9 benefits for which travel and tourism agencies need to automate data processing

9 benefits for which travel and tourism agencies need to automate data processing


By Juan Ignacio Fransoy, Global Business Developer of Conciliac

After learning about the challenge of automation faced by companies in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector as a result of the recovery of their operations, in this second installment I will address point by point what are the benefits and the impact on the profitability of the business. Not to be missed by companies that are willing to eliminate all possible errors that cause capital flight, in order to finally start growing.

Table of Contents:

Fasten your seat belts, we are about to land from a flight that took us through the paths of recovery of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.

In this second part, we will enjoy the arrival and the benefits of finally reaching the evolution of this sector by the hand of a data management tool as powerful as Conciliac EDM.

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

The benefits of automating travel agency data processing

According to the behavior of the Conciliac Enterprise Data Management platform’s customer segment in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, I found at least nine benefits they obtained after implementing data processing automation.

Join me as we explore them one by one:

  1. The multifunctional capacity of automations

    In the first part of this post I shared with you an illustrative example of a travel and tourism agency that uses Excel spreadsheets to make reconciliations in order to verify the number of airline tickets issued on a given date.

    As you could see in the example, data processing and reconciliation takes time and concentration, so the automation of this process already exposes a first benefit and that is the saving of time and the elimination of routine actions.

    The travel agencies that automate with Conciliac went from conciliation processes that took 8 hours each, to an automation by execution that takes less than 20 seconds.

    Additionally, it is possible to carry out all types of reconciliations, not only bank or ticket reconciliations, but also payroll reconciliations, corporate card reconciliations, etc.

  1. The simplicity and practicality of use of EDM automation software

    This is to say that automating data reconciliations is not a task for code experts, since no specific technical knowledge or resources are required.

    Once upon a time, in the absence of data processing automation software such as EDM, those who wanted to go one step further with automation had to set up a macro or Power BI, which meant putting all the development on one person and having the business depend on his or her expertise and tenure.

    If that person decided to leave the agency, they could take that development with them. In contrast, EDM software is a turnkey solution that anyone can implement in minutes.

  1. The scalability of an enterprise data management platform for process automation

    The automation of data processing may be viewed as a solution to simply cross-reference data, when in fact the time savings come from an earlier instance.

    For example, IATA sends travel agencies files that they download from the BSP system in PDF format. If they would like to download them in another format such as txt, Excel or API, they have an additional cost, and in the case of API it implies having the knowledge to handle the integration by code.

    Given this complexity, agencies often assume that they will receive a PDF and the rest will be executed manually.

    Software such as Conciliac EDM has the ability to take those files and transform them into the appropriate format and then carry out the reconciliation. This represents a much greater time savings and, in turn, decreases the chances of error. But above all, it allows to scale in opportunities.

  1. Integration with sources

    In the previous benefit we said that API integrations have two clear disadvantages: they require knowledge of the code to do it and it is a service with an additional cost.

    But what happens when that service is part of the same value proposition of the same EDM process automation platform? Then, having the integration of different sources represents an action as simple as touching a power button.

    That is why Conciliac EDM also offers the Data Integration module that enables connection through API, ERP, Databases, FTP and Sharepoint.

  1. The possibility of robotizing automations

    What we have seen in the previous items are automation actions; however, exponential savings can be achieved with the robotization of automations. Welcome to the universe of RPA opportunities!

    For example, a travel agency that automates the reconciliation of tickets, payroll and corporate cards can also schedule within the EDM platform all the actions so that the algorithms learn and systematize these repetitive actions and act every time they have to.

    Agencies that already have Conciliac EDM solutions can hire one or more data processing automation modules such as Data Match, Data Recon or Data Labs, but they can also enhance this automation by robotizing them with the RPA module.

    It is not more of the same, it is an accelerator that will make your company truly data driven.

  1. The evolution in the collection of more and better data

    As mentioned earlier, agencies may receive files or documents that they use in a standardized way for cross-referencing data. Since this is not sent on a daily basis, agencies that do not automate reconciliations in depth lose the opportunity to see the information in real time.

    This can be achieved by receiving that information through EDM software connected from an API. If they need to see a certain information, it will be enough to visualize it in real time and make decisions based on it, obtaining more freedom and capacity in terms of the use and volume of the data.

    Additionally, the documents that are sent have a limitation in terms of number of rows, while when this information enters from an API to the EDM software, unlimited volumes of data can be handled. The translation of the data runs simultaneously with the processing. It sounds like magic, but it is not. Rather, it is the right technology that this industry is needing to grow.

  1. Traceability of historical information

    Especially in the pandemic, many agencies were forced to stop their operations and stopped reconciling because they basically had no information to reconcile.

    When they resumed their movements, and taking one of our clients as an example, they found themselves with more information to reconcile than just two people could do (some had as many as five IATAs to reconcile, i.e. at least five PDF files full of rows of data they received per month).

    By activating the robotic automations with the EDM platform, they were able to update these reconciliations, even taking into account the pre-pandemic history.

    On average, agencies process this number of rows per month depending on their size:

    • Small businesses: process about 1,500 records per month.
    • Medium sized companies: process around 9,000 records per month
    • Large companies: process between 20,000 and 70,000 per month
  1. Immediacy of results

    Complete solutions such as those offered by enterprise data management automation software make it possible to see the results immediately.

    In other words, there are no implementation or learning periods for the platform; installation is enough to start the automation and, consequently, the observation of information in real time.

    This immediacy also has a positive impact on the profitability of new opportunities that arise after implementing automation, for example:

    In the first two weeks after contracting the Conciliac EDM platform, our clients are able to automate their most complex scenarios, perceiving an improvement in performance during the first month of contracting.
  1. The ability to reallocate and improve the performance of talent

    Contrary to popular belief, technology has not come to replace human beings, but rather to decompress them and allow for a reorganization of the distribution of tasks that is more efficient and profitable.

    In other words, technology takes care of repetitive tasks that do not require the full attention of a human being, while at the same time avoiding unintentional errors.

    With data processing automation software, not only can staff be reassigned to tasks that do require their skills, but errors can be corrected, and information can be viewed and visualized.

    With a Conciliac EDM license you can automate the work of at least two people who spend at least half of their time on reconciliations.

    As the travel, tourism and hospitality sector spreads its wings again and reaches the normal rhythm of its operations, the companies that are part of this industry understand, more and more, the range of opportunities that come hand in hand with complete automations, being these nine items some of the benefits that we have explored so far, but not the only ones.

    Conciliac EDM is not only a complete solution in terms of automation of data processing for traceability purposes, but it is also the source of knowledge that trains and assists companies in the sector to master a platform that, in particular, today contains all the tools required to monetize business through proper data management.

    If you have a travel or tourism agency, or a service company for the sector, contact us, you may not know you need this solution, but now you know where to start. Schedule a demo now!