Travel & Tourism is one of today’s largest and most rapidly growing industries, with a global economic contribution. According to a research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the global travel and tourism sector employs more people than automotive manufacturing, mining, and financial services…combined!
In the effort of making travel more convenient for customers, the companies providing these services face some interesting challenges. Part of the industry-specific complexity is that nowadays, many travel companies serve as mediators between the end customer and other vendors, enabling travelers to reserve lodging, rent a car, or schedule a custom travel experience, right after booking their flight tickets on the same platform.
Transactional reconciliation is crucial to the industry to ensure accuracy and visibility in revenue recognition and also from a reputational perspective – making sure vendors are paid and customers’ expectations are met. Aggregating several sub-bookings into a single booking, dealing with a multitude of payment methods and data sources, and potentially huge transactional volumes are just a few of the typical challenges in this space (Read more in our Blog Post: “Trends for Travel & Hospitality”).
The Travel industry players committed to long-term success tackle these challenges by leveraging technology in all aspects of their business, including reconciliation. One such example is Tajawal, one of the most successful online travel solutions for MENA region. With a fresh, bold take on travel, tajawal’s app & web platforms were built as the answer to all the travel necessities a customer might have, presenting users with a convenient booking experience for thousands of flight connections and more than 1 million hotels all around the world.
Business case & Evaluation
Tajawal reached out to ReconArt at a point in time when their flight bookings were a major and rapidly growing revenue contributor. The finance team was doing their best to leverage advanced spreadsheet skills in managing reconciliations. However, as the company and its transactional volume continued to grow, the team came to realize they had to find an automated reconciliation solution, not only to save time and reduce errors, but also to establish the appropriate controls necessary to scale the business. Tajawal needed a solution capable of streamlining the process and provide visibility across all aspects of the reconciliation – supplier side, customer payments side and tajawal itself in the middle, as well as to ensure all orders are fulfilled and revenue is what it is supposed to be.
Soon after they started looking for a solution on the market, tajawal found ReconArt to be the best fit for its needs:
“It was a solution able to reconcile a million transactions in no time and we knew this will help us scale… the brands associated with ReconArt also showed us that we are looking at the right provider. When we looked at suppliers, we were looking for flexibility first and foremost. As a tech company that has seen exponential growth over the past two years, we are very ambitious and we wanted whomever we partner with to be alongside that hoovering mentality. ReconArt has been extremely accommodating with this as well.” – Asfia Ehsan, Project & Process Team Lead at Tajawal.
User Experience & Benefits
Tajawal’s complex implementation requirements were carefully planned and transferred to the ReconArt tool without requiring IT resources. Once the implementation was locked down, it was very quickly optimized thanks to the in-depth collaboration between the teams. After go-live, tajawal started seeing immediate improvements across their workflow:
“Ever since ReconArt was implemented, we are operating it every single day. The team uses it as a core part of the reconciliation and as finance – this is where we get our revenue numbers from. Since we pretty much have our processes designed in terms of the ReconArt system, we hope this relationship keeps on growing as we grow.” – says Asfia.
Today, management of the ReconArt solution is fully owned by tajawal thanks to the very hands-on, train-the-trainer style implementation. Reconcilers feel very comfortable with the tool and even propose functional enhancements which are considered in future version releases in line with ReconArt’s ongoing product development.
As a growing business, one of tajawal’s major goals was increased financial insight. ReconArt directly contributed to tajawal’s control and visibility over their volume-intensive operation and daily work. By allowing tajawal to keep controls in an efficient manner, ReconArt also reduced the need of adding headcount to perform the reconciliation manually – instead, the team could focus on strategic growth and optimization of the business.
Within the second year of their successful deployment, tajawal decided to expand their use of ReconArt by onboarding yet another process:
“The second project that we had was even smoother, as we already knew how to define the scope and ReconArt was able to react very quickly.” – Asfia concludes.
Tajawal is among ReconArt’s most dynamic clients in the travel industry and has greatly contributed to ReconArt’s ability to service and support this space ahead of the curve. We look forward to further developing our partnership in the future.