Travel Solutions Network (TSN) has completed its management line-up by appointing Cherie Richards as director of homeworking.
She will report to managing director Ruth Endacott, with a brief to recruit TSN travel agents and homeworkers who are primarily focused on developing their own client base.
Richards has 30 years of industry experience, having been commercial director at the Global Travel Group for 15 years, and most recently as head of staff at Not Just Travel.
TSN was founded by Garry and Lindsey Winterburn in February with the aim of employing hundreds of experienced travel professionals to work on outsourced contracts.
Garry Winterburn, TSN chief executive, said: “The combination of her commercial contacts and experience in managing large-scale homeworking and high street networks complements TSN’s experienced outsourcing team, which will allow us to expand both elements of our business rapidly.”
Richards said: “Having seen the calibre of people involved in the business, it was always going to be one to watch.
“When I was approached about heading the development of their homeworkers and/or travel agency partner network, joining such an ambitious and rapidly expanding business was an easy decision.”
Steve Endacott, TSN chairman, said: “Initially we had targeted recruiting 30-100 staff this year but given the strong demand for TSN’s ultra-low risk outsourcing support, we have increased that target to 150 staff.
“Rather than restaffing single-location call centres that often have a 40%-plus staff turnover per year, partners are seeing the benefits of using TSN’s national homeworking network on an ‘as needed’ basis to deal with daily, weekly or seasonal peaks in call demand.”
TSN is also developing technology to support its homeworkers who primarily want to develop their own business.
Each homeworker will have their own bookable website which includes video-conferencing technology that integrates with the TSN phone system.
Richards explained: “We can afford to employ staff centrally to make homeworkers’ lives easier, by either assisting with booking administration or creating ‘flash sale’ deals that the individual agents can promote locally.
“I believe it’s TSN’s cutting-edge but cost-effective technology platform which will make the most difference.
“This will allow agents to advertise their destination expertise, on a national as well as local basis, whilst still servicing customers in a relationship-building face-to-face manner using video-conferencing.
“Those who do embrace it will often see 30%-plus increases in conversion as face-to-face video calls not only create better bonds with customers but also allow agents to tweak recommendations based on customers’ ‘tell-tale’ visual reactions.”
Ruth Endacott added: “It’s great to be able to welcome Cherie to the team and to supercharge the expansion of TSN’s homeworkers and travel agents.
“This business stream will boost our combined buying power and provide extra support for our outsourcing operations when required.”
TSN is negotiating outsourcing deals with several travel companies and expects to announce several more major partnerships in the next month.