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Overview

Some aspects of life have had to almost be put on hold for the last two years or so. Lockdowns in any one country has forced businesses to endure long lean periods. Any business with an international focus can be caught out by lockdown in one country rolling into lockdown in another country.

With this in mind, as we start looking forward to more and more travel around the world, reconnecting with loved ones and exploring new horizons, we worked to bring RPA to a Global Travel Business.

Problem

The travel industry has been highly exposed to the challenges of the last two years. The ever-changing global situation has left travel businesses with an urgent need to quickly scale up and down their operations as the situation develops, faster than human talent can be switched on and off. Travel businesses that can maximise the value from short windows of opportunity stands to be in a more competitive and financially healthy position than rivals post-pandemic.

We were faced with the challenge of enabling a Global Travel Agency to do more with less by leveraging the power of automation technologies. 

Solution

We ran our highly successful lean automation action workshops for this client and identified several automation opportunities. The decision was taken to begin by applying Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to a high-volume process which typically requires lots of manual effort and oversight: flight and hotel confirmations.

This will make the biggest immediate impact on the performance of the business and also help build a powerful business case for further automation. The goal is to free up 2 FTEs from manually checking flight and hotel confirmations sent by the agency’s top 5 suppliers.

This was a critical process yet also a process that was not well defined due to the impact of COVID-19. Tackling this head-on with the client, we redesigned the process and used UiPath and ABBYY technology to create an end-to-end process requiring no manual intervention.

Results

Robotic Process Automation uses optical character recognition and document capture specialist ABBYY to read hotel and flight confirmation before processing them through automation platform UiPath. API calls are passed to a ticketing system, ready for the team to process. The top 5 suppliers represent nearly 75% of all volumes this agency processes, and the automation can quickly scale up to handle more suppliers and additional volumes. Conversely, if another lockdown or pandemic did occur, the automation can be scaled down too.

The ultimate result is the client now has additional human talent that can be applied to high-value, rewarding work.

Meanwhile, the end customer looking forward to travelling (maybe you!) gets their confirmation quicker, giving them peace of mind plus much more time to decide what to pack!

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