As technology accelerates, the things it does to make formerly hard things easier continues to amaze – and freak out – many business owners and managers. Implement a new piece of technology today, and tomorrow it’s already behind the times.
Of course, pragmatic managers understand that you can either take a punt and get a system going or dither and wait forever, the latter of which is likely going to catch you out well before forever comes.
However, it’s been interesting to see that in some cases, technology systems that people took a punt on years ago continue to literally stick around despite exponentially better options coming onto the market. Sure, you want to recoup that original investment you made, but once it’s been recouped why just continue to use it because it worked years ago?
As a perfect example, in the early 2000’s, the GDS’s of the travel industry still were stuck on green screens and cryptic environments, which weren’t all that great at helping travel agencies manage their businesses. Thus manual mid-office systems sprung up to fill the void, offering transaction management support, agent workflow solutions, accounting and reporting, and so forth. They did well for many years, helping improve the day-to-day management of travel operations.
However it’s now nearly 2016, the naughties are well and truly behind us, GDS’s now boast highly configurable, graphically-based, API-enabled sales platforms, and logic-driven automation is fully deployed and readily available. So why are most travel agencies still using manual mid-office systems to handle transaction processing?
It’s fine to say that things have improved over the past decade, so it certainly takes less time today than it used to for a travel agent to process a booking. The point is that is should take them virtually NO time to process a booking. That’s what automation is all about.
So if you want to get out of the middling, manual world, it’s time to automate. Productivity and profitability await – if you’re willing to take that next punt!