advantage
Chief Pilot Bill Moore (L) and Aviation Dir Al Marciniak on the flightdeck of the company's Citation Mustang.
Travel by McCoy's leadership team would be virtually impossible without its Citations, or at the very least take considerably longer to accomplish by airline or automobile.
"If you did that," says Moore, "it would probably take 10 times as long because most of our stores are in the small towns, and most of the towns we serve do not have airline service.
If you were going to visit the store in Terrell or Gainesville, you'd have to fly into Dallas, rent a car and then drive a ways to the store, make the visit, then drive back—and hopefully there's an airline that can take you back.
"So," he continues, "in our operation and our situation, airlines really do not work. You would probably double or triple time traveling trying to get to and from [locations].
"I've had 6 trips in 5 days, and then I've been home and not flown in 2 weeks.
When Brian [McCoy] flies, he'll give us a schedule 3–6 months ahead of time. He usually travels Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to visit the stores, and he's at the office Mondays and Fridays. He may not tell you where you're going, but you'll know you're flying that day. Usually he won't go to the same store more than twice a year."
With the rest of the executive team, the Aviation Dept usually knows its schedule 1–2 weeks ahead of time, except for pop-up trips, like for human resources-related issues. When the IT team does a store upgrade, it usually means 2 or 3 trips to the same store. "But there's not really one we visit more than the others," says Moore.
Gafford Aero Mx Tech Michael Medcalf (L) and Pres Ken Medcalf handle minor maintenance for McCoy's on site at the company hangar.
McCoy's 2 Citations are integral to the company's success. "My dad Emmett had it figured out," says McCoy.
"We couldn't grow like we've done through the years without having the way to get around. And we're a very hands-on family-owned business. While I've got an executive team that supports me and I'm very involved in our business.
"The idea of management walking around and being really close to our teams in our various yards, and also getting close to our key customers in the markets that we serve, is critical. It just couldn't be done without flying in the 2 planes.
We can't do a good job in leading the company unless we really have our boots on the ground, listening to our people and listening to our customers. And, of course, we love the single-pilot capability of both the aircraft that we fly. And, definitely—since we're family-owned—the personal aspect of being able to get around is really important."
McCoy continues, "I like to say we're in an industry that's really important to the country, and we get to be a part of both building new homes and remodeling existing ones, so I love the business that we're in—there's no doubt about that. My dad had a great idea early on.
He said that if we're going to expand we need to have the aircraft to be able to get around. It's made a tremendous difference in our ability to grow.
"This culture of our company is very important. That's the big advantage that an aviation department gives us. We get around efficiently to our facilities and do it where I can also direct the company from headquarters at the same time. It's the ultimate way to run a business."
Jim Gregory was formerly head of public relations for Learjet and Raytheon Aircraft. Today his James Gregory Consultancy provides aviation marketing and public relations counsel.
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