WebBeds – powering for travel recovery, fast tracking long-term strategy.
- Business transformation to simplify and drive efficiencies
- Technology developments to better support supply partners
- Global brand unification – WebBeds
- New geographical management structure
WebBeds, the B2B division of global online travel business Webjet Limited, has been powering-up for travel recovery, undertaking a transformation project to simplify the way it does business and provide enhanced support for partners, as the industry heads towards recovery.
Pre-COVID, WebBeds was the fastest growing and second largest B2B bedbank globally. As countries swiftly implemented travel restrictions to contain Covid-19, WebBeds focussed on initiatives to ensure it could deliver immediate support and value to its partners globally, amidst rapidly changing environments.
“Recognising domestic markets would be the first to open, we took the strategic decision to pivot our contracting and sales efforts to focus on domestic travel, diversifying our business model, which in turn has strengthened our supplier relationships and further developed our global footprint.” said Daryl Lee – CEO WebBeds.
WebBeds recognised it was also an opportune time to perform a holistic review of the business, looking at overall strategy and areas where longer-term plans could be fast tracked while demand was low. It has commenced a series of transformational initiatives to ensure it is delivering the highest value to its partners when intra-regional and international travel markets reopen.
“Our underlying goals have not changed, but what we have been able to do is look at every aspect of our operation, review what we do well and what areas we could improve. We challenged ourselves to test all assumptions about the way we worked, and pretty quickly established we could do things better for everyone concerned – suppliers, clients and our people too. The key driver has been simplification that drives efficiencies and makes it easier to do business with us.”
The simplification initiatives cover a number of key business functions and services provided within WebBeds Global Marketplace, including delivery of a new WebBeds ERP and enhancements to WebBeds contracting module and connectivity technology. WebBeds also created a new Global Product Group that will sit within the commercial side of the business, ensuring a greater focus on stakeholder engagement to ensure it delivers product and services that best suit its supply and distribution partners’ needs.
One important step in the evolution of the WebBeds business, which broadly supports the delivery of technology and simplification strategies and harnesses the benefits of a truly global footprint, is the unification of its stable of trade facing brands under a single, cohesive, global brand – WebBeds.
Mr Lee explains: “Bedbanks are more relevant than ever in the distribution landscape as they provide a single source of significant content for customers and valuable reach for hoteliers. For WebBeds to be agile within that context, we need to extend that agility to how our partners work with us. Working with one brand simplifies our commercial proposition and streamlines our process for both our supply and distribution partners, enabling both to leverage the benefits of WebBeds Global Marketplace.”
For WebBeds clients, change in this area begins with WebBeds trade booking websites, where the DOTW, Fit Ruums, Lots of Hotels and Sunhotels booking sites will be rebadged WebBeds. What agents see when they logon will look a little different, though users’ existing logon credentials remain the same.
In the near future, the simplification ethos will extend to WebBeds booking sites, with the release of Single Sign-On access (SSO), enabling any client currently accessing more than one of WebBeds’ booking sites to do so from a single logon page, using one set of new WebBeds User Account credentials. It continues with WebBeds Product Roadmap development of a single, best-in-class, global booking site that will leverage the deep knowledge base of multiple platforms in its creation and deliver additional content benefits stemming from a unified global supply approach.
Lee said: “The last 18months has been devastating for our industry, but we know travel is resilient and as soon as people can travel, they will. We see a world of opportunity and are working extremely hard to ensure our readiness to support our clients and supplier partners better than ever before amidst altered landscapes. We will be here to help facilitate growth and bring our industry together.”