Simon Powell, chief executive of Comtec (Europe), offers up his explanation of dynamic packaging.
Dy-nam-ic – adjective. 1) Refers to actions that take place at the moment they are needed rather than in advance. 2) Full of energy and new ideas – characterised by continuous change, activity, or progress.
So, what’s your definition of dynamic packaging? That’s a favourite question of a panel moderator. However, the answer really depends upon how you’re defining ‘dynamic’ – a couple of potential definitions of the term are provided above.
As chief executive of a travel technology company, it’s very tempting to respond in the context of the first definition above and to describe functional processes related to aggregating multiple suppliers in real time. Although, even within this narrow context, it’s likely my definition would cause some debate. However, as a businessman with a leisure travel industry background I recognise that a dynamic approach to packaging and selling leisure travel is much more than that.
The functional requirements of what is commonly referred to as dynamic packaging are now being taken care of effectively by technology. Consumers are expressing more flexible requirements when they purchase package holidays, agents and operators are increasingly utilising technology to efficiently meet this demand, and this sector of the package holiday market is likely to continue to increase for most travel organisations in the future.
The application of dynamic packaging services are now commonplace and are likely to become mainstream.
It’s therefore not merely the adoption of the real-time travel packaging (see definition 1) that will be the crucial step forward for travel organisations. Rather, it will be their ability to apply this technology within an attractive, possibly evolving, customer proposition – all of which will characterised by the ability to generate fresh ideas and a willingness to constantly change and adapt to meet customer needs (see definition 2).
Therefore, technology will be just one aspect of a dynamic approach to selling holidays (whether these are pre-packaged or created at the time of sale). Crucial to the success of organisations involved in the holiday distribution chain, will be creative thought and sound commercial judgment applied to the selection of partners, suppliers, commercial models and marketing techniques. Truly dynamic packaging of leisure travel is, therefore, more an approach and a mindset than a process.
Essentially, it all comes back to the age-old question: “How can I sell travel packages profitably?” Technology will most likely have an important role to play in this; however, the adoption of new technologies can only partly answer the question.
Implementing dynamic packaging technology will establish a platform for travel companies looking to offer more flexible, tailored, travel services to clients. However, it is only when technology is complemented by creative thought, an ability to form effective partnerships and the insight to adapt to offer products and services customers want to buy, via the channels they prefer, that dynamic packaging becomes a truly powerful asset to your business.
Simon Powell is chief executive of Comtec (Europe).