【Interview with Xiaoqiang college】Hardcore! The amazing Internet business thinking of this overseas travel agency
Confucius said, "good tools are prerequisite to the successful execution of a job."
Khaled El Kholy said, "tools can make money earning easier."
Who is Khaled El Kholy? He is the general manager of Solar Empire Travel. In my mind, he is a far-sighted and outstanding strategist who is good at managing his employees and business with internet thinking. To do business more easily and efficiently, since 18 years ago he entered Chinese market, he has started to search for office systems and haven't found an ideal one until he meets OTAS.
Mr. Khaled El Kholy was excited to dance when he found this office system of tourist agency. Today, we talked with Mr. Khaled El Kholy about this system, how he promoted his employees to get familiar with it quickly, and how to realize efficient management and product optimization through this system.
Xiaoqiang College: Why do you choose Tontisa? How to guide the team to use Xiaoqiang OTAS? What measures can be taken?
General Manager Khaled El Kholy of Solar Empire Travel: Though until now I haven't met the team of Tontisa, a deep affection has formed between us. That's because we both like making things. I've tried many online systems before, but no one is like OTAS which can allow the local travel agency to produce a beginning-to-end process. Even if I did not look into its internal logics, I knew that was the one I was looking for.
Since the principal line and logics of OTAS follow one straight line, it completely conforms to the business process of our local travel agency, from quotation to operation to payment to finance. Moreover, OTAS does not stop here, and data report is at its next step, which really surprises me. Links are chained closely and smoothly with zero gap; there is no waste of time; I know from this point that this is the system I would like to use.
Then, how to promote the team to get familiar with it? This is indeed a challenge for a boss thinks in a perspective different from that of employees. The boss will think if this system is helpful for him, while the employees tend to be reluctant to change the way they've gotten used to. I am a person who does not like being ignorant of something well mastered by my colleagues. Therefore, I learned the system in advance and got familiar with each detail from quotation, operation, and reservation to finance and report; I learned all of these ahead of my colleagues, and after I mastered it, I then made them learn and use it.
In addition, I also helped them through online ways. I recorded all operation procedures in videos, with each video being 15-20 minutes, and sent these videos for my colleagues to learn. The operation recorded in each video combines the functions of OTAS with practical business, and can help colleagues learn quickly.
In fact, my colleagues felt uneasy with the alternation of system. So, I firstly presented them the travel quotation made by OTAS, and then asked them how long it took for them to make a similar one and if all of them were able to make a similar one. Their answer was that on the premise that the resource input was done, it might take them another 3-4 hours for typewriting and composing. However, with OTAS, it only takes 5 minutes to complete a travel schedule for 8 days.
This fact removed their concerns and even increased their interest. Then, I showed them how to operate the system. Upon watching the operation, they said it was simple; the travel schedule can be easily done by moving mouse. It is efficient, and like a dream.
We firstly applied OTAS in Beijing and Taiwan; it took nearly one month and a half from the alternation to my colleague getting familiar with it (on the condition that my colleagues were totally unfamiliar with this system). Later it was applied in Dubai and Egypt, and my colleagues started from scratch could get proficient in using this system within one week. This is where OTAS differs from other systems. OTAS saves us the time in preparing basic information; we can make a quotation after inputting the resources, and directly focus on key points; so one weak is enough.
Xiaoqiang College: Could you tell us which functions of Xiaoqiang OTAS you love the most?
General Manager Khaled El Kholy of Solar Empire Travel: Two parts of OTAS are especially favored by me. Its report function is quite excellent; its pattern is not fixed, you can configure your own report pattern and determine by yourself how to view the company's data, which is really great. After Sky told me how to use this function, I was excited and immediately tried different reports; this is what I have always expected to do; for example, we can tell from these reports which teams make more profit, which teams make less profit, it is the team of fewer members or the team of more members that makes more profit, and it is the team of fewer members or the team of more members that purchases more.
Just for these simple questions, it might take the finance department for 1-2 months to submit me relevant information for a certain period. Now, there's no need for me to ask the finance department about such information, and I can construct my own reports at any time; the data can be presented within one second. Now it is me who informs each department of their problems, defects, and points necessary to be strengthened; they no longer need to provide information to me, and I even can provide reports to the finance department.
Before I made decisions based on experience; and now OTAS enables me to know clearly which hotels are favored by our customers, with which hotels I should build deeper cooperation, and which hotels are favored by people from Guangdong, Shanghai and other places. OTAS can provide relevant data to me within one second. When Sky taught me how to generate these reports, I was so excited and even began to dance at home. Because I had always expected to gain such data, but had always failed in this respect.
In addition, I feel assured with the use of OTAS. At the beginning, Tontisa has built a client group, in which all clients can pose their questions. This action of yours won my 100% confidence in you. We put forward questions every day and those questions can be seen by other clients, but you are not afraid of this, and allow all clients to see the questions, so I have a great confidence in you. Moreover, each time when I asked a question, your colleagues competed to answer, including those at the levels of manager and boss. Before no system allowed me to converse directly with the developers, and answered immediately my questions. I really like this feature of you and feel really assured.
Xiaoqiang College: Could you talk about the change before and after your use of this system?
General Manager Khaled El Kholy of Solar Empire Travel: There is a great change. For example, on the occasion of our sales personnel quoting prices to customers, we sometimes need to compensate the customers due to incorrect quotation and failed communication with customers. I'm not familiar with the frontline situation, but the team generally learned about such a situation one or two months later after they came back, and then analyzed relevant reasons.
But after the application of OTAS, I can see which place is flawed before my employee quote prices to customers; then the quotation can be immediately withdrawn for modification. This operation is quite efficient and its whole process is transparent. Now, I can look deeply into all operations of the company; before I needed to fly to a place and sat together with my colleagues for a talk. Now, there is no need for me to do it, and I can learn everything by opening the system.
Xiaoqiang College: What development goals do you expect Xiaoqiang OTAS to help you achieve?
General Manager Khaled El Kholy of Solar Empire Travel: I hope to realize some goals which were unachievable before. Now, the talents of OTAS have made some creations beyond my expectation and surprising me. I find above half my demands have already been listed in their schedule; this means they have predicated the demands and changes in advance. I also hope that one day OTAS can satisfy my following requirement, namely, after opening this system, customers can purchase their travel and read the quotations by themselves, while the system provides all our products for them to choose.
In addition, I also hope that OTAS allows the guides and assistants of my company to directly report the accidents occurring in a travel, and the information can be received by my colleagues in the offices. These demands are accepted readily and recognized by the staffs of OTAS. Therefore, I have a great confidence in it and really like it; this system is worthy of our time. At present, I spend 6 hours each day in OTAS, and hope more people can see how OTAS makes distinctive travel schedules.
In fact, we are very lucky for we started to use OTAS at the outbreak of this epidemic; during this period, we can get familiar with this system, and I believe after the epidemic, our efficiency will be higher.