How to Select the Best Travel Agency ERP System for Your Business
It’s 2022, and the travel world is quickly evolving and adjusting to new realities. Many travel agencies continue to face the same old challenges they (attempted to) manage in the 90s and early 2000s. Their travel agents must juggle multiple tasks at once including client communication, proposals, travel files and reconciliation with suppliers and corporate accounts.
Often, they must contend with prospects who inquire about travel and then use their agent’s expertise to book on their own. The competition is fierce with the more successful agencies now at least partially, if not completely, operating online.
But with the advent of travel ERP software, you can easily move all or some of your business online and no longer have to depend on multiple systems to achieve your goals. A travel ERP system provides multiple operations all from one online dashboard, reducing the burden of monotonous tasks, streamlining communication and providing a more customer-friendly interface.
But with so many ERP travel management systems on the market, how do you choose the best software for your business?
Below are important aspects to evaluate when researching travel ERP software
Sales optimization tools
With so many travel agencies online, launching an online component to your business will empower you to stay competitive. With connection to external reservation systems, multi-selling channels and more products, e-commerce is easy. More than just easy, it’s also profitable due to the resulting global reach.
A travel ERP solution should provide seamless XML interfaces for searching and booking and the ability to build websites for both open and closed user groups.
Streamlining communication saves travel agents significant time and energy. A travel ERP system should allow you to easily send proposals as well as trip itineraries to your customers, which include customization options. Advanced travel ERP software will also automatically track and store communication between your company and the client so you can easily retrieve those conversations for reference without searching through lengthy SMS or emails dialogues.
The right cloud platform provides plenty of flexibility and tools to create and optimize in-house contracts for services such as flights, hotels, tours and car rentals. It should also provide numerous possibilities to combine in-house content with externally sourced content.
Simple tasks should always be automated. For example, when creating a trip itinerary, advanced cloud platforms will provide drop-down menus with a standard list of countries, states, cities and more. Rather than entering all the information manually, the process is as simple as point and click.
Centralized financial management
Because finance management is crucial to the success of any business, a travel ERP system must have a reconciliation process that automates your accounts payable, receivables and export to general ledgers. By auto-generating invoices, payment receipts, taxes, etc., a cloud ERP solution gives you back hours of time to pursue other job functions.
In addition, with all your accounting data in one system, you can automatically view your profitability, revenue and sales metrics. Armed with real-time data and complete visibility, you’ll be empowered to make more accurate and strategic decisions for your travel agency.
Travel file organization
When you’re used to retrieving data from multiple sources, it’s a relief to discover an ERP system that stores all relevant and connected client data in one place including passengers, services, documents, supplier data, corporate and travel agency data, business rules, and policies. With more control and visibility of your data, you’ll enjoy a smoother and faster workflow.
Robust online booking tools
A travel ERP system with a booking engine allows customers to book flights, hotels, holiday packages, cars and more directly from your website. Without burdening the agent, the customer can access information, compare prices, book and pay for reservations online at any time. Advanced booking tools also provide personalization features as well as multi-supplier bookings in a single reservation.
By managing your inventory online including self-operated and third-party travel products, you can control availability in real time, design special offers, set dynamic pricing and work with multiple currencies.
Travel ERP that works
Finding the right travel ERP for your business begins with an evaluation of your current travel business.
- What do your agents complain about?
- Which office tasks consume a disproportionate amount of your agents’ time?
- Are you gaining access to the right clientele?
- Are you achieving the profitability that you require to remain in business?
- How can you differentiate yourself from the competition and provide a better user experience for your clientele?
- Are you able to provide your customers with a large variety of products addressing their various needs and selections?
Responding to the above questions will help clarify your needs when researching a travel ERP system. Even more, you’ll feel empowered to grow your business to the next level.
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