Whether you are just starting up a travel company, or you are looking to transition into using a software system, this blog post should be helpful. 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 amount of time and financial investment, and as such, the majority of tour operators and smaller travel agents will find that existing off-the-shelf solutions are a superior alternative.
It is worth taking some time to deliberate over which software is right for you, as the right software can not only save you time and money, but can also smooth out the process of client management and can open up new opportunities for repeat custom and new suppliers. Without further ado, Protected Trust Services present the top five ways that we believe the right travel software can improve your business.
1. Reduced Operational and Office Costs
Travel software solutions will usually perform the tasks that would be assigned to a team of administration personnel. The time saving potential of using such software is tangible to any company. Staff are a significant cost to any travel business, so to streamline these processes with 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.
2. Organisation and Time Management
Paper based systems, filing cabinets and files… All these things may sound archaic to many of you reading this article, but you would be astounded at how many niche tour operators still function under the “old fashioned” way of running their business. 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 amount of storage space. For the environmentally conscious amongst us, it is also a greener way of storing your records, and also provides a much faster and easier method for retrieving information!
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 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, and the right software will allow a travel company, tour operator or travel agent, to work to its optimal performance.
3. Access To a Supplier Database
Many software solutions offer an API (Application Programming Interface) 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. This 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 world-wide options available to choose from.
4. Client Management and Client Relationships
Client management is of utmost importance to any company. For tour operators and travel companies it is incredibly important and will enhance return bookings, which can help to fill your coffers! The Protected Trust Services travel software includes a range of client management features, allowing fast reference to each client, which allows 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!
In conclusion, 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 offer our own market leading travel software which is free for our members to use, so we highly advise checking it out!
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. We look forward to hearing from you.