TECHNOLOGY BRINGS CGP CLOSER AND QUICKER TO OUR CUSTOMERS
Salesman Elijah Kitts gets to CGP customers faster
Salisbury, NC: CGP has taken to the skies to increase efficiency and productivity. Elijah Kitts, CGP salesman and single engine pilot, stated, “What I do as a pilot is parallel to what we do in servicing our customers. As a pilot, planning, checklists, emergency procedures, etc. is required by law. At CGP, attention to detail is part of our culture.”
“Essentially,” Kitts continued, “we use a plane to be more efficient with our time; sometimes for service calls, but mostly sales. For example, we recently had a customer concern. We jumped right in the plane, flew to the customer, and quickly got them comfortable. We’re able to reach more people and focus on their needs. We use aviation as a tool. Now I can see 2-3 customers a day, all around the country.”
Kitts flies north and south along the eastern seaboard as well as into the Midwest. Considering flight preparation, he observed, “As a pilot, we consider times of the year – summer thunder storms. We avoid cloud build-up from 1-5 pm. We work around the weather. We have to be careful during freezing weather. In the early spring, we have freezing levels so we have to plan our routes. It takes a lot of pre-flight and pre-planning, very similar to how we conduct business at CGP.”
Kitts recently certified for his private pilot single engine license with instrument rating. A former Camden Military Academy teacher was Kitts’ certified flight instructor. Kitts attended high school at Camden Military Academy and graduated college with a business degree from The Citadel. Now in sales at CGP, Kitts stated, “CGP Sales manager Art Duont is showing me the practical side of real work.”
With over 200 horsepower, the Cirrus SR22 is classified as a high performance aircraft. It flies 3 miles per minute versus the 1.5 miles a minute of a Cessna 172 training plane.
“There is no comparison; it’s the upper limits of single engine planes and the efficiency of the plane is remarkable,” noted Kitts. “It’s a good feeling to quickly service customers. For example we can take a 400 mile trip in only 3 hours. Many of the regional airports have a courtesy vehicle we can rent for a couple of hours; sometimes sitting there on the runway. We hop in the car to make a call and then away we go to the next customer.”
“We have to be familiar with all the facts related to the flight and route; length of runway, courtesy car, fuel, pattern access, elevation, weather and route, minimum altitudes,” Kitts continued. “We also check everything on the airplane. Compared to driving a car, it’s much more than checking the air conditioning and gas level. We have to check everything; tires, pressure, and even smell the fuel. We check everything that is obvious and do our homework so we can accomplish the flight safely. Doing the right planning is required and it’s a good habit. We are solidifying our plan so we get there safely.”
“In a similar way, when we set up a new customer at CGP, we have a checklist of details that ensure their takeoff goes smoothly. Afterwards, during the production of their products, we have checks and balances to ensure the delivery of their product is exactly what they ordered,” said Kitts. “Becoming a pilot has provided a great foundation for better servicing prospects and customers.”
“When I graduated college, I told my Mom about flying. She said, ‘You’ve only had your driver’s license for a year.’ I had been so busy with studies and school, I didn’t license until I was 19 years old and a sophomore in college,” he remarked.
“Getting my pilot’s license was a life changing experience,” said Kitts. “By leveraging our time, we can more efficiently service CGP customers. We choose to fly 3 hours versus driving 14 hours. Flying has been a great tool to make that happen.”