A shifting role in the digital age - are TMCs tech companies or people companies?

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WallyGaynor_100.jpgAcross industries, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has brought a step-change in how companies approach their processes, technologies and business models. The most successful businesses of today have responded to their changing role in society by digitising and reconfiguring to unlock new sources of value for people. How is this playing out in travel?

In a report called 'Harnessing Technology to Empower Your People', eighty seven percent of travel buyers said they are excited about the future of travel technology, but 76% said they were looking to partner with people to keep them up-to-speed about the latest technology.

Wally Gaynor, of Travellinck, tells us more in this month's SmartProcurement.

Before the first computer reservation software transformed the travel trade, bookings were completed in the most analogue way and processes were entirely incompatible with the growth that followed at the turn of the 21st century. Even so, not too long ago travel technology was significantly more advanced than the technology available in our homes.

Fast forward to 2019 and the technology found in our homes is at least as advanced as the technology used in travel businesses today. People have come to expect information at their fingertips - anytime, anywhere and on any device. Regardless of the systemic change in how information is stored, accessed and made available, the role of travel management companies in the business of travel has remained constant. It could be argued that the only thing that has changed is that TMCs are now super-charged by technology.

Travellinck's philosophy echoes the sentiments outlined in the report. We don't obsess over technology as a disruptor and threat to our existence. Rather, we see it as an enabler of people because it is there to support those who use it and it is only effective when it adds value to the relationships and services we offer to people.

"Automation is key from a back-end as well as a client-facing perspective," says Gaynor, CEO of the Club Travel Group which counts Travellinck as part of its core product offering. "Technology solves many issues in the corporate travel space, but where Travellinck aims to differentiate is by paying equal attention to the humans who use the technology."

For ten years, Travellinck has developed software that simplifies and reduces the cost of business travel. From requisition through to reconciliation, Travellinck.com focuses on building corporate travel management technology that make peoples' lives easier. Today, more than 26 South African SMME and JSE-listed companies use Travellinck to:

 Automate travel processes
 Track travel expenditure
 Monitor and set corporate travel policy
 Control procurement
 Provide innovative seat selection and booking technology

While many believe technology is surpassing human interaction, the nuances of individual needs and travel cannot be forgotten. Without a doubt, technology has helped us automate repetitive tasks, but its true value is in how it has allowed us to focus on total traveller management for our corporate clients.

Travellinck has a proven track record in South African travel management and our tools save travel managers time and money through lower transaction fees, policy enforcement, unused ticket management and contract savings. Our corporate travel booking tools do more than enable shopping, reservations and transactions. They also automate corporate travel policy and integrate with traveller profile systems to make life easier.

Modern business travellers demand a seamless and easy solution for their travel needs, while travel booker and travel managers want to ensure their travellers get what they need and when they want it, whilst remaining within the boundaries policy.

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