At the beginning of 2000, Schiphol Travel International launched a concept, unique by Dutch standards, with an organizational structure tailored completely to its clients’ exacting requirements. The concept was created on the foundation of wide-ranging market research into the exact wishes of business clients. The research revealed an undeniable client need for personalized services and flexibility in business travel arrangements. Schiphol Travel International has used these two vital client requirements as the foundation for its service offering, tailoring its processes and structure to provide a unique set of personalized travel services.
Schiphol Travel has developed a completely horizontal structure in which only highly-qualified Account Managers are employed, all on one strategic level. Each Account Manager is responsible for management tasks and mandates that are normally upper-level management’s responsibility in a traditional corporate organization. This provides the client with a single point of contact for any issue, in the form of their dedicated Account Manager. This Account Manager has far-reaching individual authority for financial and management decisions.
Services are completely tailored to the clients’ wishes. There are no longer separate departments to deal with within Schiphol Travel. The Account Managers’ responsibilities include reservations, invoicing, management reports, credit management, sales and acquisition, contracting, evaluations, and a full range of financial matters. The company’s organization chart is completely flat, thus providing clients with an exclusive point of contact for all travel-related matters, tailored to their specific requirements.
A physical location was required that would guarantee the necessary flexibility to effectively deliver on the concept and optimal customer service. Schiphol Travel was established at the heart of Schiphol Airport, located near Amsterdam. As a result, in-person assistance is available for passengers traveling through Schiphol until the very last minute. If a flight is cancelled or overbooked, if there is a change or cancellation, or a missed or delayed flight due to traffic jams or mist, Schiphol Travel is on hand to assist its clients. In addition, it is now the official business travel agency of Schiphol Airport and collaborates with a large number of companies at the airport.
Schiphol Travel is able to guide its clients through the extremely complicated rate structures that exist in the European market, which is aptly described as a “jungle.” The price of an airline ticket is related directly to the level of training and experience of the Account Manager who calculates the rates. In general, the higher the level of training and experience of the Account Manager, the lower the price of the ticket will be. In addition to low ticket prices, Schiphol Travel also advises its clients on the different discount options offered by various suppliers.
Some companies consider hiring a specialized “travel buyer” for their company. However, the Account Managers employed at Schiphol Travel each have at least five-years of experience in selling a wide range of business travel and they have all had rates calculation training to at least FAT 2 (Advanced) level. Using Schiphol Travel, clients are assured of professional service and a competitive rate.
In selecting this unique concept, Schiphol Travel has guaranteed that its products stand out from the rest of the market, in terms of both operational and financial factors.
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