Dynamic packaging is here to stay – but where do you start? Ron Ramanan, MD of online technology specialist GoQuo, has some tips for getting it right.
Know what you want: Is it a flight-only booking engine or a full dynamic solution? That depends on your niche business and what your customers buy and want as that dictates the inventory you should supply. Understand the difference between potential technology partners: some only provide off-the-shelf standard solutions, others are happy to customise to your needs.
Don’t be brief: When briefing potential partners, be as clear and detailed as possible. Set a guideline budget and highlight what you want for your money. Demand answers on solution flexibility, performance, customization and project timeline.
Ask – and answer – questions: At a technology pitch, ask about price. Find out about contract terms, timelines and restrictions. Ask if you can talk to their current customers. Which global distribution systems and product suppliers does the technology company work with? What additional inventory can be provided? Always ask about post-sale support and service.
In turn, you’ll be asked about budget, your preference for integration, your supply partners, and what you want the solution to do for your business.
Save time and effort: Save time by getting early access to XML information and other access codes from your suppliers. Make sure your web site is clean, simple and very user-friendly.
- Think beyond hotels and car rental. What about all those add-ons such as parking, resort and airport transfers, taxis, insurance, tours and trips?
- Can all your inventory be loaded and integrated easily with your technology partner’s platform?
- Can the solution grow with your business?
- System flexibility, stability and reliability are key.
- Can the solution load and handle different / complex air fares?
- There will almost certainly be a gap between your budget and the supplier’s.
- Get everything in writing, with prices for different parts of the project.
- A flight-only engine project can take up to 4 weeks, a full dynamic solution up to 3 months.
- A decent contract could have three months notice, plus performance and service clauses – and get it approved by a lawyer
- After-sales service and support varies, as does price. Get all details and costs in writing.
- Back office links, online payments, and languages and currencies all cost more.
- Make one person responsible for handling all testing queries, problems and arrangements with the supplier.