1. What is a process?
A process is a structured series of steps and actions that deliver a service or an operation within the activity carried out by the travel agency.
A defined process contains:
the type of customer for which the process is applied,
the people & the departments involved in the process,
list of sequential steps for service delivery,
the relationship between the steps,
the necessary resources and links with other processes,
aligning the execution of the process with the quality standards of the agency.
An example would be the steps and actions performed by a travel consultant to sell a flight to a new customer, starting with taking the request from the customer to the actions resulting from the feedback received after the trip.
3. Why do I have to map processes?
Process mapping is an essential activity that the travel agency must do to manage the activity, the way of working with customers, and the delivery of quality standards for a long-term built business.
Process mapping is the first action in the implementation of a BPM (business process management). When designed correctly and implemented efficiently, a business process management project maximizes the use of resources, time, and investments made in the various technology solutions in the agency.
For more information, we recommend to contact us to see how you can define and map the processes within the agency. SynCo provides business process management consulting services including travel agency mapping and post-booking process automation solutions.
2. How do I map a process?
Mapping a process begins with a step-by-step analysis of the best practices in performing the actions required to deliver a service or operation. In the automation platform offered by SynCo, the processes are visually mapped and they can be easily modified when an optimization, adjustment, or variation is required.
Mapping a process provides visibility into the details of what is happening operationally with the execution of steps to deliver the service to customers, ensuring consistency and compliance with the operational or working procedure.
4. What is an automation platform?
An automation platform is a digital solution or software used for visual mapping and automate the execution of steps from a process. It is a tool that does not require knowledge of any programming code. It facilitates workflow automation by using a library of preconfigured GDS commands and functionalities designed to ensure the execution of a predefined process without manual or human intervention.
5. What processes can be automated through the platform offered by SynCo?
The automation platform helps eliminate repetitive manual steps by automatically executing the post-booking processes from the GDS bookings, ticketing processes and quality control, various customer communication processes, ticket notifications, airline or after-sales support monitoring.
8. What are the main advantages of this automation platform?
The advantages of using a platform are primarily economic. By reducing the time allocated to repetitive and unproductive steps, the travel agency saves important resources and thus can improve its profitability per employee, at the service level, or even at the client level.
Productivity per employee is greatly improved thanks to the schemes that run on their own, allowing consultants to spend more time selling their service discovering customer needs.
An important advantage is the one delivered by the standardization of the communication with the customer through the templates specifically created by process/type of client and the use of automatic notifications. The customer support module helps the agency to control the manner of customer service and the fulfillment of contractual obligations with customers in terms of response times or SLAs.
6. What type of agency can use this automation platform?
The automation platform can be used by online travel agencies, corporate or business travel agencies and implicitly by those that operate both business lines, B2C and B2B. In order to benefit from the advantages brought by the automation platform in the post-booking processes, the travel agency must use a global reservation system for issuing and selling plane tickets.
7. Who in my agency should get access to the automation platform?
In order to work on the platform as a user, you must have advanced ticketing knowledge and know the steps you want to automate in the post-booking process. The recommendation is that the platform to be accessed by agents with advanced ticketing knowledge and expertise in the operational activity of the travel agency. At the time of implementation, SynCo provides training to the staff in the agency designated to use the automation platform to correctly map the operational processes, to create the automation schemas, and to know all the functionalities offered by the solution.
18. What specific process can I automate?
Each travel agency has its own way of organizing the activity and workflows that differ depending on the business lines and quality standards, the technology infrastructure used, and the integrated suppliers. The first step towards automation is to map the processes and workflows in the agency. Once mapped, it is very easy to identify which steps are repetitive and which processes are created from activities with limited variables. The automation platform delivered by SynCo focuses mainly on the processes related to ticketing, post-booking, and customer service for the agency's clients.
The most frequently automated processes are:
Auto-ticketing, issuing airline tickets from GDS
Notification of passengers’ time change
Itinerary delivery (after booking)
Ticket transmission (after issue)
Cancellation of unissued bookings (HX)
Canceled flight refund
Travel follow up notifications
Adding financial-accounting information in the reservation
Cancellation of unissued bookings
Sale of additional services
Identification of lower fares for unissued reservations
Notification of agents on the change of the status of a booking
17. How do I get access to this platform?
Access to the automation platform is granted based on a monthly subscription agreement with SynCo. Logging in to the platform is done online from any terminal with internet access through a dedicated and specific link to the user travel agency based on a unique login set of credentials, user, and password.
16. Is this a good tool for my travel agency?
In order to evaluate the benefits of automation for your agency, it is important to establish which processes consume the most time for your consulting team and which are the actions you need to differentiate yourself in the market.
When the activity of the travel agency is customer/traveler oriented and the goal is to achieve efficiency, automation can save the team of consultants up to 40%. After the first discussion with SynCo you receive an analysis of the costs and productivity of the team through which you can see what are the savings that can be obtained by your agency by implementing the automation solution delivered by SynCo.
The automation platform is an excellent solution for agencies that actively use 2 or 3 GDSs because it standardizes the execution of ticketing processes and ensures a unitary delivery of ticketing processes. It is equally useful for travel agencies working in several locations that benefit from the standardization of service delivery regardless of the person initiating the process.
15. How can I learn how to use an automation platform?
During the implementation period, SynCo delivers a training course on the use and functionalities of the platform, after which you can easily identify the processes that can be automated and you can create new rules for their automation. When you consider it necessary or there are updates to the platform, we will work together to set up new schemas.
13. How many workflows can I automate?
There is no limit to the flows that can be configured and run on the platform. The only limit may be the one imposed by the operational model of the agency or the experience of working with business process management.
10. What do I need to do to use such a platform?
The first step is to contact us.
We set up a meeting to present the solution and later we will identify your agency's processes that can be automated.
Following this meeting, we will make you a commercial proposal for using the platform.
Then it is necessary to sign a subscription contract with SynCo to implement the solution.
The implementation lasts about a month, during which you will participate in product training and we will create together the initial automation processes.
After testing the automation schemes and configuring them according to the agency's credentials, you will have access to the platform and you will be able to create new automation processes as you need.
9. How much money can I save through automation?
Employee costs are reduced by 40%. SynCo performs the cost analysis with the processes and steps executed manually and the impact analysis of the implementation of the automation platform.
Another 20% cost reduction is obtained from mapping and optimizing the processes within the agency. Having clarity in execution, employees and travel consultants are freed from repetitive steps and can thus focus on other more productive actions.
Using the automation platform, the travel agency can save money or resources as the post-booking processes are executed correctly and automatically, no longer requiring the involvement of an agent with advanced ticketing knowledge.
11. What workflows can I automate for my travel agency?
SynCo's recommendation is for the agency to analyze and highlight which are the most used flows in the activity carried out on each line of business or department. Depending on the specifics of the agency, the first flows that should be automated are the operational ones, including those of customer care, sales, marketing, or even finance-accounting.
The automation platform offered by SynCo helps the travel agency in streamlining workflows related to the sale of GDS flights, communication with customers, customer support, and monitoring performance indicators in customer contracts.
12. Which departments can benefit from this automation platform?
The platform offered by SynCo mainly serves the operations, ticketing, marketing, customer care, and financial departments.
14. How does the post-booking process automation platform work?
The platform is permanently connected and communicates with the global distribution systems (GDS) to "read" the reservations in the system and based on predefined rules executes specific inputs replacing the manual input from the travel consultant. The automated process runs on predefined rules and is created by the user based on operational diagrams. Operational diagrams are created visually by the drag & drop method with a wide range of actions and conditions. Operating schemes constantly check the PNRs for updates and act according to the conditions set in the automation scheme.
19. How can I see what the automation schemas execute?
The platform displays on a main dashboard each schema that runs and the PNRs on which a certain process operates. The user has visibility at any time on the actions delivered by the automation schemes, thus being able to decide if certain processes can be optimized or changed. At the same time, the message exchanges between the platform and GDS can be viewed.
Each month SynCo sends a detailed report with the automation schemas and the PNRs processed according to the number of automation made.
20. What are the costs for this automation platform?
The costs for using the platform are related to the volume of PNRs processed by the travel agency. The cost is applied at the level of processed PNR regardless of the number of automation schemas performed per PNR.
Contact us to find out what costs your agency may have and what amounts you can save through automation.