The retail transformation in the airline industry continues to generate much attention. Travel in Motion’s whitepaper, Moving from Concept to Design provides an excellent primer for airlines who are now looking to scale up thinking about how technology will support their own transformation over the following years. As the paper gains widespread traction, I thought it would be a good moment to distill five of the core takeaways airlines should be making from it:
- Having a vision and clear objectives with executive alignment around them is critical to gaining the impetus for change and, ultimately, the investment to power it. That vision should be relatable and talk to everyone in the organization. The transformation will involve everyone and should provide an aspiration for all team members and their work areas. Those objectives need to be meaningful, achievable and translate into clear KPIs.
- Transformation is an evolutionary process. Changes in consumer behaviors, improvements in employee skill sets, technology availability and the competitive landscape are constantly changing. Transformation in the airline industry is more continuous improvement than a technology refresh, with a target state supporting the airline’s vision for the future, becoming a catalyst for aspirational goals.
- Don’t create future legacy constraints. Working with a vendor that can enable value today via immediate retailing capabilities and cost efficiencies while setting your airline on the right path to Offer and Order will provide tangible ROI and core foundations for change management.
- Modularity and vendor flexibility is crucial. This is an opportunity to rewrite the vendor-airline rulebook. Even if the airline’s requirement fits the licensing of a full platform, having the ability to select best-of-breed components into the future will reduce the likelihood of vendor lock-in and ensure that the cost efficiencies of the move to Offer and Order come to fruition.
- Each airline’s transformational journey will be different. There is no set path, as every business is different, with competitive landscapes and technology contracts that vary. Having outside advisership to supplement in-house expertise helps understand the nuances of the airline’s model, path and strategic models. That broader field of vision, from experienced vendors like Accelya and expert consultants such as Travel in Motion can expedite thinking, particularly around creating immediate value to support the transformation.
We were proud to support Travel in Motion in this publication. As there was with NDC, a distinct competitive advantage exists for early adopters of this technology. This primer on Moving from Concept to Design should be essential reading for airline executives and commercial leaders looking to extract that advantage.