Rob Wharf

President, Progressive Air Services. Established in 1975

We were very fortunate to be given the opportunity to participate in the TAP and found the quality of the presenters and presentations professional and well informed. The TAP has opened doors to many opportunities to expand our Group. TAP has also initiated us to further our internal knowledge and processes to be able to respond to our customers in a timely and professional manner.

Give us your elevator pitch. Describe your business in 25 words or less.

Since 1975 we have provided high quality overhauls, repairs of certified and experiential aircraft piston engines and accessories. We have our own paint and NDT shops as well. We also stock many parts and lubricants for overnight delivery. We can ship globally and can also offer many factory engines and original equipment manufactured parts and PMA parts as well.

What was your biggest challenge in terms of business growth and exporting before you joined TAP?

Developing our sales team, accountability to our new processes and continuing to keep our pipeline full at all times. Furthering our processes and behaviours. Funding raising and cash flow.

What did your team learn from TAP?

More discipline on developing our processes and time management. Look at opportunities and evaluate them but do not waste time and energy. Be ok with dropping a project and looking at it again at a later date.

What have been the key outputs for you and your company since graduating TAP?

Completing our processes, we have brought on two new sales people to help reach new markets. We are making more contact with new customers in the USA, however we need to get back to the potential customers faster and have a higher close rate.

What do the next 18-24 months look like for you and your business?

We are trying to land four to six large flight schools as customers for a regular engines in our shop. Increase our accessory, paint and NDT departments output, grow revenues and gross profits.

Who do you think could benefit most from participating in TAP?

Companies who are able to be flexible, adaptable and can offer either services or manufactured units to other countries that do not have the same technical abilities.

Where do you currently export?

USA, Australia, Germany, France, Switzerland, South Africa.

What is the next international market you would like to tap into, and why?

We are watching closely both the NAFTA agreement, China and India closely because of the growth in aerospace in these countries. During the TAP we were cautioned about trying to expand both into China and India all at once, due to the unknowns of the cultures and language barriers etc.

Why would you encourage other companies to participate in TAP?

I found the networking abilities very valuable and also the different established organizations that could help with the research and business expansion for trade with other countries.

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