For businesses competing for market share in the travel sector, a notoriously competitive and price-sensitive industry, ensuring that clients are offered the best deal can prove difficult. Speed is paramount as the cost of a holiday or flight is almost always time sensitive and prices can change by the minute.
Capable Travel, based in the City of London, is an established independent travel agency, which employs six staff. The company offers a complete range of travel services, providing customers with highly competitive prices on flights, package holidays, city breaks, cruises and customised packages designed to suit individual needs.
Established in 1983, the company has only been online for three years, when it originally set up an ISDN connection. As soon as ADSL became available, it adopted broadband because employees were frustrated with using an intermittent ISDN service with slow download times.
In November 2000, Capable Travel switched to BT OpenworldBroadband , making it an early adopter of the new technology. Nigel Burns, the company`s sales manager, estimates the company has made an annual cost saving of at least £1,200 by replacing ISDN with an ‘alwayson?Ehigh-speed broadband connection.
“With broadband, we save time and money in a number of ways. In addition to avoiding long delays waiting for an email to send or a Web page to download, we no longer have to leave our desks every five minutes to use the fax machine or send documents by post. Since installing the high-speed connection, we`re never experienced a problem sending an email, regardless of its size”, said Nigel Burns, sales manager at Capable Travel.
Broadband has been key in enhancing the travel agency`s customer service. It has enabled staff to instantly send and receive reports and itinaries via email. With broadband, clients can make changes to suggested itinaries and re-send the revised version within minutes. Operating with such speed means that the company can keep its operating cost very lean, passing on the savings to customers through lower priced deals, which in turn provides the company with competitive advantage.
Capable Travel`s employees also use broadband extensively for online research. For example, they investigate what their competitors are offering and ensure that they can match and better other agencies` deals and prices. Employees also use the Web, which is the most up-to-date source of information, to access discounted airfares on scheduled and charter airlines, travel offers, hotels, package holidays, car hire and insurance.
“The speed that broadband allows us to work is certainly a huge bonus. We`re become both accustomed to and completely reliant on high-speed Internet access and practically all our work is done online”, Burns continued. Capable Travel benefits from continuous broadband internet access via BT Openworld`s Business 2000PLUS product, which offers download speeds of up to 2 Mbps. Burns received BT Openworld`s Business 2000PLUS, with everything he needed to install and run broadband, including easy-to-follow instructions.
“Broadband has helped us to develop a very focused and responsive attitude to work. The speed at which we can now operate means that we don`t lose any business through delays”, Burns concluded.