Leading North American Air Carrier Gains a Competitive Edge with Optymyze

Situation

A large air carrier operating hundreds of flights and carrying over 40,000 passengers per day was facing competitive pressures and realized that they needed an innovative approach to sales compensation. They wanted to improve their incentive compensation management process by focusing on their core goals:

  • Offering more comprehensive plans to travel agency partners
  • Expanding their partner network and tactical relationships
  • Exposing the benefits of booking higher-value airline tickets
  • Increasing sales and market share

Challenges

The airline faced a number of challenges and limitations as they began to develop a strategy for improving sales compensation. They were inhibited by a lack of standards and systems, a laborious contract management process, no CRM solution, and no flexibility when it came to reacting to changes in market conditions.

In addition, the incentives offered by their travel agency partners lacked detail and strategic thought. Partners could not model compensation or collect data in a timely manner, which led to insufficient insight into performance.

Solutions

In partnership with Optymyze, the carrier set out on a path paved by sharply defined objectives, distinct outcomes, and a clear vision. Their decision to enter a relationship with Optymyze stemmed from their knowledge of Optymyze’s proven success in the marketplace and the business advantages they foresaw in the integrated, intuitive, easy-to-use SPM functionality Optymyze offers.

They recognized that the benefits provided by Optymyze’s robust sales compensation engine, including customer relationship management and contract lifecycle management capabilities, would serve them well. They were also excited by Optymyze’s comprehensive self-serve reporting tool.

Ensuring program success required a shift away from guaranteed compensation for travel agency partners and a move to a performance-based compensation structure. Partners are now measured based on their contributions and other attributes to determine value, with top performers awarded appropriately based on a tiered payout structure. Most importantly, the strategy implemented allows the company to rapidly change plans as needed to stay competitive in the marketplace.

Outcomes

Despite numerous challenges, including highly aggressive timelines; competing/shifting priorities; data availability and quality; and integration issues, the airline and its partners have seen numerous positive, beneficial outcomes due to the program, including the following:

  • An 80% overall reduction to their monthly payment approval process – from fifteen business days to three business days.
  • The expansion of their agency partner relationships: without increasing internal staff, their newly tiered, performance- based compensation model led to astronomical growth in executed contracts, from thirty to five hundred.
  • Significant impact on their bottom line, made possible by the addition of many new partners.

Their partners have also greatly benefitted from the program. Payment cycles have decreased from sixty to forty-five days – a 25% improvement. The solution allows them to be more proactive in their booking approach; they’re no longer stuck reacting to competitive pressures. Access to more real-time data and modeling tools have enabled them to become architects of their own success.

Optymyze is proud to have empowered this large air carrier to differentiate itself from the competition, to respond quickly to changing market conditions, to align its sales compensation process to the company’s strategic vision, to expand to new geographies, and to increase profitability – all strategic benefits that have set the company and their partners up for success.

  • Optymyze has empowered this large air carrier to differentiate itself from the competition
  • Results include an 80% overall reduction in the monthly payment approval process
  • The client has been able to expand its agency partner relationships
  • The addition of new partners has significantly impacted the bottom line
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