The travel industry is an industry that is in constant change. It is the type of industry that must change with the times, including how it conducts business, how it sells its products and services, and how each link of their supply chain works and connects with the rest of the chain. While each brick and mortar location and travel website are similar to their counter parts, each one has a varying supply chain they use in order to get their product and services to the customer. We will take a look at how a brick and mortar travel agency uses its supply chain, and how changing to a website location can and will affect their supply chain.
Let's begin by understanding what exactly a supply chain is and what it does for a company. A supply chain, or supply network as it is sometimes called, is a coordinated system of people, activities, information, organizations and resources involved in moving a product or service in a physical or virtual manner from the supplier to the customer (Wikipedia, 2007). Supply chains transform raw materials and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer. In this case, the travel agency must be able to connect the airline, hotel, car rental, cruise lines and event tickets to the customer wishing to take a trip to a particular location and meet their individual wants and needs for that trip.
Brick and Mortar Agencies
Travel agencies began years ago by opening brick and mortar locations throughout the United States. They would open up offices located conveniently within the cities around
the country so that many people could utilize their services when planning a trip. A brick
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...e added to the chain that include the purchasing of website names, links, and overall creation of their website to be used. And lastly, links need to be made to financial institutions so that the customer can purchase what they want from the website through an electronic means of transferring money, either directly from their own bank or through a credit card.
In comparing the differences in the supply chains used by brick and mortar locations versus virtual agents, the chains are similar in many ways, yet have great differences as well. Brick and mortar relies upon personal interaction through agents and agreements with their suppliers. Virtual websites pre-purchase reservations and tickets and offer them directly to the customer at a discounted rate, cutting out virtual links of stores and people, but add links of Internet commerce and availability.
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