Travel Business CPR

Travel Organizations Check-Up! Do Your Operations Need an Operation?

Just as good health requires yearly physical, good profits require a yearly operational review. Many travel managers may be using the excuse that they don't want to invest the time or the money, but think of the profits left by the wayside in the race for more sales.

Operations procedures need to be periodically examined to make sure they are fulfilling the purpose for which they were originally designed. Do you know why certain procedures were set up? Or were they created so long ago that no one can remember why?

Isn't it time you went through your agency and put a stethoscope to the operation's "heart beat?" If there hasn't been an operational review performed in your agency in the last twelve months, the following questionnaire can be used as a guideline to direct you toward areas that might show danger signs for wasted profits.

  • Have you established a minimum monthly volume for all commercial accounts?
  • Do you require credit references from new accounts?
  • Has your office established a new account start-up procedure?
  • Do you complete company profile forms for new accounts?
  • Do you have training seminars for clients' travel arrangers when adding a new account?
  • Do you have hotel and car commission follow-up programs?
  • Do you have supervisory training on automation enhancements for your agents?
  • Do you have a regular training on automation enhancements for your agents?
  • Have your agents completed a phone selling skills course?
  • Do your supervisors periodically monitor agents' phone calls?
  • Have you established and communicated a yearly agent productivity target?
  • Do you have the following support functions in place?
    1. Ticketing Quality Control?
    2. Hotel?
    3. Documentation?
    4. Rates?
    5. Pre-paids?
  • Do you have someone responsible for collections of past-due invoices?
  • Has it been more than two months since you have reviewed your Year-to-Date Activity Report for accounts?
  • Are your agents cross-trained in duties other than those of a reservationist?

Operations reviews should be performed yearly to ensure that your procedures are maximizing your agency's profitability and growing with your business. Look at every procedure and carefully examine its purpose and effectiveness.

Remember to make an annual check-up a must and soon you will be able to boast of a clean bill of health!

Tharwat Abouraya, CTIE
Travel Business CPR - Bring Strategy to Life!

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