Consulting & Research
Demand Full-Time Collaboration
So, Please, Ask Us Some Hard Questions :
Tough Problems Need Tough Consultants.
We Aren't Afraid To Challenge The Status Quo
When we founded this firm in 1984, it was with the intention to be the best in our areas of expertise. We considered what we saw as weaknesses in the aviation consulting business, and built our company to avoid them.
We saw aviation consulting to be an industry that too often used the past titles of its principals as their main selling point. Further, we saw that many aviation consulting firms - even very large ones - were in the business of mostly gathering data and re-packaging it. They were basically data-collectors, not researchers, not leaders, and definitely not experts. They sold "consensus," not value-added, cutting-edge expertise.
We determined that our firm would be a leader in research and forecasting. We determined that we would provide assistance that would put our clients ahead of the competition. That meant that constant research was necessary, and not just when a client might call.
We're Not One of The Consulting Gang. Leaders don't run with the pack. Boyd Group International has always been independent and at the cutting edge of aviation consulting and research. Over the past 25 years, we’ve grown into the number one firm in thought leadership and vision. That's what sets us apart from other aviation consulting organizations.
This is one reason we are not members of various
associations, cabals or other organizations allegedly
representing aviation consultants. They simply don't meet our
standards. We want nothing to do with the dishonest political
games some of these groups play, such as giving pandering
"awards" to inept, and in some cases even functionally corrupt, Washington
officials, simply to make points in high places. And we are not interested in the kinds of lethargic groupthink they
generally represent. Nothing great has ever been accomplished by
running with the pack.
This is one reason we are not members of various associations, cabals or other organizations allegedly representing aviation consultants. They simply don't meet our standards. We want nothing to do with the dishonest political games some of these groups play, such as giving pandering "awards" to inept, and in some cases even functionally corrupt, Washington officials, simply to make points in high places. And we are not interested in the kinds of lethargic groupthink they generally represent. Nothing great has ever been accomplished by running with the pack.
Go Ahead. Ask Us Some Tough Questions. We hold ourselves to a new and higher standard. To illuminate this, we'd invite the following questions about who we are and how we approach our work.
That might sound a bit odd, but the answer can tell you volumes about the quality, depth, and expertise of a consulting firm.
Today, excellence in aviation consulting requires extensive analytical support, independent research, and substantial infrastructure to keep current on industry issues and to keep clients ahead of the curve. Expertise does not come about "on the cheap" nor by assuming past experience is sufficient to assist clients in the new aviation environment.
A Laptop, BlackBerry & A Kitchen Table Is Not A "Regional Office." Surprisingly, some consulting “firms” – even some large ones - are little more than associative agreements between individuals who live around the country and basically work only when a project comes along, out of their homes, with analytical support farmed out to someone else.
Some may be compensated on a near-commission or even a "draw" system, based on how much business they can bring in. That's an immediate conflict of interest - client goals take a back seat to meeting the associate's monthly revenue goals, and that's not professional. Ethically and qualitatively, it's the intellectual equivalent of a used car lot.
Boyd Group International is headquartered in our own office building in Evergreen, Colorado, just west of Denver. Here, our team of professionals come to the office every day, working together to accomplish projects for clients in the US and internationally, researching aviation industry trends, and relying on a sophisticated set of in-house data and support services. We’re in this business on a 24/7 basis, not just when a client calls.
Hint: if a firm's "regional offices" are merely associates' home addresses or just an unlisted cell phone number, you're dealing with a consulting firm that's not being up front with you.
Think about the rest of their business ethics.
At the Boyd Group, you know up front who will be directing the project and working with you. Our clients are engaging the best expertise available, because on every assignment, the principals of the firm are actively involved – researching data, analyzing numbers, and writing reports.
Of course, we also have the industry’s best analytical and support staff. And that’s just what they do – analyze and support. However, when you engage Boyd Group International, you work with a principal of the firm.
You can easily find background information on principals of Boyd Group International right on our website.
That might sound obvious, but it's interesting that some consulting firms don’t even list their staff on their website. They'll talk about their "consultants" or "team," yet no names are provided. That should be a red flag - it means that either they don't have staff dedicated to specific consulting disciplines, or, as noted above - they don't have real staff, only "associates" working remotely from their homes, or who are part-time.
We're proud of the clients we've assisted. And every one we list, was a client of Boyd Group International. A firm’s collective knowledge and expertise are what you're hiring, and the firm's philosophy, business approach, and resources are critically important when choosing a consultant.
Incredibly, some consults list clients and take credit for projects that individual members of their company may have been involved with during prior employment at other, totally un-related companies.
For any consulting firm to take credit for work done at another company is dishonest. Period. But it's a fact that some consulting companies tout "clients" that never hired them, but hired the firm they worked for. This type of “experience puffing” isn’t ethical.
Point: any consulting firm that tries to pass off work done at another company as somehow their own, regardless of the individuals involved, has a moral compass pointing in the wrong direction. If they do this in their brochures, think how they may deal with you, once they get the project.
At Boyd Group International, we could be like other consultants and just use raw federal data. Or, for example, MIDT passenger data, which can put out lots of numbers and make very pretty graphics, but are actually based on outdated, partial, and decaying sources of information.
It's easy to use such data. We don’t, because we strive for excellence.
Despite the fact that many consultants rely on such sources as near-Gospel, much of the information available from the Department of Transportation and other traditional sources are derived from reporting and analysis mechanisms that no longer reflect the new structure of the airline industry. (It's not just us who have discovered this. The DOT's own Inspector General reported on this - mostly to deaf ears - in 1997.)
Other typically-used sources, such as MIDT passenger booking data, are questionable because they come from global airline reservation distribution systems – the same ones that are increasingly being marginalized by the internet. The same ones that most low-fare carriers are increasingly avoiding. Regardless of what some may say, MIDT data do not accurately reflect the true air traffic picture - regardless of the exorbitant fees charged for such information.
At Boyd Group International, we determined years ago that new sources of analytical data would be needed. The result is our Aviation DataMiner® suite of data and forecast tools. Our airport forecast methodologies are far superior to the obsolete ones used by the FAA. For historical analysis, our Aviation DataMiner® system is the product of years of development, and addresses the fundamental errors that riddle DOT traffic data.
Bottom line: Boyd Group International uses data analysis tools that are developed for the future. Most other consultants are content to rely on yesterday's tools.
Sure, just about every aviation consultant has some indignant blurb in their brochures boldly stating that they "tell it like it is."
Okay, ask for specific, verifiable examples of where they publicly and independently took such a stand. The chances are, you'll find that they only "tell it like it is" when it's an opinion that safely matches everybody else. The rest of the time, particularly when they're off the clock, all you'll hear are the sounds of silence.
If they're reticent to express an independent opinion, before they know yours, they aren't "telling it like it is." They're more likely to tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to know.
That’s what makes Boyd Group International different from other consultants – we are not reticent to state our views, clearly and bluntly. That's because we study and research aviation trends on a daily basis. This not only puts us in a position to provide better service to our clients, but it's also the reason that the national media, such as NBC, FOX, CNN and others frequently call upon Boyd Group International for independent insight on aviation matters.
Naturally, this does lose us some potential clients, in particular those that hire consultants to be simply hired guns to concoct "studies" and "reports" to hype one partisan position or another, regardless of the facts.
At Boyd Group International, if a project matches our views and perspectives of aviation reality, we're interested in pursuing it. But if the client goal is to hire a fiction writer to twist facts, well, there are a number of other consultants that may be interested. We're not.
Bottom line, if a consultant expresses little or no hard, independent and insightful opinion on important issues, you haven’t really hired a consultant.
You’ve hired a court jester.
Projects actually accomplished by a consulting firm are important to consider. Equally important, however, are the projects that the firm decided not to pursue.
A consulting firm must have extensive expertise, or else it has no value. The measure of that expertise is knowing up-front if the objectives of a potential project are within the context of aviation realities.
From time to time, potential clients propose projects that our experience and industry knowledge clearly indicate have no chance of success. That type of situation requires the consultant to tell the potential (or, in some cases, existing) client the hard truth.
That's what sets Boyd Group International apart. We're in business to tell our clients what they need to know, not what they might want to hear. We're experts in our field, and we really are very well known for telling it like it is. That means we turn down projects that some other consultants jump at, simply because our knowledge and experience tell us that the objectives are not realistic.
For example, many small communities contact us based on our strong track record of success in air service development. In some cases, however, we have no choice but to tell them that no amount of analysis, studies, or consulting will change economic and demographic realities.
At Boyd Group International, we are not reticent to respectfully turn down a project we believe is untenable. Some consultants have a different set of ethics.
Most consultants don’t want to go on record with a position they may have to defend later on. At Boyd Group International, we study the industry constantly, and, as appropriate, publish our findings, as-is, and where-is.
At Boyd Group International we don't accept at face value what "everybody knows," or what's accepted wisdom, simply because it's all over the media. Instead, we’re constantly researching issues such as air traffic control, new fleet trends, rural air service, and airline strategies. Over the past two decades, we’ve published independent studies on such issues. We’ve been asked to provide testimony to Congress on our findings as well. Our Annual Aviation Forecast Conference is an event that aviation leaders attend year after year, simply because it provides hard, independent data and forecasts - information that often runs counter to ambient thinking.
A consultant must be able to provide data, information, and insight that puts the client ahead. That's what makes Boyd Group International different - we're at the forefront of aviation research and we're leaders in the forum of aviation discussion. And that makes us far more valuable to our clients.
The Bottom Line is that if you need consulting, research, or forecasting, Boyd Group International is ready.
Give us a call at (303) 674-2000