Q&A with Wendy Dietterle, Foschini Retail Group

Managing travel at Foschini Retail Group (TFG Services) are from left Wendy Acker, travel coordinator, and Wendy Dietterle, department manager.

TAM spoke with Wendy Dietterle, department manager, Fleet & Travel, at TFG Services, about making the most of the TMC relationship.


Q: Do you agree the trend going into 2020 is for TMCs to move more corporate bookings online?

A: TMCs are definitely moving everything to online interactions and bookings, with the focus on technology.

Q: Is this approach working well for you?

A: Yes, it has improved monitoring of SLAs, reporting and an overall ability to identify potential savings at the time of booking. It brings its own set of challenges, but generally it is a positive trend.

Q: Please elaborate on the sort of challenges you mean.

A: With TMCs trying to keep up with technology and developments in the travel environment, while applying continuous improvement for the benefit of all their customers, we find that the enhancements they make to their systems sometimes have an unintentional negative impact on the customer experience. There has to be a balance between innovation and change as well as customer preferences.

Q: How does the innovation and change affect your resources?

A: IT resources are limited, within both TMCs and their customers. Even in the most agile environment, prioritising all requirements can be difficult and this can have an impact on the customer’s relationship with the TMC and vice versa.

Q: What pain points come to mind regarding systems innovation?

A: Aligning the TMC’s IT development and processes with the customer’s internal IT processes and other stakeholders can be a real challenge. The customer wants innovation and improvements to processes, but this inevitably involves integration with customer systems, which can be complex. This can delay implementation simply as a result of the number of stakeholders that are involved.