Why No One Is Listening To You


How does it feel, being ignored? You pick up the phone and get voicemail. You email and get no reply back. You text only to be ignored. In the world of fast paced jets, communication moves at the speed of idle dirt. Dealing with aircraft maintenance supply chain partners is a chore.

No One ListeningIt's like babysitting a child that doesn't listen.

Nowadays, we have social communication mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and the ancient phone, text and email. Yet, listening and communication skills are at an all time low. It's a mind numbing epidemic.

So why are people not listening to you? Why does it seem like nobody cares?

It's Not A You Problem, It's a Who Problem

When supply chain partners don't actively engage you in a conversation, it's not a you problem, it's a who problem.

It's very common to have a need and to have to pull teeth to work through a problem and find a solution. The person you should be relying on most is out to lunch with their phone turned off. They say "I-care-a-lot-about-you" but actions speak louder than words.

I'll give you a quick checklist to identify the who problem:

  • They don't reply to your email for hours
  • You don't have a cell phone number for them
  • You leave voicemails and they never return your call
  • You leave voicemails and it takes days to get a call back
  • They don't accept your social media requests so you can build trust a rapport with them
  • They are hard to find on the internet
  • You have no way to text them
  • They're never on Skype
  • They don't have Whatsapp
  • You can't call them after hours or on the weekends
  • Every time you talk to them it always sounds like they have something more important to do

This is why we have 24/7 dedicated Account Managers.

You can contact them personally any time you want. People who we can create the greatest value for and who benefits from our solutions has entire access to their Account Manager. It's about creating a "WOW" experience.

When you're not being heard and you identify it's a who problem, look at your options and figure out another way.

The Downfall of Demands

Another big issue it the constant pressure of demands, it could be you doing the demanding or the other party.

Constant demands will have the other party running. Communicating and listening together is entirely different.

Here's a great example. We had a new customer contact us and every time we engaged them in a solution for their rotable RFQ needs, they would demand a "cheaper" price. It was never good enough and pretty soon we became disengaged. With the prices we were quoting they got 100% logistical support, 24/7 access to a dedicated Account Manager and unparalleled service.

They know that they can trust us and we do as we say. There's no having to babysit us. In this particular situation it was a matter of $100 that they demanded we come down to. It was a constant demand of lowering prices and a constant demand of shipping things faster than agreed upon.

Every time we worked with this client it was a demand. It was never collaborative.

Are demands sometime necessary? Yes, of course, but doing more demanding and less communication and collaborating gets most people nowhere.

Listening is much more productive than talking and it's a critical flaw in a lot of supply chain partners communication style. Know the who and watch out for the constant demands.

Do you feel like your constantly ignored? Do your supply chain partners have a listening problem? Well fear no more my friend. Fill out the form below and let's show you how good listening skills is done.

The Poor Communication Epidemic

As the world shrinks through our ability to connect with one another via the vast webs of the internet, our communication skills begin to suffer. The Poor Communication Epidemic

It's a poor communication epidemic. It’s a virus that's plaguing every industry and felt in our hyper connected yet incredibly misunderstood aviation world.

The people affected most are the heart of the industry, airlines, yet they too are guilty of such an epidemic.

Our VP Nate Anglin, attended the MRO Americas conference and during one of the sessions, Alex Gorinsky from Southwest Airlines mentioned that we’d be surprised that poor communication exists even with their supply chain partners.

From big airlines to small, poor communication bleeds through the pores of every supply chain.

Most supply chain complexities are hard to fix yet communication is the easiest to overcome. It requires a little human focus.

It’s all about the win / win

In every relationship creating win / win relationships has positive long term effects. Ken Newton from Alaska Airlines puts it well when he says he doesn’t want to put all the burden on the supplier. It’s creating a winning relationship, and if the supplier makes money then Alaska Airlines makes money by being able to keep it’s fleet in the air. It’s not a complicated thought but it’s so important and yet still misunderstood.

Many times the supplier cares more about the financial gain than the long term relationship. This has detrimental effects both on trust and on an airline's operating objectives. The same is true for airlines and MROs putting burden onto their suppliers, stripping margins, and focusing on the “Everyday Low Cost” Wal-Mart special pricing, yet they still demand high quality and short TATs. Cheap does not create value. With cheap prices comes cheap service and solutions. This reduces the long term value being created and in the end more time and money is being spent.

The most effective collaboration is one with efficient communication that is focused on a win / win relationship, both for the airline and supply chain partners.

Listen then talk

When you talk with your aircraft component supplier, who does most of the talking? It shocks me that most of the time, suppliers would rather talk than listen. They talk about their services, the part numbers, the prices, and don’t forget to come back to them if you find anything better.

I’ll now be blunt…it’s stupid.

Rarely is someone in purchasing asked, you seem to have problem x? I can imagine this affects your operation in x ways. How does this affect you personally? You would then explain to them your deepest darkest concerns while they listen. They would absorb, translate, and comprehend your situation. They would then suggest possible ways to resolve your issues. Not once was selling a part mentioned. It’s about the resolution of problems and inefficiencies were the greatest value is created.

Listening is the start of effective communication. If someone doesn't listen, you might as well talk to the wall, your dog, or possibly your spouse? Kidding of course.

Hire partners slow, fire partners fast

Most of our supply chain partners love working with our team. MROs have said “everyone I talk to at Skylink from purchasing to A/P is an absolute pleasure to work with” and “The owners of Skylink must have an amazing HR department, everyone I speak to is top notch and respectful.”

Isn’t this the point?

Our HR policy is rather simple and so is working with suppliers. We hire slow and fire fast. If we have a toxic team member who doesn’t embody our core values, they won’t be on our team for long. We don’t care about the temporary disruption, toxic personalities bleed through our organization. We have the same principles with suppliers which is why we follow a preferred vendor system. We’ll hire slow and fire fast. If it creates a tempororay supply chain issue, we’ll figure something out so we can continue to create “WOW” experiences for our customers.

If you have a toxic supply chain partner who doesn’t listen, fire them. I assure you there’s someone who can replace them.

In a world that’s hyper connected, in an industry that never sleeps, poor communication continues to plague the industry.

Remember, in order to overcome the epidemic, create win / win relationships and your partners must listen more than they talk. Fire fast and hire slow.

P.S. Are you looking to replace your supply chain partners who care more about themselves than they do for you? We listen and we listen a lot. Fill out the form below and get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.