BLOG – DISCOVERY SERIES: PRODUCTIVITY
Over the past few months we’ve published a number of ‘Discovery Series‘ posts, each one highlighting a different core focus of our business. These areas relate to key deliverables from the travel software and solutions that we provide. First, we looked at some ways in which we increase our clients’ revenues, next we covered improving the experience of their B2B and B2C customers. More recently, we discussed how we are able to deliver the peace of mind through our experience and proven processes in travel and travel technology. The fourth and final area of focus is that of productivity. Below are some examples of how we practise what we preach when it comes to ensuring that our clients’ business operations reach maximum efficiency.
We begin by shining a light on the Itinerary Builder Caching Module and functionalities available within our Travel Studio enterprise reservation system. These are amongst the most recent developments to launch from Open Destinations and have proven extremely popular with both new and existing customers. Our Supplier Extranet and Agent Portal are B2B features, as both link partners, suppliers and B2B customers to our Travel Studio customers. Finally, we describe our specialist Travel Outsourcing solution, which brings extra efficiency to travel companies’ back-offices.
ITINERARY BUILDER – FIT & GROUPS
The Itinerary Builder arms tour operator and DMC sales teams with a powerful productivity-boosting tool. The technology enables tour operators to build custom itineraries by simply clicking and dragging various trip elements into a template. For example, start and end dates either side of flights, transfers, various excursions and accommodation. The Itinerary Builder for groups has been specifically designed to cope with the intricacies of group pricing, including free places and flexible passenger breaks.
Once a Drag & Drop itinerary has been created, the software’s Document Generator can be used to automatically create a highly formatted proposal from a range of defined templates, which can be saved in various formats (PDF, HTML, Word Doc) before being sent to the client.
Travel Studio customers can pull in cached prices and availability for any part of a travel itinerary over a specific period. Flight prices, hotel availability and more can be saved offline enabling users to access price and availability data immediately rather than using time-consuming live requests that access APIs over the web for each individual query. Travel Studio is capable of storing millions of prices and availabilities at once ensuring that users work more efficiently and can deliver accurate quotes, itineraries and packages to their end-users in far less time.
Travel Studio’s cached price and availability data can be pulled in from suppliers within Open Destinations’ extensive partner network. These include the likes of GTA, Hotelbeds, Expedia, JacTravel and Miki Travel as well as the major GDS systems Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport.
The Supplier Extranet feature in Open Destinations reservation systems demonstrates our commitment to our clients to provide them with tools to make their businesses more efficient. Our technology helps them divert their staffing resources towards what really matters – growing their business.
The extranet allows hoteliers more flexibility when updating contracts in Travel Studio. In addition, the tour operators using Travel Studio are provided with instant updates of all communications with hotel suppliers, guaranteeing that sales agents, XML connections and websites have real-time access to pricing, allocations, special offers and hotel content.
A benefit for B2B customers, the agent portal within Travel Studio allows our customers to open up Travel Studio access to any travel agent. In this portal agents can amend their details, view bookings they have already made with you and make new bookings. By empowering agents to update their own data it decreases the risk of inaccuracies and means they can work and sell more efficiently.
When we’re speaking to travel companies and trying to understand whether our outsourcing services would be a good fit for them, we ask several initial questions. Amongst them are three relating to productivity:
- Are the back-office functions in your business taking up an inordinate amount of time and resource?
- Do your back-office functions take up a disproportionate time of management and senior management resource?
- Do back-office functions detract from your core business priorities?
Through our dedicated Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) teams, we can offer tour operators, airlines, DMCs and wholesalers an efficient, reliable and effective solution that can free up time for them to focus on core business priorities. Too often we see management and senior management wasting their time on resource hungry administrative operations. Time that would be better spent in areas such as business strategy. Open Destinations’ specialist Travel Outsourcing solution is focused on increasing our customers’ productivity at every stage both in the back-office and beyond.