How TravelCarma Simplifies Distribution for Large Travel Firms
Globalization coupled with the phenomenal growth of the web-based technologies has transformed the travel industry into a global marketplace. Thanks to technology, agencies that were earlier confined to operating in their local markets because of various financial and logistical constraints now have the potential to sell to serve clients in diverse geographies.
However, large scale distribution remains a challenge, particularly for companies that sell multiple products, have contracts with multiple suppliers and work with hundreds and thousands of agents.
Distribution Challenges for Large Travel Companies
Some of the challenges that need to be tackled are:
- Channel management: when you’re working with a large number of suppliers and sub-agents worldwide, managing their rates, markups and commissions can be extremely challenging and settling payments and commissions based on pre-defined agreements becomes an accounting nightmare.
- Business Rules Management: with large scale operations comes the challenge of managing a massive array of business rules and policies that need to be applied instantly and dynamically.
- Content Mapping: A major challenge in getting content from multiple suppliers is the disparity in the content, especially for hotel content. Each supplier provides content differently so mapping all that aggregated that content into a common format becomes difficult.
- Currency Conversion: Large companies work with multiple suppliers based in different countries and provide the rates in their local currency, whereas their clients are based in other regions and expect to pay in their own currencies.
- Content Localization: If you have customers in different countries, providing the content to them in their local language becomes difficult.
- Integrating Existing Technology: large enterprises typically use legacy systems for managing reservation, accounting and customer data, which they invested in many years ago but can’t get rid of them because of the massive data which is on these systems. The perceived challenge in integrating these systems into a new solution is a big reason why so many companies don’t invest in newer technologies and end up losing big opportunities as a result.
Large Companies want an integrated solution which allows them to aggregate all their inventory from multiple sources and distribute it through various sales channels, across multiple geographies in local languages and local currencies.
How TravelCarma Simplifies Distribution
TravelCarma with its Distribution and ERP capabilities enables large travel providers to aggregate content from multiple third-party suppliers, combine it with their direct contracts, dynamically apply pre-configured business rules and redistribute the inventory through a unified API across all their marketing channels.
Our distribution engine is an SOA (Services Oriented Architecture) based solution that allows companies to scale quickly while providing them the flexibility to integrate their existing technology.
Using our unique web-services based architecture, they can pull and push data from their existing systems, be it their CRM, Accounting system or their PMS/CRS through APIs.
A centralized system makes it easy for large companies to manage and control their distribution channels.
Following are just some of the ways we facilitate this:
- Ability to aggregate multiple third-party supplier feeds for flights, hotels and ground services through a single API and redistribute all the inventory along with their own direct contracts across multiple channels such as B2C, B2B, B2B2C.
- Ability to manage multiple company portals and their individual policies from a single admin system. Each portal can be configured in its own language, currency, content allowing large companies to localize content and effectively target specific markets
- Configuration of third-party API suppliers and supplier-specific business rules and policies
- Management of direct contracts and negotiated rates for hotels, ground transportation, activities, catering etc.
- Centralized Management of operators and agents and configuration of specific business rules for them
- Unique ‘SaaS out-of-the-box’ capability that allows companies to provide their downline agents and affiliates with co-branded cloud-based portals with admin interfaces and aggregated feeds
- Ability to integrate multiple payment gateways and real-time currency conversion to allow clients to search and make online reservations across various regions in local currencies
- Seamless integration with third-party systems such as Accounting and CRM Systems, Channel Managers and PMS using Single Sign-on (SSO) to protect existing investments.
Our Travel Data Exchange Switch is extremely useful for OTAs and Web portals, separating the tasks of content management/aggregation and UX/UI into two layers thus allowing for easier development and maintenance.
Using the Switch, large companies can build their own UX and UI for web and mobile while leveraging the complete platform capabilities.
This helps companies minimize their development time and cost and helps them launch their travel products quickly. They retain full control over their front ends, allowing them to customize and package their products the way they want to fit different markets and brands.
To discuss your specific travel technology requirements, get in touch with us today.