Throughout all my years working in the travel management business, I was always amazed how few of my colleagues had a thorough knowledge of the end-to-end processes. I knew why, but it still amazed me. OK, in smaller agencies, where everyone does everything, they will have a good idea, but there will be tasks that simply are not on their radar screen. Let me give you an example. Someone from a smaller agency will know how to build a profile, make a reservation, issue a ticket and write an invoice. They might even need to complete some accounting data. Explain then a profile tool, an HR feed, pre-trip reporting or even an online booking tool, and this is all terra incognita.
So you have a situation, especially with the large Travel Management Companies, as I mentioned, where very few people have a grasp of all the end-to-end processes, and it’s a shame. Even worse. There’s a price tag you can put on it. Let me list off a few
- Productivity loss – There is a definite cost we have if one is constantly making corrections and solving problems throughout the process chain, especially as a number of us know exactly where they come from
- What about productivity improvement? If you don’t have an overview of the entire process, how can you know that all of it is necessary
- Travel processes are not as easy a lot of people think – We have a number of systems and even more suppliers, where the business rules are becoming more and more conditional.
There is a lot of money at stake, and I wondered why no one has tried to properly explain what these processes look like, and take a stab at best practice….so I decided to take up the challenge.
In this course, I will go ahead and explain each part of the process, who’s involved in which region of the world. Right, there are regional differences that very few people realize, and we look at the various issues to be found all along the way.
I will give you real-life examples so that you can benefit from my 30 years of global experience within Travel Management.
This quest starts at the time the client is implemented. I explain what to keep in mind at deployment. Where is the customer profile hosted? How many countries are being serviced? What online tools are being used? Is there one agency, or multiples that need to work together?
Our next stop looking at both the customer and traveler profiles. How are they maintained? Do we just have one per traveler. You laugh. I think multiples might unfortunately be the standard. What are reference fields? Where does the travel policy fit in? What is a master profile?
We move on to the booking process, and what needs to be done in the beginning to get it right. What is a Point of Sale? Anyone for pre-trip reporting? What are dynamic reference fields, and what happens when you don’t get this data right? What is quality control? What are savings fields?
Fulfillment is our next station. The GDS ate my filed fare. Once was once online has suddenly become offline. What do you do? What are EBTA’s and what about virtual payment? Question to Americans – do you know what BSP is? Question to the rest of the world – Do you know what ARC is? Use the phrase mid-office, and different regions will complete completely different tasks for you. Ouch!
You mean an invoice is not always what you think it is. What is a collective invoice? Then there’s the electronic invoice, and they all look different wherever you are in the world. Anyone for EDIFACT?
Congratulations. You have the ticket and invoice issued. Guess what. The traveler needs to rebook. Now what do you do?
Our last stop on this quest looks at how the data is handed off for accounting, ticket reconciliation and global reporting.
Find anything worth learning more about. I look forward to seeing you at our video lectures.