is a complex product, with correspondingly complex business processes.
Travel companies often use multiple systems to support these processes.
This leads to the need to either manually copy data from one system to
another, or to create interfaces between systems.
One of the most common scenarios where this occurs is supplier financials – Managing supplier invoices and reconciling these with
customers’ bookings, together with actually paying suppliers are
frequently manual tasks managed outside of the core travel system.
Similarly, calculating and paying agency commissions are also often
handled in a semi automated manner. Creating remittance advices and
keeping track of supplier and agency payments is typically done in
standalone finance systems.
think part of the reason for this is that those in the finance/accounts
department want a recognised ‘accounting system’ to manage the company
financials, and frankly most travel technology suppliers simply do not
offer an accounting back end that meets up to the accountants’ needs.
What you need here is a proper multi-currency double entry accounting
system, with a full audit trail.
Integrated Product Content – Often
known as brochure content i.e. descriptions/photos/maps and so on,
product content is another area where stand-alone systems are often
used. This leads to duplication of data entry between product and
content systems, and the need to keep these systems ‘in step’ via common
Workflow to manage business processes – A
third area where problems occur relates to the use of traditional email
to manage business processes. Email is great for the communication of
ideas, but not for managing repetitive processes like ticketing,
document production (fulfilment) and so on. Here what’s needed is a
workflow management system, where each task can be attached to specific
bookings/inventory/suppliers or whatever is relevant to the task, with a
management interface that is able to track and report on these tasks.
Fine grain security controls – Finally,
enterprise systems require fine grain security controls, to define who
has access to what, and to enforce business process rules. Users what to
log in once, and then have the system execute their security profile
across the all applications that they may interact with.
To do all these things requires a fully integrated, front-to-back travel management platform. An ERP system for travel, if you like.
Wikipedia defines ERP as: “Enterprise
resource planning (ERP) systems integrate internal and external
management of information across an entire organization—embracing
finance/accounting, manufacturing [i.e. product creation and inventory
management], sales and service, customer relationship management,
etc. ERP systems automate this activity with an integrated software
application. ERP facilitates information flow between all business
functions inside the organization, and manages connections to outside
stakeholders……… Enterprise systems are complex software packages that
offer the potential of integrating data and processes across functions
in an enterprise. Although the initial ERP systems focused on large
enterprises, there has been a shift towards smaller enterprises also
using ERP systems………. Organizations consider the ERP system their
backbone, and a vital organizational tool because it integrates varied
organizational systems, and enables flawless transactions and
build such a beast by assembling software and systems from different
suppliers is a difficult task, the cost of integration probably
outweighing the purchase cost of the software components themselves. For
smaller and mid size enterprises, such integration is probably beyond
their means. For large organisations, experience tells us that building
and maintaining these interfaces becomes a significant overhead, and
tends to ‘fossilise’ the infrastructure on which the company runs.
Solution for Travel Management
Fortunately solution for travel does exist. GlobalTelko offers that such solution for system. It is fully integrated across product
creation and pricing, online and offline selling, mid-office bookings
administration and back-office accounting. GlobalTelko solution is the
most comprehensive financial management functionality in any reservation
system, which is partly we would like to refer to it as a leisure travel platform, rather than just as a reservation system.
It has a fully integrated xml based product content management system (CMS), and of course a fully integrated workflow system, accessible from and usable by all areas of the system.
It has integrated access control and usage monitoring capabilities,
so that not only can users be grouped and granted only the appropriate
system access, but also every user interaction is logged and can be
reported down to individual screen and report level. In addition a full
audit log of data changes is maintained. So, the question “what did this user do on Wednesday morning?“,
can be comprehensively answered in terms of system access and usage,
and the corresponding changes to data – You need a fully integrated
system to deliver that kind of capability.
So, ERP solution for travel is not a dream, attainable only by huge corporations with correspondingly huge budgets. GlobalTelko delivers Travel ERP and is proven in travel businesses from SME’s to multi-market global enterprises.
Contact Us if you think a Travel ERP system is what you really need as the backbone for your travel business.