The Golden Ticket
Think of your last vacation. Before the pool side margaritas, you bought a ticket. And there weren’t only the 18 holes that came along with it. There were specific rates, options for foreign countries, different fees for different airports, you could change or cancel a ticket; all with just a few clicks of a button.
However, how this looks behind the scenes is much more complicated. That’s where TRX takes off.
TRX, a Concur company, is a world-leading travel technology and data services provider, offering more than 20 software-as-a-service utilities for online booking, reservation processing, data intelligence, and process automation.
TRX was the first provider of consumer flying habits, competitive analysis, and ticketing information to Travelocity. In the early years of online travel services, Travelocity had very few competitors but this quickly changed as internet speeds improved and consumers became increasingly comfortable with booking their travel online.
Eventually, more places like Priceline, Kayak, Expedia and Orbitz started getting into the online flight business as well.
Travelocity was experiencing low market penetration and wanted to use a range of vendors for different technologies. As a result, TRX experienced a massive drop in revenues, staff and funding.
Sean Hammond, a successful leader in this time of change was promoted to CEO. His first big change was a more aggressive sales strategy.
TRX decided to target big airlines like Delta and America Airlines, who were doing this work internally. This required a significant change in strategy and reframing what employees thought the goals of the organization were. TRX had under resourced and stressed teams, along with a rather high turnover rate. In the field of technology, recruitment and retention are ongoing challenges, so this organizational disconnect did not help.
The Work Effects Solution
Our initial assessment with TRX’s culture and leadership revealed strong relationships within each team yet substandard collaboration across teams. Although individual teams were relatively strong on their own, there was a clear absence of camaraderie, ideation, and collaboration when teams attempted to work together. There was not enough trust within the organization to promote a spirit of working together and drive the unified change that was needed.
One of our first areas of focus, was creating transparency. Getting issues out in the open allowed team members to dissect and understand the challenges adapting to new practices were presenting.
As TRX started to drive the strategy throughout the organization, we began to develop a stronger approach to customer intimacy, to create greater trust. Work Effects helped drive that strategy throughout the organization, along with creating oversight governance committees to track improvements. This included a recognition and rewards approach for managers who embraced the changes.
The work we did with the TRX leaders prepared-and motivated-them to become change agents, remove organizational “silos”, improve efficiencies, and re-dedicate their teams to serving TRX customers.
The managers who excelled at building trust and customer intimacy became the most likely to be promoted. The work of the oversight committee coupled with the use of a monthly scorecard measured the organization’s progress and trust levels.
Within two and a half years, TRX was profitable again. They moved from being funded solely by private investors to an IPO. Private investors, who chose to do so, were now able to cash in on their original investments.
TRX successfully emerged as a publicly traded company with a clear strategy, aligned culture, and leaders who thrive on collaboration.