Meeting the Customer Demand Through Technology
Technology has become a vital part of the way Flight Centre operates. The company no longer sells anything that does not involve technology in some way, meaning its IT systems must be up 100% of the time.
During the pandemic, Flight Centre’s IT business also became global.
“Pre-pandemic, we were a federated business and ran each of our IT departments separately,” said Locke. “But now, we’re running a business 24/7 around the globe.”
That said, the IT team has to do more with less. Its size has been reduced by more than half. And it operates on a budget that’s 37% less than before. The company has also shifted to using SaaS (Software as a Service), so it has become necessary for Flight Centre to keep vendors honest and make strategic vendor decisions about those that are not performing as expected.
“It’s no longer just about the service being available,” said Locke. “It has got to perform within a relevant timeframe—that’s important for the consultant.”
Post-pandemic, the business is back to growth with strong customer demand for travel. As a result, each travel consultant’s availability is critical as an outage could damage Flight Centre’s reputation and directly translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue. More so when it affects an entire service region.