Does a travel-specific mid and back-office unleash your business potential?
The short answer is “Yes”: your travel business will greatly benefit from a travel management system. Overall here are some of the most important points for your business, which are discussed further below:
- Customer-centric focus – The Business Traveler: Increasing complexity and demands from business travelers – Customer expectancy and satisfaction.
- Travel agency system landscape: Behind the scenes – Complex and handheld system landscape.
- Business value: Business risk assessment and handling – Business knowledge drives business value.
Customer-centric focus – The Business Traveler
It does not come as a surprise that Internet forces travel agencies of all kinds to step up their game. Travel agencies must meet the business traveler in respect to offered travel possibilities, transparency in pricing and last but not least customer satisfaction.
Frequent travelers are aware of many aspects of travel, such as airlines or hotels dynamic and seasonal pricing, booking interfaces, check-in and airport tricks, etc. But just like it is the case for a show, the public eye doesn’t see what happens behind the scenes. Those who work in the travel industry are at the heart of a complex business that involves relationships with several different suppliers. Although the Internet made many things easier and more accessible for travelers, it did create a bunch of new challenges for travel agencies, among others.
With the cultural shifts strongly encouraged and led by younger generations, travel agencies find themselves having to satisfy higher customer expectations while dealing with the increased competition that came with online travel price transparency. In addition to that, customers are increasingly independent, but expect a higher level of knowledge and service from travel agencies. Naturally, travel technologies that were still efficient a few years ago might not be able to compete anymore.
Travel agency system landscape
Behind the scenes of a travel agency there is a complex and handheld system landscape. Islands of independent systems and excel spreadsheets is the foundation upon which the travel agencies rely and weave the travels itineraries and invoices.
As the limits of travel are pushed further away day after day, travel businesses’ tradition of relying on a distributed architecture is becoming harder to control.
The battle between daily task and system complexity
The life of travel agents can easily revolve around just finding the right information. In a distributed architecture, travel businesses rely on several different systems to accomplish daily tasks. Normally we see systems like, GDS, Settlements services, accounting and payroll systems as well as way too many different excel worksheets. Not only do all these systems require specific training, but also searching among these opaque data silos is difficult and time consuming.
Simplify system complexity – One solution, one truth
Implementing a mid and back-office travel ERP solution enables travel agencies to use one platform that integrates all their systems. An integrated solution will greatly reduce manual labor, which saves time and effort, but also minimizes the risk of human error.
Business and customer insights
In addition to these benefits, using one integrated system makes it easier to keep track of your business performance, your customer relationships and makes it easy to have a quick and global overview of your organization. All in all, this will both unify and simplify the travel agencies’ technological architecture, which will reduce both manual labor and risk significantly.
The traditional way
A standard system requires a whole adaptation of business processes to fit the new system, and there is no guarantee that the organization will manage to successfully redesign its processes. Does the new solution even integrate with current systems? Moreover, the end-users might be resilient to change their work habits, therefore the adoption of the new ERP software might not go as quickly and efficiently as management had hoped for.
Travel specific solution for mid and back-office mitigate implementation risk
By implementing a travel-specific system, you are investing in a system which is designed for your needs. A system that has already been tested by companies with the same business processes and similar requirements as yours. Investing in a product that was designed to exclusively focus on your travel industry gives you the confidence that comes with industry expertise and experience.
Tailormade travel solution
With a tailored system, there is no need to fit in or adapt your business processes into this new standard system. Since this is a tailored travel solution, the main business processes are already enabled within the system.
Partner business knowledge and understanding
When implementing a new mid and back office it is important to work and rely on a partner with travel business knowledge and expertise. A partner who understands and has the ability to utilize the potential within the travel solution. A partner who equally knows what types of systems you use to run your travel agency, such as GDS, BSP/ARC, travel accounting, etc. and has built upon this knowledge to make sure that the system can integrate with any of them. Since users do not have to work with new business processes, the new system can get adopted much quicker throughout the organization, therefore reducing risks of delay on customer delivery.
By opting for a travel mid and back-office, you provide your business with the best foundation for a successful implementation and strong support of future growth. Implementing an ERP solution always comes with high risks and that’s exactly why it is crucial to invest in one that was built upon years of experience in the travel industry.
We are Travel Industry experts that have developed a solution based on Microsoft Dynamics 365, with added travel-specific functionality to support travel agents in their daily tasks and empower their entire team.
© 2020 Travel Operations A/S.