We are so much used to waking up every morning, getting ready to go to work. Nobody knew that a time would come when we would all be forced to stay at home and work from there. Many were confused on how, we would be able to work from home especially when we are all working in different fields. Thanks to Google, all answers that we need are there. There are so many tools that we can use while working from home to accomplish the same goals that we try to achieve everyday while going to work. Some of these tools are discussed below;
Stable, strong Wi-Fi at home is an important thing at this moment. A reliable Internet connection is no longer a frivolous wish, but an increasingly necessary tool now that so many employees are working from home.
With stable Internet You can check email without delay. You can go to websites and not run into unexpectedly long loading times. A stable connection is a lot like a road without traffic. With unstable Internet you could lose out on potential customers, miss important emails, or slow your employees’ efficiency down to a crawl.
Imagine you walk into your office in the morning and the first thing you do is check your emails. What makes it different while working from home? It makes it easier to communicate to clients and colleagues via mail as compared to making a phone call or sending a text message. Unlike other forms of communication, emails are more reliable when it comes to passing official communication to people. They can easily be accessed at the convenience of the recipient and are not bias to the time of day that one should send an email. It’s also fast to send official documents via email since just clicking a button does it. Emails also are more economical to use since one only spends very little to communicate.
Online document filling
We fill documents in order to store vital information for future reference. It becomes hard to fill these documents manually while working from home and send them to relevant people on time. While this is the case, filling these documents online is the easiest and most effective way of storing information. It saves on costs of printing and filing, the information is safer online since its free from loss, the information can be easily retrieved by just clicking a button and it also saves people time by sharing the document to as many people as possible using emails.
Online accounting to enable generation of Quotations, Invoices and Receipts
Most of us think that it is only people who are in the field of IT are able to work from home. Coming to think of it, technology has not only advanced in the field of IT but it cuts across all fields accounting being one of them. There are many existing online platforms that enable the generation of quotations, invoices and receipts among other things entailed in accounting. These tools can be accessed by anyone across the globe so long as they are connected to the Internet.
Online meeting applications –Zoom
The sudden and unexpected coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has had a drastic impact on the way people work in just a few months. Many organizations are relying on technology and application such as a Zoom to allow their employees to work remotely and stay safe.
Zoom is the current go-to videoconference platform, and has the best video webinar functionality. It also allows users to record meetings and has group collaboration capabilities. Users can create groups and instantly send text, image, or audio files to the members of those groups.
Online and Integrated payment Mpesa and online banking system
We are very fortunate to be living in the era where Mpesa has become the norm instead of using paper money. This has made businesses work more efficiently since one can send money through Mpesa to purchase a product regardless of where they are. Many online platforms that people use to sell and market their products have integrated payment through Mpesa, which has increased security of the money and has also made businesses grow at a very high rate. Online banking as another feature of transferring money, has saved so many businesses since one doesn’t have to go to the ATM in order to purchase a product. Both Mpesa and online banking system are very useful in enabling people work from home in a more efficient and effective manner.
Cloud hosted business applications
Just as the name “cloud” suggests, these business applications can be accessed from anywhere so long as one has Internetconnection. What this means is, even while working from home, one is able to use these applications to grow their business and share information with fellow colleagues and clients.
As an organization we have had first hand experience with most of our employees working from home and we can attest its experience, which has given us a whole new perspective.
Being an IT firm we can help your organization set up all the tools discussed above and enhance your employees to efficiently work at home be productive and observe the much needed social distance as we fight the Corona virus
Throughout the world, startups have come up and thrived, and existing businesses have reworked and fine-tuned their operating models to better serve their customers, be more efficient and increase their revenues.
Often, though, businesses make the mistake of assuming that good ideas just happen; or even worse, we get caught up in the mind trap that creativity is an aptitude where some people are born with it while others just don’t have it. Then, there is even another self-defeating belief that makes success even harder to grasp; “I am not intelligent enough to come up with good ideas.”
Well, for the many of us trapped in this whirlpool, an emerging way of thinking reassures that, to prosper, enterprises actually require a unified business model generation tool that combines the experience of the entire team through structured, tangible, and strategic conversations around new business ideas, shared on a common canvas.
This tool resembles a painter’s canvas, pre-formatted puzzle with the nine blocks, which allows you to paint pictures of new or existing business ideas. The Business Model Canvas (BMC) works best when printed out on a large surface so that groups of people can jointly start sketching and discussing business model elements with sticky notes or board markers. It is a hands-on tool that fosters understanding, discussion, creativity, and analysis.
Central to any successful business is the customer. We complete the puzzle by pairing the BMC with the Value Proposition Canvas (VPC), that which persuades customers to choose your products or services over another. Each Value Proposition consists of a selected bundle of products and or services that caters to the requirements of a specific Customer Segment. In this sense, your Value Proposition is an aggregation, or bundle, of benefits that your enterprise offers customers. Some Value Propositions may be innovative and representative of new or disruptive offers, while others may be similar to existing market offerings, but with added features and twists.
It therefore goes without saying that Value Proposition is all about the customer. Intimately knowing your customers is the first key step towards capturing their aspirations. Appreciating the things that block them from completing their jobs, herein referred to as “Pains”, the reasons they are seeking a new solution; the positive effects the customer yearns to realize by completing their jobs or from using a product or service, herein referred to as “Gains”, including their larger ambitions and desires; and finally the customer’s functional, emotional, social and supporting ‘jobs’, herein referred to as “Goals”, form the guiding principles of what products and services you ought to provide, to relieve the pains of the customer and create the gains they desire.
‘Magic’ will then start to happen when businesses find the perfect balance for the customer needs and expectations on the one hand, and the supplier’s products and solutions on the other hand.
Evidently, BMC and VPC have had many early adopters across the developed world, and the influence continues to grow in these regions. In African, and at DewCIS in sessions delivered through our workshops, we believe that with increased interest towards entrepreneurship and innovation, both the BMC and VPC would be useful tools for startups as well as for established firms in their search for the ‘Magic’.
“Innovation is the calling card of the future…” Anna Eshoo
The world is on the move. A report by World Tourism Organization (WTO), estimates that by 2030 a global population of 8.5 billion people will take approximately 2 billion international trips. People are travelling more than ever, further than before, and faster!
The travel industry has had to transform itself to adapt to this shift. The basic unit of the travel industry, the travel agency, has had to forge itself afresh from the agent of ‘yore’ to a forward-thinking, innovative travel partner of the modern age. The biggest catalyst for this reinvention has been the emergence of a savvier consumer. One driven by passions, influenced by and adaptable to whims and trends and who is harnessing the power of technology.
The modern traveler has more control over their travel. Technology has bridged the gap between those with information/experience, and those seeking it. The modern traveler is leveraging this tool, search engines, social media, aggregators and apps.
The modern traveler wants a more personalized, tailor-made travel experience. With content that speaks to individual needs. Their demands cut across conventional travel and tour packages where. For the most part, the modern traveler is calling the shots. He is a master negotiator; he does his homework on every aspect of travel. The travel agent is no longer dictating the terms. He is now a travel partner expected to facilitate the traveler’s needs.
Technology as a Tool in a Travel Agency
Like any tool in any other profession/industry/craft, wielding the right technology, the right way and harnessing it’s potential to the maximum makes all the difference. You would be hard pressed to find a business process that has not and cannot be digitized or automated. While technology has made all this possible, it is constantly adapting to consumer needs and trends.
Adopt Environmentally responsible travel: “…I’m am Green…”
Technology gave us a paperless environment. The world is embracing eco-friendly, sustainable, renewable, recyclable, green business practices more and more. No more paper airline tickets, boarding passes and hotel vouchers. E-tickets and E-vouchers, QR codes and NFC. The new traveler abhors waste and will pay more to save the planet and reduce his carbon foot-print. Technology allows us to buy and check-in online. No need to commute for this. Airbnb’s beat a hotel in that the running costs for the owner are lower, and the experience is more ‘home-like’ & cheaper for the traveler.
Adopt Cost and Time saving practices: “…Click-Click-Cash…”
Online transactions mean we save time otherwise spent commuting to the travel agency. The traveler saves time and money that they could very well put back in the travel package. The agency too no longer needs to set up shop at every corner up every street. This means a leaner staff, lower wage bill (medical, insurance, benefits etc.) Running costs are lower for the agency so they can afford to offer their customers discounts.
Diversify. Language is no longer a barrier: “…Hello World…”
The modern traveler no longer considers language a barrier to selecting a travel destination. Technology exists that allows for easy translations of text in books, speech, signs, etc. This means the travel agent can offer up any destination as a choice the customer.
The travel agency would be wise to market itself with packages covering regions beyond the usual destinations. The more off the beaten path, the better. They should also build capacity to handle clients from these destinations too, because they are coming.
Offer a Seamless Experience: “…From Hero-to-Home…”
The modern traveler demands a travel experience devoid of interruptions. There are apps to notify them how long their cab will take, they get mobile alerts when their flight is delayed, they have directions to their hotel from the airport, seaport before they set off. They expect that bus or airline ticket to be a guarantee that everything has been put in place to ensure their safe and comfortable travel experience. And should any glitches arise, the turnaround in solving them should be fast. Only way this is possible is by maintain contact with the traveler at all times. Not just to fix problems for them, but also to gather feedback from them concerning their experience on real-time. The traveler is left to do the most important part of the process. Enjoy a worry-free trip.
By designing a platform that provides real time information on flights and other travel arrangements, travel agencies can help business travelers save time.
E-Commerce: “…a moment of silence for fanny packs… : -\”
Electronic payments are fast taking over commerce. They are safer, more reliable and faster. Online banking, money transfer apps, mobile payment platforms, all these and more should be modes acceptable and embraced by the modern travel agent.
Partnerships with financial institutions to assist their clients do business with them is a definite plus. Build a secure platform for online commerce with customers, and you will keep them. The technology for this is mature; tried and tested.
4IR is rapidly changing the tourism and travel industry. Consumers are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their power by dictating terms and imposing their tastes and needs. Travel agencies are faced with better informed consumers, with more power and with higher expectations in relation to what they expect from providers.
“Everything is personal these days.
Technology has allowed us to seek out customizable travel experiences as opposed to going for prepackaged ones. Search engines, aggregator websites, internet bloggers and critiques with their reviews and insight. There is a vast pool of information about almost every imaginable travel destination and experience out there.
Millennials want their experience to be as unique as they are. There are real-time reviews on Websites and people get to post their genuine experience regarding their travel experience. The Agencies online presence can incorporate these via social media platforms and websites.
Connections: “…networks & partnerships…”
Social media is a tool of both trade and lifestyle. Leveraging this for business is no longer just a good idea. It is a requirement. Apps to connect the destinations to the agency and the traveler help track and gather feedback necessary to make smarter and more accurate/relevant decisions. Reputation translates to revenue. Shares, Likes, Follows, Tweets-Retweets, Hash-tags, Live etc. are the new currency. #travelenjoyrespect
Artificial Intelligence, albeit still relatively new, will assist with the creation of feedback loops allowing travelers to comment and rate different aspects of their trip, thus improving future experiences. Watch out for Blockchain technology too and its potential to revolutionize the industry by providing better data communication.
Big data for those that can process it is a gold mine. Access to more and more information about the tastes and activities of travelers at destinations, recognizing trends in the seasonality of demand, and other key factors of tourist behavior are fundamental in the development of product linked strategies. A travel agent and or service provider can use it to better understand trends, predict outcomes and develop more personalized services for their clients. The processing and management of Big Data by smart destinations helps to enrich the visitor experience and compete more effectively.
A recent report from the World Travel and Tourism Council and Travelport revealed that business travel accounts for $1.3 trillion of global travel spending annually, and is set to rise at 3.7% per annum over the next ten years.
One key reason for this impressive growth has been the industry’s adoption of pioneering technology. Leverage this market with some after-work leisure travel and you are a travel partner with vision.
“A dream will not become an innovation if there is no realization…” Ciputra
In a wrap, travel agencies have to adapt to the modern traveler by harnessing modern technology and looking out for emerging ones. Then use these tools for intelligent data gathering and management, analyzing the market in real time, studying and predicting travel trends, adapting business processes to change in the shortest time, all these practices are vital to stay afloat in the new travel world.