Making Connections Between Mid and Back-Office Processes
Making connections between mid and back-office processes so that they are not as siloed and work more effectively is crucial in the travel industry. Essentially, back-office automation refers to how you make these connections between mid and back-office processes. For example, if you want to know how close you are to fulfilling your annual air contracts, you need information about your bookings, but you also need to connect that data to your back-end accounting system to answer that question. This article will explore the connection between mid and back-office operations and the value of automation in the travel industry.
The Value of Connecting Mid and Back-Office Processes
One way to improve your corporate travel program is by connecting the mid and back-office processes more effectively. By automating certain operations, you can move from a task that might take several minutes or more per transaction, such as data entry or validation, to a nearly 100% automated validation and data correction process before those transactions are loaded into the Back Office. With just two mid and back-office tasks connected via automation, it’s possible for each touchpoint to help create exponential value at scale. By applying this concept to various other mid and back-office processes, it becomes clear how critical these two areas really are. Mid and back offices must work in tandem, so customers get the most value.
Automation is the Solution
When considering where you can create efficiency through automation, a very common area is ticketing operations. Schedule changes, ticket tracking, quality control of PNRs, etc. – these tasks and more can be automated and can integrate with existing systems and third-party data.
Fare checking can also help generate new revenues. Airlines’ dynamic pricing strategies mean their airfares can fluctuate significantly between booking, ticketing, and departure. Automation tools can automatically identify price drops, notify agents, or even rebook lower fares automatically.
The Business Benefits that Come with Back-Office Automation
Automation can reduce the time spent on routine tasks, making employees more efficient and productive. When employees can focus on higher-level tasks and ensure they are staying within their corporate travel policy, they will be able to contribute more to the organization.
Cutting costs: Perhaps the most evident valuable advantage of automating the back office is that travel management systems allow travel companies to significantly reduce operational costs by removing a number of manual processes from the hands of employees and merging them into intelligent, optimized planning systems with massive computing and data storage capabilities. Automating business processes also saves businesses money by reducing labor costs, and freeing up finances for other purposes. Businesses may find that automating their mid-office allows them to operate faster than competitors who don’t automate their operations—which could lead them to greater market share and financial success over time.
Reduction in human error: As we just discussed, so many mid and back-office tasks in today’s travel industry are managed by teams of people, which can be a liability in terms of time and resources. But it can also be a potential problem when it comes to human error, an element that automation can virtually eliminate.
More responsive operational platform: Deploying an automation solution provides travel management companies the capacity to quickly identify the nature of the problem or delay and implement actionable data to take corrective measures without diverting employee attention or resources.
TMCs and Corporate Travel Managers cannot afford to gloss over the benefits travel management automation solutions can provide in terms of decreasing costs, increasing revenue, and promoting growth and productivity – especially when, as back office and front office tasks become more entwined, the distinction between operational and customer-facing activities blend together. Back-office automation should be a prime area of concern for travel companies in leveraging enhanced, streamlined operational processes which can very easily impact other areas of business, such as customer relations, marketing, and supplier-distributor relationships. Making the back office a priority will not only make a travel company more agile and responsive, but it will also help set a path for a more productive and profitable future.
Cornerstone Information Systems is the technology partner behind the scenes of tens of millions of automated bookings. Our technology helps you configure workflow and services that deliver measurable savings and insights to manage your travel program and operations. Cornerstone’s Travel Automation Platform, which includes iQCX®, goes way beyond common tasks like quality control, low-fare searches, and preferred seat checks. Now you can automate unique business requirements and the frequent outlier tasks that have been crushing your agents and eating into profit margins. Put your mid-office on auto and free up your agents to be travel consultants. Contact Cornerstone today to learn more.