November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
IATA’s New Distribution Capability has been talked about for a number of years, but what does it mean for you and your business?
With two airlines already implementing the NDC standard, and eight estimated to go live this year, founder and CEO of Festive Road Paul Tilstone gives his five top tips for travel buyers, in an ITM White Paper: The future of airfare distribution and NDC
It is too easy to work from cookie-cutter managed travel programme designs. But new entrants, changing demands and a technology revolution mean every travel management programme should be tailored to a company’s specific needs. The key is to understand your company’s culture and commercial objectives. Found out how travel is perceived in an organisation. Then be honest about what is needed and what the best programme design would be. At one end is open booking, at the other, tightly mandated programme. But there are many variations in between. Get creative and build a programme that fits your company.
Understand both the traveller and airline needs. Many procurement/supplier relationships today are focused on cost. Buyers should develop a more holistic approach, encompassing pricing, distribution, product, loyalty and marketing. The creation of corporate-specific bundles offered through chosen booking channels could mean better service for travellers, reduced overall costs and an improved buyer-airline relationship. To reach that point buyers first need to understand their traveller types and needs.
The supply chain will become more transparent. Traditional managed channel roles will need to evolve as a result of the changing business world. The spotlight will fall more often on commercials. This is a great opportunity to consider the best supply chain model for an organisation based on the chosen travel management programme design. Ensure you understand your true needs and the cost/benefit of each supply chain participant.
Choose the right retailing mix. There are essentially three broad TMC/technology mix models in the managed space. There is the TMC that outsources booking technology; the TMC that has its own proprietary technology, and the technology-led TMC. There is also, however, an increasingly prevalent fourth option: choosing stand alone technology. In any case, getting the right retailing mix will determine how much control buyers have over NDC content, and the way it is managed and delivered to the travel booker within policy.
Airline distribution will, like every sector, rely heavily on data. Retaining central control over the data provided to the airline and other suppliers will determine what offers are presented to travellers. More data will equal better personalised offers. Managing the balance of data provision with policy compliant offers and data protection is going to be important. Many questions have to be posed when deciding where data should be kept. Should it be housed by the corporate? Should it be outsourced to the TMC or OBT? Or should the corporate allow open access to all traveller data?
Find out just exactly what is NDC.
Read BBT's reports from the 2015 ITM annual conferencehere
Interview with Paul Tilstone on his new venture Festive Road