The world around us is changing at an ever-increasing rate. The more we focus on the future and try to understand the impact and potential created by changing trends in our business environment, the better equipped we are to meet even surprising challenges. And there are sure to be surprises, even unpleasant ones.
The business travel market is facing its largest change since the introduction of the self-service tool nearly 20 years ago. The rapid increase in self-service did not start until 2010, fuelled by the financial recession. Today, most business travel reservations are made via self-service. Now, the familiar tool is being shut down and new tools will take us into an inspiring environment that is even more advanced than the consumer versions.
We at SMT see this change as an opportunity to take business travel bookings to an entirely new level with the modern, easy-to-use KDS Neo tool. We demonstrated this new online tool, which is used at SMT, to our clients at SMTnetwork and it was extremely well received. For example, Juho Pesonen, Head of Research at the University of Eastern Finland, says that the system is so easy to use it makes business travel planning almost pleasurable: http://www.juhopesonen.com/blog/2017/05/31/seen-future-travel-bookings/
Digitalisation not only changes the tools we use; it also acts as a driver for a revolution in how we work. The hierarchical leadership models of the industrial age no longer work, as learning new things, creativity and impacting the environment become even more important for employees. At SMTnetwork, futurologist Markku Wilenius told us that these starting points create companies that achieve top performance, keep their employees happy and committed in both their working life and private lives, and that have a very satisfied customer base. At SMT, we want to be that kind of company!
As part of our cultural change project, we are developing models for work and experimenting with new ways to work effectively while challenging and motivating people. At the moment, we are piloting a self-guiding team where authority and responsibility are transferred from the supervisor to the team. I believe that the self-guiding team model will motivate our personnel, enable the faster processing of client feedback and improve the client experience.
Each of us can decide how to face these inevitable changes. I encourage everyone to see the opportunities for growth around them and to embrace them. This will also make the future seem more inspiring. Anything is possible if you put your heart into it.
Managing Director, SMT