Dear TMC, please take note…

Travel buyers who are having difficulties with their TMCs often aren’t in a position to change suppliers or spend hours addressing issues that range from inaccurate data to pricing complaints. TMCs need to take note of what their clients are saying and implement some changes, or risk losing out in the next RFP season.

The travel buyers contacted by TAM all agreed that they had received inaccurate data at one point or another. “We have to spend hours and hours going through each line item to see why our books don’t add up,” said one buyer. Another buyer said she often received inaccurate data, but suspected that it was due to the company’s dynamics changing fairly often. “When you break the data down into different business units, it becomes easier to analyse and determine where the error occurred, but it takes up so much time unnecessarily.” All respondents said they expected the data to be accurate, but that they did recheck to eliminate possible human error.

Some TMCs have noted this problem before, and implemented measures to ensure that their data is ‘clean’. Mary Shilleto, ceo of Thompsons Travel, said it verifies its data before sharing it with the buyer. “We specifically extract the data from our back office system, and compare it to our flown revenue stats supplied by the airlines. We always compare the two to ensure that the figures submitted are correct,” she said. Thompsons has two dedicated team members who only do reporting.

Kagiso Dumasi, commercial manager, global network BCD Travel, said it took data quality seriously. “We start by consolidating data from over 200 sources, including every major TMC.  We apply data validation and field level quality control within the reporting platform itself. On top of that, we make data available to our clients in the form of powerful visualisations in near real time. Booked data is available in 90 minutes or less, 50% of transactional data is available weekly, and 90% is available monthly.” 

This article has been updated since first publication. 

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