To the public eye travel is a straightforward concept focused on destinations, activities, tickets and itineraries. For those who work in the travel industry it’s always been a complicated set of interrelationships between retailers, wholesalers and service providers – made, if anything, even more challenging by the global reach of the Internet.
Two of the more visible ways the Internet has changed the travel are:
1) raised customer expectations for a unique and amazing travel experience;
2) price transparency – customers can book much of their travel directly online, or have travel plans in mind and quotes in hand before the first conversation with atravel agent.
Another way the Internet has change travel is far less visible but much more profound: it has dramatically altered the way travelers see their role and the role played by travel agencies and travel management companies. Twenty years ago a travel business – particularly for international travel – had a much more of a guardian role than would ever be imagined today.
Now travelers need less hand-holding and more knowledge with higher service levels. This means business models are changing in every link of the travel service chain and the travel technologies that sufficed twenty – or even ten – years ago simply won’t do the job anymore./p>
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system addresses the issues of a distributed architecture by providing a travel business with an integrated suite of applications for front office, mid-office and back office business processes. The ERP suite has the ability to eliminate silos of isolated data and business activities with a common data model and standardized processes across key functions for: accounting, payroll; HR; supply chain, CRM & procurement. As shown in this graphic, the suite of travel-specific applications is designed to work smoothly and interchangeably with each other.