Technology has been changing at a revolutionary pace in recent decades, with the result being changes in the way travel companies operate in nearly every sphere of the business world, including corporate travel. This new rate of change is already having significant repercussions for travel management companies, many of whom now do business with corporate clients who are increasingly wrapped up in the culture of increased technological growth.
While staying relevant and discovering new value can seem daunting under circumstances such as these, the same types of innovative thinking and new technological systems can and should be applied to managing business travel.
Rather than being forced to change by their client’s new digital workflows, travel management companies should embrace this new reality as an unprecedented opportunity for new growth.
Technology growth through ERP
One of the keys to leveraging new technology for more robust business growth is to adopt a first rate travel ERP system. Such a system adds value at all touch points throughout a company’s bookings and payment life cycle by efficiently connecting critical business processes. Through a user-experience forward interface, a travel ERP can ensure the flow of information both between different business processes and disparate arms of an organization, effectively integrating databases of clients, suppliers, and content while facilitating the management thereof. This type of technology can help to support growth in three concrete ways:
Optimization. Improved information means improved performance. Thus, when users can access all relevant information at once in a convenient location (flight availabilities, prices, and credit limits all available at the same time and place, for instance) they can complete tasks more quickly and more efficiently. The ready availability of accurate, up-to-the-minute data stands to make an impact at all levels of a given organization, helping to create a more valuable whole out of newly improved and empowered parts.
Accuracy and visibility. Of course, information is only useful if it’s correct and up-to-date. If not, the effect can actually be a loss of productivity from work that has to be redone in light of new information. With an ERP, reliability becomes a major value proposition. Not only does the assurance of accurate information promote more agile workflows, it can help bolster the confidence of decision-makers within an organization. While the optimization that an ERP can bring will have a diffuse but significant impact on virtually all task from invoicing to managing client databases, a system architecture that prioritizes legibility stands poised to give high-leverage users the data they need to make informed, high-level decisions with an enterprise-spanning viewpoint. A particularly robust ERP may even have reporting functionality that can further optimize this kind of task—helping major players within an organization devise new strategies for growth and client acquisition.
Control. The resources to create new vision for growth as an agency ought to be a foregone conclusion for a travel management company ERP. But what’s crucial is that an ERP complement its visibility-enhancing services by offering the ability to actually carry out a corporate vision and work toward specific growth metrics and business goals. And, indeed, by coupling easily accessible information with the ability to set rules and guidelines for things like hotel bookings and invoicing, an ERP can help ensure that any critical changes in business operations can be implemented thoroughly and systematically. Each activity that takes place within an organization can be made both much easier to monitor and much easier to enforce specific rules upon.
With the necessary powers to turn visions of growth and prosperity into reality, ERPs give savvy travel management companies the opportunity make technology work for them in a robust, comprehensive way. By combining the easy execution of new business insights with the readily available information and automated processes that stand to increase efficiency throughout an organization, travel ERPs represent a chance to leverage changing business landscapes into untold potential for optimization and growth.