Cardiff-based technology provider Tiger Bay has set out what it says are achievable goals for growth over the coming years, prioritising project delivery over sales.
Having developed a full suite of reservation systems for tour operators from back to front office, last year saw the firm completed full integrations with seven new clients.
These included Mark Warner, Ski World, Sunvil and CV Villas – a part of Kuoni – and Tiger Bay director Carl Morgan claims all came in on time and on budget.
It already has the eight firms it will integrate this year lined up, including Wendy Wu, Martin Randall and Beachcomber.
Morgan said this ethos on delivery is what is at the heart of Tiger Bay’s strategy to avoid over-stretching itself and the operational team of 15 working in its headquarters.
“What we have found is that an implementation project is the biggest single risk a tour operator will take of everything they do.
“So getting it right and done on time and within budget is always critical but hardly ever met.”Morgan said of the seven implementations carried out in 2014, the average delay was just three weeks, compared to projects than can over-run for months or even years.
“We are a delivery organisation rather than an organisation driven by sales,” said Morgan. “Having a robust implementation product is our unique selling point.
“I tell the sales team what they are allowed to sell and I do not want surprises that we cannot fulfil. We are the other way round to some other organisations.
“When we take on new business it has to be within our strategy and capacity, and capacity is not easy to grow.
“We are not proposing to stretch ourselves and become millionaires over night. We are very much about giving confidence in terms of what we deliver.”
The addition of the seven new clients in 2014, the first year of Tiger Bay operating at full capacity, has seen the system grow so that it now processes 120,000 passengers annually.
This represents £118 million of revenue with an average booking value of £1,000 per person, pointing to the niche, upper-end nature of Tiger Bay’s client base.
“We are quite happy about what that means in terms of the type of tour operators we are working with,” said Morgan.
He added new clients are often coming to Tiger Bay to replace multiple legacy systems to give them a better web presence and more flexibility.
China and Asia specialist Wendy Wu, for instance, has not been able to offer online booking and will look to launch new product once on the Tiger Bay system.
Morgan said firms were looking for the ability to make changes and develop their businesses and add revenue streams outside of just the basic holiday booking.
“What’s becoming more important is companies are wanting to retain customers, get more repeat business and up-sell through post-booking activities online,” he said.
“This requires a system that can present a list of bookings and sell services to enable the buying of more extras, more upgrades. Operators are often very narrow in what they can offer.”
By the end of next year Tiger Bay will have 26 firms on its system and expects to add around six a year on average.
To date all have been UK-based firms, but Morgan says the firm is now ready to start prospecting for business overseas, with English speaking markets high on the target list.
However, he said the focus on serving existing customers well and retaining them reduces the requirement to acquire new ones.
“As we get more customers they will want more changes and we will end up dedicating more capacity to servicing the customers that have joined.
“If you can service your customers’ businesses well, then the pressure to bring in new business is less.
“I can see us getting fewer customers but slightly bigger ones moving forward”.