Hickory Brings Measurement To Consortium Model


(c) 2011 Hickory Global Partners

HICKORY Global Partners, the 37-year old consortium of business travel sellers relaunched under new INTRAVEL ownership in May, has announced an advanced business intelligence and data consolidation tool being developed with technology partners, including eCommission Solutions (ECS).

ECS offers an end-to-end solution for GDS segment capture, file matching and reconciliation, dunning, commission recovery and reporting, HICKORY says. ECS powers HICKORY Commission Recovery, a program which benefits the consortium’s Agency Partners by reducing operating costs associated with commission research and dunning, increasing commission recovery.

HICKORY says this results in up to 45 percent more revenue from sales, as well as improving data integrity. Commission Recovery includes exclusive discounted access to the ECS system, which supports all non-ARC transactions, including hotel, car rental, cruise, tour, ground transportation, international phone rental and travel insurance.

According to Ted Cromwell, Executive Vice President of HICKORY Global Partners, “ECS, with its unique commission recovery and data capabilities, is a key partner in helping the new HICKORY fulfill its mission: to leverage technology and a deep understanding of our agency and supplier partners’ needs, and deliver real and measurable competitive advantages. This program provides Agency owners with confidence in collectability, lower costs, higher recovery rates and powerful analytics for negotiating leverage.”

For 2012, the HICKORY Business Intelligence program will use ECS data in a new way, consolidating it with data streamed directly from suppliers and other industry sources. This will provide HICKORY’s Agency Partners and Supplier Partners with an unmatched ability to accurately measure the value of participation in the consortium channel, as well as benchmark performance against competitors and optimize revenue and profitability, HICKORY says.

The resulting data will also allow Agency Partners to participate in lucrative HICKORY incentive programs. HICKORY’s Agency and Supplier Partners will access an easy-to-use Business Intelligence dashboard on the new extranet, HICKORY PartnerHQ. Reporting will include performance under HICKORY negotiated rate programs, competitive benchmarking, HICKORY ROI analysis (against cost of participation in programs) and HICKORY opportunity analysis which applies Partner sales history to HICKORY benefits and measures the potential effect on revenue.

“Consortium and affiliate models have been rife with unfulfilled promises and unproven claims for both suppliers and agency members,” said Cromwell. “HICKORY represents ‘the evolution of the consortium’. For the first time, by pioneering with technology partners like ECS, we will be able to reliably measure ROI for both Agency Partners and Supplier Partners, aggregate data in one place and report in real time and accurately on utilization, consumption, pay per performance and untapped opportunity.”

Paul Hoffmann, president and CEO of ECS, observed, “The new HICKORY is changing the game for consortia and affiliate programs. With the help of ECS technology, they are empowering leading agencies to manage their revenue with newly opened eyes, with more clarity of vision than ever before of who is selling what and how much it is worth.” He added, “With the same data tool, hotels and other suppliers can finally get a real measure of the success of the consortium channel and the efficiency of their spend.” 

Visit www.HickoryTravel.com


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