NDC: Get Your Reward Now, Leave Unnecessary Complexity for Later

You are an airline CIO or CCO and just like many of your competitors, you would like to embark on NDC distribution but you may struggle with what seems to be hugely complex, long and costly to implement. And while there are benefits in achieving a complete NDC transformation, they appear far on the horizon and not completely obvious if your focus is about increasing revenues rather than making efficiency gains.

But while NDC is a vision which may translate in a long journey, airlines can obtain strong benefits short-term by implementing technologies that are available right now.

Browsing through the full library of IATA documentations – implementation guidelines, change readiness, etc., etc., etc. – a full blown NDC implementation seems to be of demonic complexity but IATA themselves give clues about where the gold is hidden in NDC:

 

IATA says it all: NDC’s objective is about transparent shopping and product differentiation

First clue is in the introduction summary on IATA’s website: ‘NDC (New Distribution Capability) will enable the travel industry to transform the way air products are retailed to corporations, leisure and business travelers, by addressing the industry’s current distribution limitations: product differentiation and time-to-market, access to full and rich air content and finally, transparent shopping experience.’

Damn! So summarized in layman’s terms, are we just saying that the essence of NDC is mainly in the shopping element? So it is about presenting to travelers the variety of choices and options that the airline has to offer and doing it through a superior shopping experience so they can easily find what they need? Basically this is one the key ingredients that made Amazon successful as a retailer and that satisfies me as a consumer!

Typically if I am shopping for a camera (something to take photos pre-iPhone and Instagram) on Amazon, instantaneously I get a large choice from the lower range ‘vacationer’ point-and-shoot to the high-end ‘paparazzi’ style. When I select a SLR model I am immediately offered different bundles. Because I look for value for money I will certainly opt for the ‘frequently bought’ lens pack (sure it is frequently bought, proposed systematically and with a discount so I feel my finger itching for the compulsive ‘just-click-to-add-£500-to-your-bill’!) and in case I would forget something… Amazon conveniently reminds me to add an extra battery and a case.

 

In a travel purchase context, what airlines need is the ability to present the full variety of their offer into packages that can easily and dynamically adapt to each traveler segment and that can also be tweaked (dynamically priced) according to external factors like market demand or for promotions for example.

This is how I as a traveler find an offer whereby the combination of its price point and the associated services will trigger my purchase decision. Then by incentivizing me to add additional services such as upgrades and other goodies, the airline will extract the last single dollar that I am ready to spare on my trip.

 

Actually IATA also gives away a second clue: The ‘Increased Revenues’ benefit is in the ‘Offer Management’

In the documents where IATA explains NDC’s value proposition they make clear that the ‘offer management’ or, said in non-NDC jargon, the Shopping and Pricing platform is what fosters the customer conversion, and respectively the airline revenue.

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If an airline embarks on the NDC journey what it needs the most and as a first building block, is the ‘NDC Sales Offer creation’ that works across all distribution channels – direct and indirect, digital or traditional. This is what generates immediate increase of revenues and return on investment from the NDC vision.

The beauty is that the technology for Sales Offer creation exists and can be quickly implemented. This is what we, at Vayant, do: enable a rapid roll-out of such solution generating a rapid ROI and revenue while addressing both direct and indirect channels.

Regardless of your existing PSS, you can quickly implement one of the world’s best shopping and pricing platforms to create your own Sales Offer, Merchandise your products and services with rich content, tweak your offer for each channel, and, even upgrade to dynamic pricing to adjust to the market and get your prices automatically maximizing your revenues.

The full NDC journey may look like a long and winding road, but there are money-making low hanging fruits that will benefit to smart airlines and bring them tangible benefits right now.

Links

Vayant: >> https://www.vayant.com/solutions/