Whether you are just starting up a travel company, or you are looking to transition into using a travel software system, understanding your software needs is important.
As with any technology, there are a huge variety of options available when searching for travel software, each providing its own range of prices and functionality. Alternatively, if an off-the-shelf option isn’t your preferred choice, bespoke software solutions can be built to suit your company.
However, this is likely to take a significant period of time and financial investment. Because of this, the majority of tour operators and smaller travel agents will find that existing off-the-shelf solutions are the superior option.
It is worth taking some time to deliberate over which software is right for you. The right software can not only save you time and money but also smooth out the process of client management and open up new opportunities for repeat custom and new suppliers.
Though the right travel software may differ from business to business, there are key things that the right software will do for you. To aid you in choosing the right software package for you, here are the 5 top reasons you need travel software for your business.
1. Reduced Operational and Office Costs
Travel software solutions will usually perform the tasks that would be assigned to a team of administrative personnel. The time-saving potential of using such software is tangible to any company. Staff are a significant cost to any travel business, so streamlining these processes with the software will allow you to reduce your wage bill. The money that is saved on administration can then be applied to marketing and front of house service, allowing the company to grow and advance.
Whether you’re a start-up or a long-standing business, being able to prioritise costs in other areas to boost your travel business can make a huge difference. Especially for a start-up or an independent homeworker, this means a better ability to put money where it’s really going to make a difference, without being overwhelmed with the admin work.
2. Organisation and Time Management
Paper-based systems and filing cabinets may sound archaic to plenty, but many niche tour operators still function under the “old fashioned” way of running their business. However, the right travel software allows all customer management to be dealt with swiftly and efficiently online.
This removes the need for storing paper records, which can be lost or damaged, and which often take up a significant portion of storage space. It is also more efficient and puts everything in one place. Plus, the subsequent environmental impact is always a bonus.
Whilst it depends upon the software package you choose, most software will provide some, or all, of the following time management features:
- Provision of quotes and invoices, as well as automatic sending and storage
- Communications (such as emails or in-house chat options)
- Notes sections, or areas to share or record information
- A diary, often with email reminders and with automatic syncing to your phone
- Supplier bookings and management
- Within the Protected Trust Services (PTS) software, we also offer reconciliation of accounts, with the added benefit of setting up supplier payments
Time management is key to any business reaching its optimal level of productivity. The right software will allow a travel company, tour operator or travel agent, to work to its optimal performance with minimal hassle.
3. Access To a Supplier Database
Many software solutions offer an Application Programming Interface (API) and supplier database, but there are just as many solutions that don’t. This is incredibly important, particularly as a new or early-stage travel business, as it is a library of suppliers that will allow you to expand quickly.
Having access to a supplier database may not be of utmost importance to some niche travel companies, but to the larger percentage, it is hugely beneficial to have a range of worldwide options available to choose from.
4. Client Management and Relationships
Client management is of utmost importance to any company. For tour operators and travel companies, it is a vital part of the business and will enhance return bookings, which can help to fill your coffers.
The Protected Trust Services (PTS) travel software includes a range of client management features. It allows fast reference to each client, which makes way for more personal and friendly customer service, thus enhancing client relationships. Knowing your clients, combined with a friendly approach, will undoubtedly increase your bottom line year on year.
5. Reconciliation and Reduced Accountancy Fees
Accountancy fees are always a big cost to any company. When approaching year-end, many company directors spend a significant amount of time having to prepare their books, ready to allow the accountant to produce year-end accounts. If mistakes are made, heavy fines can be applied by HMRC. For this reason, we always advise searching for software solutions that offer a reconciliation add-on for your accounts. This will pay dividends in both time and professional fees.
There are a plethora of different reasons to introduce travel software to support you and your company, but we highly advise doing your research before settling on any option.
The five points above are all fantastic features to look for in any software package and will all benefit your business immensely, but always make sure that the service you choose is both affordable and offers the solutions that match your travel business’ specific needs and requirements.
If you’re interested in becoming a member, Protected Trust Services (PTS) offer our own market-leading travel software which is free for our members to use. You can learn more about our travel software and member support on our pages.
If you would like to discuss this further, or for any other questions, please contact our team via phone on 0207 190 9988, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.