When this is done, back office activities are an important part of any organization as part travel agents are often seen to balance and memorize clients and earnings within months. For travel agents and agencies, identifying and retrieving manual activities is a challenging task due to the nature of well-integrated processes at the back end. Therefore, it is necessary to identify these manual activities at the outset.
Below are some manual activities that agents come up with as part of their work routine that can be replaced by automation in back-end offices:
1) Accounting and reporting
Since it is relatively easy to allocate revenue through accounts, it still stands without expenses. Why spend? Because it is difficult to calculate the sales cost of different accounts depending on the effort. Consider how many hours of investment per month in the account and then capture in a spreadsheet. How about accurate spending reporting and profitability analysis of individual accounts? Manually tracking payments, commissions and booking earnings is a complex and time-consuming task that puts you at risk of error. Therefore, reporting from time to time without manpower / manual work and using an effective travel agency software to determine the cost may be a good decision. Here, using the technology will reduce the required manpower and manual errors.
2) Travel account services related to business intelligence
Progressive travel pattern reporting, travel policy obligations, etc. can add value to the travel agents business, but it certainly involves a lot of manual work. This further increases labor costs and results in a trivial level of weak competition, resulting in a reduction in revenue. Therefore, back-end office automation is necessary to reduce labor costs and reduce productivity through its integrated applications.
3) Business rules and revenue management
Travel agencies work with a variety of clients, agents and suppliers. These vary in type, location, size, bookings, etc. and require separate business rules such as markup and margins based on predefined criteria for effective revenue management. Dition specific procedures require manual application of these business rules for each transaction and to multiple entities.
Suppose you have separate markup for flights and hotels and they also have your commission structure based on the number of bookings of sub-agents. Every time you or your sub-agent make a booking, you need to manually apply the relevant markup depending on the flight booking, hotel booking or car booking. You also need to calculate the commissions you have to pay your sub-agent based on the class. If you do B2C, you may need to apply an additional markup based on customer class.
It may not be such a big problem if you make 5-10 bookings a month, but if you make one or more odd bookings in a month, doing all this manually for each booking can be extremely time consuming and prone to errors. A travel agency system can automate this process and save you a lot of time and manpower costs. You need to configure the policies at once and the systems will automatically apply them to each booking.
4) Supplier and Agent Commission
The commission calculation of sub-agents and vendors or suppliers such as airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, etc. can be very confusing compared to the total income. A sophisticated travel ERP helps to calculate arrears of commission, release payments and notify accounts with outstanding or outstanding amounts.
5) Last minute travel changes
Corporate travel accounts often change to last-minute travel plans. Therefore, manually optimizing it every single time is a tedious task that makes dealing with corporate accounts less flexible for traffic agents. With an automated integrated system at the end, travel agents can make flexible changes to travel plans without compromising in time. This will help to better manage account relationships and make last minute changes effective.
How can you automate your back office?
A Travel ERP is designed to provide integrated applications that work for front office as well as back office business processes. Most departments or processes in an organization have pay-rates, HR and accounting.
Similarly, ERPs have the ability to effectively render these roles through their initial software applications that can assist travel agents in standardized processes and thus reduce costs for agencies / agents. General data structures / models and standardized processes are the most important values that these ERPs can add to the agents’ back office. Because of the lack of one or both of these aspects, manual activities are conducted in a non-integrated system.
With a simple data structure, data can be collected and drafted at once and updated or customized at individual levels as needed, adding flexibility to processes and making reporting data easier each day.
The business acumen of travel agents for the regular and structured flow of work processes such as accounting and payroll requires time where the flow of information needs to be smooth.
Travel agents need to understand how software applications can make it easier to manage travel through back-end automation by reducing the frequency of manual work activities and the occurrence of manual errors.
For travel agents, investing in automation software or dedicated ERPs is a one-time investment that can solve travel agents’ manpower problems and management problems.
Considering the recent evolution of the travel and tourism industry, there has been a sudden stimulus in the competitive nature of the travel industry, which calls for bold investment and result-oriented activities for increased efficiency.