Why is it vital to automate your business?
Did you ever wonder how you can benefit from technology? That requires dedication and commitment to automate business, however the end result certainly really well worth.
Back in 2002 when I was working in travel agency, we were using MS Word and Outlook Express as primary tools. We were printing a lot of papers, using matrix printers with distinctive loud sound.
I was sitting in the office until 2 am during peak season — copy pasting, rewriting and translating itineraries for clients. We used a book for attendance record, nobody really checked these as employees just wrote there whatever they wanted.
I was dealing with many emails, there were requests, reconfirmations, complains etc. In case of flight change, we had to look for printed file around the office just to add another piece of paper there, or writing remarks by hand; in some cases it ended up being at Accounting. Sometimes Operations did not pick up clients, or assigned wrong guide due to a lot of miscommunications.
We spent excessive amount of time on the phone. We had to call operations after every small change. We had to call hotels to push confirmation, often being transferred from one department to another. Follow up was a nightmare — needed to make sure that everything was printed, plus notified via email and phone.
Price list was all manual, in Excel. It was not real time, consequently obsolete. It was all free typing and, no surprise, with many human errors. Employees who did that confused between hotels like Baiyoke Sky and Baiyoke Suite, Cape Panwa and Panwa Beach, Bangkok Palace and Prince Palace, President Palace and Royal President etc. The price difference is often significant.
I wanted to change all that
Clearly, my late night shifts didn’t help — what was needed is business automation. So I started to spend longer hours to work on simple system rather than doing hectic runs around the office in search for solution. Eventually we introduced a ready made solution available on the market. It took some time to implement as some initial setup was necessary — cities database, suppliers and partners etc. Then we had to insert hotel and tour prices — cost and selling, and completed predefined itineraries.
Three months later Travel Software was the first thing I accessed in my PC. I was viewing hotel and tour prices in real time, cost and selling — everything was linked with accounting too. Operations Team could clearly see flight details, language of tour guide and all remarks, it was even connected with guide advance, all they needed to do is execute the service. Accounting team now had clear picture on payable and receivable items, cash advance and profit & loss. We could also track employees usage of system — when logged in, what they do etc.
Technology evolved, the picture is clear
As long as we support agile technology and business automation, success will follow. I would spend an evening setting up base rather than continue hectic runs, in the future it will take me 5 minutes for something that used to take an hour, not to mention history records etc. Spend your time wisely — build a proper foundation for your business, choose desired company DNA. You can reach out to me if you have any question or comment.