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
Supply Chain 3
and mortar office would provide personal service and information to those wanting to travel either for personal reasons or for business as well. Their offices would include customer service agents, also known as travel agents,...