Automating over USD 30mn financial transactions

Intelligent Operations

Expedia used Kubera© to instantly decrese it marketing fee payout from 7 days to 1 day for ETAAP in India


Challenge

Expedia have an ingenious programme which allows travel agencies to use the Expedia platform to access supply of tourism and travel-related services. The agency can can then re-sell the offering to their customers.

In India, Expedia has a large number of “woodpeckers” – an internal name for the agents that were part of the ETAAP. These agencies needed to be paid their marketing fees for being a member of ETAAP.

Expedia had centralised it marketing payouts from its regional HQ for the Indian sub-continent. This process was not only time consuming but also inefficient as multiple payment instruments needed to be iniated and there was considerable voliaty in the foreign exchange gains and loss.

Even when the ‘brick and mortar’ process was shifted to India, it would still take all the departments a working week to audit and issue the payments. And another week to reconcile the payments!

Two weeks of manual processes, riddled with human error, meant that people were focussed on repetitive tasks and not focussed on revenue generating tasks.

Strategy & Solution

Expedia selected Big Blue Road to innovate a solution to bring efficieny to the financial payout process and convert the “brick” process to a “click” process.

The approach was to understand the unique requirement and processes in conjunction with each stakeholders requirement including the statutory stakeholders and build a financial ERP from scratch. The efficiency was garnered from automating the processes and including system based checks and thus minimising human intervention and human error.

All of this centres around Kubera© – a web based application. It would structure the vast amounts of ‘data dump’ financial data, identify red flags, and create individual payouts for each agency.

The platform was connected to each stakeholder and provides unique actionable data an reports unique to each – Expedia, local partners, agencies, financial instutions, tax and audit authrities.

Kubera© reduced a 1-2 week process to 2 days – 1 day for the payment processing and 1 day for the reconciling. This time saved was effectively used by the team to focus on customer service and sales.


Centralised and Automated

The web application centralised all the information in one place and automated the entire money flow process

Micro Targetting

The mobile application allowed for immediate workforce scaling and geographical micro targeting.

Gamified

The entire process was gamified to get desired results to meet the business objectives.


Transformation

With the help of Big Blue Road through the PocketFunder© platform, Expedia was able to quickly scale the acquisition of travel agencies from all across India (cities, towns and villages) to the Expedia Travel Agency Affiliate Programme. The solution was a standalone offering that easily plugged into the existing systems, processes and technologies to enable easy integration and greater efficienies. It brought a saving of above 90 percent, if Expedia had to establish traditional sales systems across the span of the country.