Apple Leisure Group: Processes in Paradise

In case you haven’t noticed – winter is coming. While we all enjoy the holidays at this time of year, the frigid temperatures can be less forgiving. As you wrap yourself in layers upon layers of wool and reach for that second cup of tea, nothing would sound better than an escape to the warmth of the tropics.

A Leader in Leisure

You fire up your computer and start searching for vacation packages and resorts in the Caribbean. One name you’re bound to come across is Apple Leisure Group (ALG) and its three distribution businesses, Apple Vacations, Travel Impressions, and CheapCaribbean.com. Together, these three brands make ALG the world’s top seller of leisure travel to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.

But even with all of its successes, ALG realized it wasn’t running at top speed. Because, while the three brands sell similar packages to travelers, they operate independently and had developed 80 unique processes over the past decades. Looking to streamline these processes, ALG wanted to move everyone onto a single platform and boost efficiency.

In an effort led by Jason Metcalf, vice president of operations and business transformation, ALG began searching for a business process management (BPM) software platform to help. Metcalf and his team reviewed several solutions on the market – one that came up was our intelligent BPM suite, SeQuence.

From Pilot to Take Off

In just 30 days, we created a pilot program with Metcalf to demonstrate the power of intelligent workflows. It was centered on ALG’s Product Loading process, where products and promotions are extracted from emails from hotels and airlines, and loaded onto each brand’s website for customers and travel agents to shop.

Before, emails would come in and get routed through each brand’s loading teams. The data wasn’t consistently tracked so they didn’t have a sense of the backlog of items. But with the workflow created in SeQuence, ALG has automated the process of taking the product data out of emails and onto its customer-facing sites. In addition to better tracking of items, this has contributed to an 80 percent reduction in ALG’s backlog of tasks.

A Perfect Match

After the success of the Product Loading process, ALG decided to move forward with PNMSOFT and we immediately began work on its Price Matching process.  ALG offers price matching for customers if they see a similar product offered at a lower price from a competitor. Before, teams had to manually evaluate each case based on tour, product and competitor type using approximately 70 different policies.

The Price Matching workflow developed in SeQuence allows an ALG team member to enter the tour, product and competitor type and automatically derive the correct policy for each case.

Metcalf, said,

“By using the right policy, we have seen an average reduction of around $150 per booking in terms of the dollar amount we need to match. Further, since users can now track the price matches and add backup information for auditing, we have actually seen a reduction in the number of price matching instances – about 20-30 percent – which for our business can mean a significant amount of dollars.”

To learn more about ALG and its digital transformation story, read the full case study available online.