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The most essential factors your Travel Agency Management Software should address inorder to help your business grow.

In today’s highly competitive travel industry, maintaining a steady growth and consistent profitability, your Travel Agency requires software / IT systems which ensures financial efficiency and a strong control in mid-back office operations.
As a business owner or in charge of IT systems of a growing Travel House or part of a global TMC or OTA, read through some important points you should consider related to your Agency Management System in use.

1.Is your software vendor brings Continuous Innovation & Regular Upgrades

Staying ahead of competition demands new and better service on an on-going basis. Updating IT cannot wait until customer demands exceed the ability to deliver acceptable service. In certain business scenarios require rapid response from your vendor to meet the timely solution to overcome and manage the crisis in situations. A latest example is your vendor’s Responds to COVID-19 Refund Requests.

When COVID-19 disrupted travel, agencies faced unprecedented customer demands for refunds. At the same time, GDS procedures demanded that Refund Applications (RAs) be submitted manually using the Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) link. Read more

Your back-office vendor’s experience and their agility in development process and designed in ability to continuously advance automation and update agency service offerings by timely reacting as the industry moves through transformation in the changing Travel business landscape.

2.Accuracy of GDS Data Capture & Level of Automation of BSP Reconciliation

There is no greater impact on customer satisfaction than the accuracy and completeness of transactional data which defines an agency’s quality of service. Customers expect fast and accurate issuance – and changes – to ticketing, itineraries, refunds, or any other agency deliverable. Back office system deficiencies should never become front office service barriers.

Quality and depth of your GDS Data Capturing such as No-ADC tickets.

Accurate and complete GDS data extraction is essential to ensure continuous access to required financial information, and automating advanced complex accounting capabilities such as BSP reconciliation. Whether your system automates GDS data extraction to a level of detail that allows – as a simple example – the automation of a “No-ADC” ticket reissue that otherwise would be processed manually. Another example is capturing GDS debit and credit information enabling excess and short billings to be automatically matched and applied to outstanding ADMs and ACMs. According to Sabre, more than 40 hours of non-productive, high-skilled accounting labor can be avoided by the typical travel agency every month.

Level of Automation in BSP Reconciliation in your BOS.

Together, automating data extraction and BSP reconciliation improves an agency’s quality of service and competitiveness, eliminates revenue leakages, and improves profitability. Detailed GDS data capture allows should enable your BOS system to fully automate an agency’s BSP reconciliation process. According to Sabre, more than 40 hours of non-productive, high-skilled accounting labor can be avoided by the typical travel agency every month.

4.Corporate Card Reconciliation and Data handout capability enhancing customer expectations and winning more Corporate Business

The management and proactive control of credit card payments requires a highly efficient and accurate module that can take care of accounting of each transaction including the amount, the Point-of-Sale merchant fees, all related additional parameter and applicable Value Added Taxes involved. When a credit card payment is made – especially if a corporate card is used – then the accounting system must ensure the card payment is included with other account payments. System should ensure visibility for all accounts including all forms of payments.

Payment by individual and corporate credit benefits both customers and agencies. Credit cards are easy to use, fast, and convenient. Individuals and corporations expect agents to accept and accurately account for credit card payments. With the right payment technology, travel agents have an opportunity to better serve their customers. By providing customers with their credit account status at the time of purchase can help avoid over-limit fees, higher interest rates, lower credit ratings and other penalties.

System should enable Travel Agents to prepare periodic transaction report for the reconciliation between Corporate Card vendor and Supplier boosting the cashflow via timely approval and payments from Card Vendors. Preparing the weekly consolidation of the transactions with all required details as per different card vendors is a complex and risk-oriented task as the payment from vendor is fully dependent on the quality and accuracy of this report. Your BOS should prepare this in a single transaction automatically and the handouts can easily be loaded to CARD vendors systems. Certified data handout modules by all major Corporate Card Networks like AMEX, MasterCard, VISA, UATP and Airplus will increase your opportunity to win corporates who will have this capability as a Pre-requisite incontracting with your Travel Agency service.

4.Accessibility, remote collaboration and such productivity features

Competitive differentiation is a customer-facing visibility that is evidenced by a higher quality of service in accuracy and speed. If your BOS features and functions are based on being web-based rather than a desktop or client-resident application decides your agencies ability to collaborate with your important staffs timely and responsive manner. Ability to work with multiple module processing and open invoice editing are just two such examples. When interfacing live with a client, speed and accuracy are indicative of performance. When an agent can open multiple tabs simultaneously, transactions take less time with fewer mistakes significantly decreasing transaction service time. Make sure your system is capable to address below major areas.

  • Simultaneous Open Tabs /Modules
  • Report Drill Down to Originating Source
  • Open Invoice Editing and Logging
  • Access from Any Internet Connect

Being web-based, agency personnel can work wherever they have access to the internet whether that be at a customers site or working from home. Travel time can be eliminated as a customer delay and a cost to the agency.
When transactions take less time, existing staffing resources become available for growth rather than having to be hired. Being able to work simultaneously on different modules, shortens the time and effort per transaction. Additionally, the inherent reduction of errors reduces the amount of rework, freeing additional staffing resources. Being able to edit invoices without cancelling or voiding the original invoice and opening a replacement reduces human error, saves time and costs less per transaction.

5.Capable of a full fledged Multi-Currency accounting and Ease-of-Use Data Export

Serving clients in different countries and reconciling with international banks is much simpler, and less error prone, if the client, agent, or bank can deal in their preferred currency. Maintaining multi-currency accounting allows management, agents, and clients to communicate in their preferred currency. Eliminating the need to convert currencies reduces errors, shortens the transaction time, and makes clients more comfortable when using your agency. From an accounting viewpoint, being able to maintain multiple currency ledgers simplifies the resolution of reconciliation differences. From a management viewpoint, knowing the gain or loss due to changing currency valuations facilitates improved cash management and optimizes the most favorable timing of cross-currency invoicing and settlements.

  • Uses Client’s Preferred Currency
  • Manage Currency Gains/Losses

6.Ease-of-Use and extensive Data Export Capability

Many agencies export financial data to be analyzed for management or used as a data feed to other applications. Exporting data, particularly in large amounts, typically requires a Transformation process between Exporting data from its source to Loading data to a different application (the ETL process).
Your back office system should be able to simplify exporting that will allow non-Excel experts to feed data directly into third party applications for sales reports, management dashboards, or other purposes. Data export feature should be

  • MS Excel Export Compatibility
  • Simple, Easy to Use & Integrate

7. Realtime Information with Secure and Privileged Access

Managing a real time business requires real time information. To be a proactive leader instead of reactive follower, you need to know the status of your business and the potential impact of your actions at the time you make decisions. Your Back Office System should be able to maintainall accounts and financial reporting on a real time basis.

Knowing a supplier’s statement, especially a non-airline’s account status, immediately after processing invoices helps prevent balances from reaching unacceptable levels. If an end-of-month, or even an end-of-day (permanent or temporary) financial close is required before accurate statements are available, then it may be too late to avoid inappropriate or costly decisions.

Knowing your agency’s accounts payables and receivables, general ledger, or any other financial statement or management report is critical to making the right day-to-day or even hour-to-hour decisions particularly in times of an active pandemic or political unrest when financial situations can be volatile and unpredictable.

Controlling access to financial information is important to your customers, vendors, banks, business partners, and your own reputation. Your Back Office System’s access privileges should be defined by individual, function, or type of financial activity on an easy to update, need-to-know basis.

In short Real Time capability and Controlled access is highly important to achieve

  • Proactive Management
  • Real Time Information
  • Scalable with Growth
  • Financial Confidentiality

The Nucore Value Proposition to Travel Agents

Nucore’s unique value proposition is its agile development process and designed-in ability to continuously advance automation and update agency service offerings. Over more than a decade, our clients migrated through numerous feature enhancements, architectural upgrades, and platform deployments becoming convinced that Nucore is, indeed, “The Way Forward”. Over the years Nucore has helped Travel Agencies to reduce overhead and operating costs and provide the management with not only with the financial tools necessary but also the intelligence and insights to maximize their revenues.

Selecting the right technology partner will ensure your company meets its operational and scaling goals. Nucore systems are tailored to our customer’s business. Your business is not tailored to our solution. Nucore systems grow with your business. Platforms keep pace with the most aggressive transaction growth. New features and functions, as well as third-party applications, are continuously being added to keep your business competitive now and in the future.

Traacs

Head Mr. Suhail V.P has expertise in deployment of IT- enabled systems (ITES), with expertise in air travel & car rental industries and has dedicated career in design and development of customized ERP for car rental companies. He is an alumni of the National Institute of Technology, Calicut, with a post graduation in Computer Application.