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Chapter 4: The Business Model

Introduction to Business Model:

The concept of business model is used to analyse and communicate the business' essence, in order to predict implication of new project within organisation. The purpose of present assignment is to propose a framework for business model in conceptual manner. This model will provide a base for further theory of project and help in conducting a debate as well. The business model is also defined as an abstract concept having many facets. It provides a description about implementation of a business concept and entails the process to launch a new project successfully. Corporations and academics use concept of business model to describe activities related to operations (Chatterjee and Finger, 2014). Thus, despite vagueness,  this model concept has become a prominent notion in vocabulary part of management.  

Therefore, it is necessary for management team of Thomas Group to prepare a business model adequately. This will provide guidance to project-makers to conduct investigation and review the procedures as well. In addition to this, the main objectives of a conceptual framework of business model is based on threefold activities. It includes- To explore existing practices of business; To prescribe future activities and Define key terms and financial problems. Thus, conceptual framework will provide a basis for future practice which broadly states key terms and concepts, used for identifying and debating the issues.

Explanation of each element of business model:

This part reveals the major elements included in framework of business model. It includes targeted customers, superior value propositions, channels, key activities, value chain based resources and more (Felix and Hines Jr, 2013). In context with Thomas Group, who is going to launch a travel app to provide necessary information and updates to travellers, business model canvas in this regard includes following elements:-

  • Priority Customers: This part depicts the priorities of customers in terms of their preference, demand and purchasing power. With respect to travel industries, travellers can be classified as cost conscious, domestic and international trips, first time and more. Therefore, in order to provide information and regular updates to targeted customers, manager of Thomas Group are required to prepare holiday packages as per their interests.
  • Superior Value Propositions:In order to attract minds of customers and gain their retention for longer period, Thomas Group provide its services on lowest price. In addition to this, it also offer additional services with no-frills i.e. no extra charge will be taken for supplying basic necessities to travellers while travelling. This travel agency also give frequent services to leisure and corporate clients in order to exceed level of satisfaction of them. Products or services provided by Thomas Group include travel consultation, custom packages, reservations for lodging, pre-arranged tours, rental cars, rail passage and more. Furthermore, this firm seeks to differentiate itself from other competitors by launching travel app for customers.
  • Channels: In travel industry, the primary distribution pattern is generally considered  from supplier to agent then to customers. Therefore, distribution between agency and supplier is mostly regulated by conference system. In this regard, two main conferences by which Thomas Group can gain access from air travel providers are International Airlines Travel Agents Network (IATAN) and Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC). Along with this, there are some other distributor channels as well likeon-line booking and telephone booking sales which aid Thomas Group in delivering its services in vast area of marketplace (Farace and Schöpfel, 2017). In this context, online booking software keeps business of a company open for 24X7 hours. This will give opportunity to customers to take services of organisation anytime as per choice. Thus, by using mobile app, travellers can book their ticket anytime as per own choice.  
  • Key activities: For promoting features of travel apps and its benefits, managers of Thomas Group conduct various activities. It includes managing all the requests which are made by people, advertisement and promotional content on social media etc. Along with this, all travel agents as well as service providers who are registered with app are managed in proper manner. Furthermore, solutions which are delivered to customers at per their request are also recorded safely. The other key activities integrated with mobile apps by Thomas Group are spot services, currency converter, utility finder, weather forecasting, world clock and more. All these processes aid to leverage with all demands of users.
  • Value Chain Based Resources:Low-cost airline provided by Thomas Group give opportunity to those travellers who cannot afford First Class; will enjoy a premium service as well. This travel agency provide air transport services to passengers which include international, regional, domestic and national (Collins, 2018). It is dedicated to provide highest quality of customer service and delivered with a sense of friendliness, warmth and individual pride. For Thomas Group, the main issue of its target customers is budget constraint i.e. last minute change in reservation or flight booking tickets. This give negative image of travel companies in their mind and they used to switch such services. Therefore, to resolve such issues, Thomas Group make ensure that any type of issues will not arise when people book tickets through mobile apps. Along with this, some other factors which attract travellers can be described by its value proposition of low cost-airline, frequent, efficient as well as punctual service.
  • Competitive Strategies: In travel sector, there is an intense competition due to innovation and high technology. It includes Internet and Computerized Reservation Systems (CRS), which has changed the way of operating business by travel agencies. Therefore, by launching travel (mobile) apps, Thomas Group give opportunity to travellers offering tickets on line at discounted rates. This travel agency has introduced computerized reservation systems which has increased the speed as well as efficiency of agency in terms of customer transaction. Along with this, its managers have formulated various plan and strategies to give a tough competition to rivals like TUI Group. Such strategies can be explored in terms of promotion, pricing, distribution and marketing.
  • Key Partnerships: Thomas Cook is considered as one of the leading travel agency which is supported by near about 22k colleagues. It operates business in more than 17 countries having approximate 100 aircraft, 190 own brand hotels & resorts, 22k employees and 20 million customers (Tukker and Tischner, 2017). Therefore, all are taken as partnerships of this travel agency which aid tourists to get a one-stop shopping and save their precious time.  
  • Relationship: To launch travel or mobile app successfully and provide high quality of services to customers, it is essential for employers of Thomas Group to develop an effective relationship with key partners. It will help in getting cooperation and support of partners in launching new apps more successfully.  
  • Costs & Cost Budget: The main step in creation and development of travel app is to select best technology which will help in developing mobile application. At present, three main technologies are available at marketplace, viz. Native, Web and App builder. In native technology, a company can use native coding system to build travel app which caters to the requirement of smartphones with Android and iOS. While through web technology, a firm can develop a hybrid app. In place of this, there are many app software available which need zero effort to create an app. It includes UX which help in designing an app and give option to choose from a wide range of services. Thus, in this regard, Thomas Group adopt App builder technology for creation of mobile app. This app include various features like car rental software, hotel and flight booking engine, guide selection etc. Therefore, overall £20K is required to develop and launch travel app. It includes

< div class="content-table">

Particular

Amount

Initial Investment

100000

Expenses:

          Operational Activities

          R&D Activities

         Cost to IT Experts

         Licensing Fee

         Maintenance

 

22000

28000

16000

6000

8000

Closing Value

20000

  • Revenue Stream and Cash Flow:The revenue stream in travel industry is generally come from selling online air tickets, fees charged for additional food and beverages,  commissions acquired from business partners etc. While cost structure involves airport charge, aircraft maintenance and staffing as well. Therefore, M&S uses small airports mostly which are available on low price and less congested.

Chapter 5: The Business Plan

In today's world, tourists face many issues and challenges in order to plan a holiday. So, by launching travel planner app, Thomas Group help tourists in meeting all their requirement. Through this app, they can discover new destinations, famous dining place, hotels and more, related with travelling. Therefore, a business plan for Thomas Group is given as below:-

1) Overview of company

Thomas Group deals in tourism sector and founded in 1841 in London, UK. It serves a wide range of products and services in global market. It includes Charter and Scheduled passenger airlines, holiday packages, cruise airlines, reservation is hotels and restaurants etc. In terms of revenue, this firm generate near about 9k million Pound.  

1.1) Objectives

The main objectives of Thomas Group behind launching mobile app are:-

  • Increase sales performance by near about 650k million in upcoming three service.
  • Maintain margins of 10% on all airline travel.
  • Develop strategic alliances with service providers nationally, internationally, and in regional areas.

1.2) Mission and Values

TEntrepreneurship and Small Business Managementhomas Group is a travel agency which specializes in adventure of tourism sector. This company provides tour packages, custom travel arrangements, solution related to design or plan holiday trip and more (Van Manen,  2016). The main mission of this firm is to develop personal leisure travel experience and become foremost provider of adventure tourism and travel. Along with this, to enhance values of business, Thomas Group also seeks to develop connection with small companies operating business in same field, employers of hotels & restaurants, transporters and more, who are fit in fulfilment of desires, budget, and skill level of tourists.

1.3) Key to success

In order to accomplish the mention objectives, managers of Thomas Group follow some keys to success. It includes market segmentation which help in determining demands and desires of customers on the basis of their demographic, purchasing power, interest level etc. In addition to this, successfully acquire a position in adventure travel industries, create differentiation in product and services, develop a business base of loyal customers and more, are some another key factors to achieve present goals of this company.

2) Service Description to accomplish mentioned objectives

Thomas Group is a leading integrated leisure company which provides leisure travels services, including airline, Visa and Passport. It operates business in more than 21 countries across 4 continents. Some additional services provide by this travel agency to tourists are access to top-of-the-line equipment and supplies, assistance with passports, accommodations and entertainment which make journey of people more comfortable and enjoyable. The value added of Thomas Group offering is its expertise team who provide best services to customers, competitive and affordable rates, low airline tickets and more which aid into exceeding satisfaction of the customers. As per economical data, it has evaluated that today people spend a lot to travel best destinations of the world in comfortable manner. Therefore, it gives opportunity to travel agencies to offer them best deals and get their retention for longer period of time. In this regard, it has estimated that Thomas Group is considered as a niche service provider within the tourism and travel market which offer high quality of holiday packages for various sporting trips on affordable rates. This agency also serves adventure and leisure travel market as highest quality (Chatterjee and Finger, 2014). Thus, more than 5k million of customers are engaged with its services. People of developed and under-developed countries prefer services of this company while planning holiday trips for both domestic and international market. All suppliers, distributors and partners with whom Thomas Group deal belong to top-notch professionals with accomplished backgrounds.

Concept of new product

In order to provide best services to customers and provide them updated information, Thomas Group is going to launch mobile apps. It helps travellers in organizing domestic or international trips by providing a comprehended list of destinations, holiday packages, different kind of deals, offers and more. As per basis on lifestyle and purchasing power, travel planner app will provide holiday deals exactly as they are looking for. It also gives details about facilities accordingly to the mention destinations. In addition to this, trip plan can be categorized on the basis of seasonal variations also. For example: In summer vacations, travel plans will include facilities like trekking, skating, resort trip etc. This will enhance travelling and tourism experience as well as save money also. Some top features of travel or mobile apps, introduced by Thomas Group at international marketplace are mentioned as below:-

  • Plan travel and tour requirements:A proficient or efficient travel planning mobile app will undoubtedly consisting many attributes. In this context, a well featured travel app provide benefits to tourists in finding perfect destinations, online book airline tickets, including some additional features like offline access, QR code scanning, navigation and tracking etc.
  • GPS( Geo Location Positioning): The concept of travelling can be defined as exploring the unknown destinations and places. Therefore, as a tourist, an individual has no idea about location of such places. Thus, in this regard, one of the most advance features of mobile app is GPS (Geo Location Positioning) technology. It helps travellers adopt in navigating the path and finding out destinations by mobile apps which include maps and navigation tools.
  • Maintain and manage a travel diary: The most amazing feature of Thomas Group’s mobile app is allowing users to share their experiences about visited places. They can create own blogs too as well as upload photos, video and audio files into mobile planner app (Welford, 2016). In addition to this, it also shows reviews, feedback and personal experience of travellers.  

Thus, integrating travel app with GPS system will raise its efficiencies. It helps tourists in making their journey more safe and secure. This system includes tools like Google Maps which help in tracking down the locations of new place.

3) Steps to ensure arrival

3.1) Market Analysis

Thomas Group plans to expand its market area in more developing countries. For this process, it targeted such market area where people would like to explore new places, grabs history of famous dining places and make holiday plans accordingly. Since its travel business primarily comes under leisure category. Therefore, major portion of revenues are generated from leisure travel which exceed near about 50 billion Pounds annually. Annual expenditures in the marketplace of U.K. are estimated as approximately 12-15 million Pound for hard adventure travellers and 40-50 million Pound for soft ones.

3.2) Market Segmentation

Thomas Group mainly target customers belongs to young age, health-conscious or newly couples and individuals having gross income not exceeding 50k Pounds. Therefore, it offers low-cost airline which aid travellers who can't afford First Class, can enjoy a premium service. Along with this, it also targeted those travellers who have interest in popular adventure activities like  white-water sports, skiing and mountain biking. Thus, in this regard, Thomas Group targeted urban areas lie within states of UK, Australia, Africa, China, Florida, India and more.

3.3) Market Trends

The notable trend in travel and tourism industry is increased deregulation. Through this aspect, requirement for differentiation is enhanced accordingly. In addition to this, to win competitive advantages, organisations deal in travel sector, offer airline tickets and other transportation services at lowest rates (Cardon, 2014). Trends in travel market are rapidly changing due to increase in airlines facilities, increases demand of leisure and adventure travel, good economical conditions, per capita income and more. Therefore, introducing travel or mobile app, will aid Thomas Group to complete demand of tourists on time and exceed their expectation level.

3.4) Market Growth

Today with changing trends at marketplace, business of travel industry is rapidly growing. The other reasons for this process are good economy condition, rise in per capita income, exchange rate of currency and more. Therefore, this would have made tour and travel services less expensive for people. As per statistical data, it has estimated that leisure travel rise by 3.2% and predicted to grow by 2.0% more in upcoming years. In this regard, there is a large scope for Thomas Group to launch travel apps. It will help to enhance sales performance by 10% annually, which aid this travel agency to become one of the fastest growing in travel industry.

4) To ensure arrival

4 .1) Business analysis

In travel and tourism industry, UK is considered as third most favourite country, which is rich in terms of adventures place, heritages and destinations. Therefore, enhancement in tourism helps this country in improving and developing its economy at high rates. In the last decade, revenues generated from travel and tourism has increased by near about 90%. This market is segmented on the basis of business class and leisure travel, where each contributes to near about 45% to total revenues. In addition to this, market of tourism can also be further categorised into international and domestic travel. Here, domestic travel accounts to near about 70% of revenues. As Thomas Group engages in leisure travel, therefore, it segments market on the basis of trips, taken by travelers as per income or age. In this regard, four primary leisure travel groups are: Adventure, Adventure, Interest, Honeymoons, and Sightseeing Trips; Business-class and High-status Travelers; Budget-conscious Travelers and the last is Families and students who visit for educational purpose.  Therefore, in this regard, by introducing mobile apps, it can give information to people as per their interest.

4.2) Competitors:

In travel industry, with enhancement in tourism, competition among travel companies also increased. In UK, many travel agencies are running their businesses with different strategies and policies in order to gain retention of customers. It includes Rollins & Hayes, Global Adventure Travel, TUI Group, Travel Finders and more. All these companies offer high quality of services, tour packages on attractive rates, accommodations and more. Therefore, in contest with Thomas Group, intense competition at marketplace, affects it profitability in high manner. Thus, to win competitive advantage, this company is required to develop effective and unique strategies. For example: By using social media platform, managers of Thomas Group can make good connection with travelers and give information to them about its new mobile app. Through this process, they can promote high top features of travel apps and its benefits to tourists. By making differentiation in products and service, this firm can build trust among loyal customers. Aggressively promote features of mobile apps like navigation tool, Google Maps, attractive list of holiday packages on affordable and discounted rates, aid this travel agency in enhancing its customer base.

4.3) Value proposition

The value proposition of Thomas Group services is generated from experiences gained by travellers. High satisfaction and exceeding the expectation of tourists shows value of its business at marketplace. In addition to this, workers are high-skilled and knowledgable which help in meeting requirements of customers. They provide solutions related to complaints and issues of travellers and give them satisfaction by making their journey more enjoyable. 

4.4) Marketing Strategy

Marketing activities related to travel and tourism is a tricky task which requires much attention and strategies for a company. Using digital technologies will provide head start to a firm over its competitors. The goal of Thomas Group’s business is to develop and keep customers with products and services. By offering holiday packages as per interest and purchasing power of people has reflected its efforts to reach mentioned goals. Therefore, to get more booking via mobile apps, this travel agency can adopt following strategies:

  • Partnerships with luxury hotels and restaurants: By developing relationship with employers of luxury hotels, Thomas Group can offer leisure services and high accommodation to travellers on affordable rates. This would also aid in meeting and increasing expectation of customers as well.
  • Manage online reputation: Before taking services of a company, every person used to read reviews of other individual who have acquired the same before. This would help in determining whether such services are beneficial for satisfying their needs or not. In context with travel sectors, near about 80% tourists when planning national and international trips, used to look out for summarised feedback and reviews. Thus, in this regard, it is necessary for Thomas Group while marketing its products at marketplace, to manage online reputation.  
  • Go to visitors before they arrive: Companies engage in travel and accommodation, should develop a good and long relationship with tourists before they visit a place. So, by providing a mini-campaign to travellers through mobile apps, help in resolving basis queries of visitors. It includes hotels to stay, transportation facilities and local guide who help in exploring the new place.  

4.5) Sales strategy

Sales refers to an activity which deals selling of good and services in order to earn profit. Sales strategy are those technique followed by companies to generate revenue from operational activities. Schemes for sales plays vital role in large organisation. One time planning will not work under income, step by step plan of action accomplish enterprise goal effectively and efficiently. Making of strategy will not work, firstly it should be evaluated then implementation in correct direction will help in achieve targets in effective manner. In context to THOMAS Group, its main priority is to stay on top of tourists' minds. For this process, developing effective plans on discounted rates especially in off-season period, refers to best sales strategy. In addition, it is essential to Thomas Group to concern on that customers who used to take services of this company in repetitive manner, are expected to avail less price rates on next journey. Thus, fulfilment of their expectancy, will aid this company to get retention of loyal customers and boost sales performance as well. Some other strategies by which Thomas Group can boost sales performance are:-

  • Be concerned with advertising strategies: Concept of this strategycan be shown in different process where hospitality and travel industry needs to thrives on it. By advertising suite-level rooms for visitors during off-season period on low budget, helps in convincing them to avail travel packages. Running some special ads in tourism guides, promotions of club facilities, luxury rooms on affordable rates and more, are considered as best strategies for developing minds of tourists to avail travel packages.   
  • Target business travellers: Since majority of leisure visitors are influenced by seasonal trends, therefore, targeting to business class people consider as best strategy to increase profitability. People belongs to corporate world, are used to travel for business purpose in all over the world in regular manner. Thus, by developing holiday packages as per business travellers will aid Thomas Group in increasing sales performance and enhancing profitability as well.

4.6) Promotional strategies

Tourism company influences to economical growth and development in the market by providing better and easy going services. Thomas group will organize several packages that will be affordable for all kind of people.  In today's era everyone use smartphones and laptop or tablet to gathering informations, ticket booking and other services. Mobile applications are more using than websites of companies by users. It will assist to booking process, now days no one wants to go on booking places or wait in public queue, this app will provide better service on time to their customer. This app saves customer's passport details so at next booking it will consume less timing and reducing paper work. Also providing rebate information time to time by this app to attract join these service. Moreover this app customer will aware about the destination views by watching videos and images.

4.7) Pricing strategy

Setting price of products and services in travel industries refers to most complicated task. To set adequate price of tour packages, a firm needs a strong mix of marketing techniques and financial analysis (Buckler and Creech, 2014).  Accommodation, components and people who are engaged in making holiday experience of travellers and pricing strategies, consider as main aspects in developing brand and market share. The another factors are uniqueness in business and flexibility of products, which help in deciding price. Similarly, competitors dealing in same field, their strategies to attract minds of customers, pricing policies and targeted market are some another factors which are required to be concern most. In context with Thomas Group, price of holiday packages are totally dependent on value added services which enhance the travelling experience. Furthermore, its managers are required to calculate break-even point, occupancy rates and operational costs. It will help in determining minimum price on which company can make profit and offer products at low rates as well.

As per The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), prices in travel sector is dramatically increases in 20th century, all around the world. Pricing of holiday packages are much depended on economic stability of a country or region. Along with this, in international marketplace, price of air travel is also grown by by 3.5% as compared to 2017. The reason behind this is increasing in demand and rising of fuel price. Moreover, price of hotel and restaurant accommodation is also considered as rise by 3.7% in 2018 (PRICING STRATEGIES FOR TOUR OPERATORS AND ONLINE TRAVEL AGENTS, 2018). Thus, in this regard, it is much difficult for Thomas Group to offer holiday packages on below rates. But, to gain competitive advantages, its uses some effective sales strategies. It includes-

  • Tour packages are used to target niche market like food and wine tasting, golfing, beauty and relaxation etc.
  • Different price level of travel packages are based on seasonal variations which includes low rates in off season period.
  • In off season period, attractive discounts are offered to those customers who are price conscious. It helps in generating revenue in such period also.
  • Thomas Group also prefer some basic price strategies like on the basis of individuals, age wise and group. Under this process, some discounts are given to senior citizens with option to choose accommodation and transportation facilities as per interest. While, per unit pricing set price for 1 unit of service i.e. single package for 2 adults with two kids.

4.8 Risk Management

Preparing a risk management plan is the most important part of a business plan which entails process of identifying hazardous situations and developing strategies to overcome from the same. If project-makers can evaluate potential risks which may come during implementation of new techniques in business then they can find ways to overcome from such situations. Along with this, they can minimise impacts of such adverse risks, which will help in recovering from loss in quick manner if an incident occurs (Bradbury, 2015). The occurrence of risk can be varied as per business in which a company deals, but preparing a risk management plan, includes a general procedure. It involves a detail about strategies to handle and deal with risks, by specifying business operations. Therefore, in context with Thomas Group, its managers has formulated a risk management plan for launching mobile app without any interruptions successfully. For this process, they have developed unique strategies in order to cover business from risk. In addition to this, they have formulated proper budged, resources and more, as per requirement to prepare a risk management plan with a business impact analysis. This would also aid Thomas Group in meeting with legal obligations to run business more appropriately. Furthermore, it also helps in creating a safe workplace by reducing the likelihood of an incident, which create adverse impact on business.

In this regard, employers of Thomas Group has appointed a highly experienced and skilled Director of Risk and Audit. By working in collaboration with selected person of management team, new appointed director give assurance that planned management of risk will be integrated into strategical and operational process. This point reflects that in Thomas Group, risk management is considered as a set of actions to run operations in appropriate manner.  

5) Expected outcomes

5.1) Financial Plan

When any firm launches new products or services at marketplace, it has estimated that there will be little growth in the first two quarters of operation. Along with this, expectation yo cover up operational cost and gain profitability is also seem to be difficult in initial stage (Bourn, 2014). Thus, in this regard, Thomas Group needs to keep enough funds to maintain its initial performance at market place. With assistance of this, it can easily capture customers' attention by providing them better services as per their requirement at cheap rates. Keeping adequate amount of cash also helps in enduring negative cash flow situation which may encounter due to less generation of revenues. This would also anticipates an increase in sales volume and gross margin as well. Therefore, overall financial plan of Thomas Group represents a conservative and realistic depiction of its position at marketplace.

  • Key financial indicators

Economical conditions, support of government in enhancement of tourism, increase demand of customers to avail tour packages etc. are some factors, which forecast the growth of business in travel market. Therefore, success and growth of business by launching travel app in upcoming three years, in context with Thomas Group, can be indicated by following chart:-

   (Source: Benchmark for Thomas Group, 2018)

  • Break-even Analysis: The following table shows description of Thomas Group's break-even analysis which include monthly sales BEP points. As per key financial indicators, this analysis assumes near about 20% gross margin. This estimate will help in improving and increasing profitability of business at certain point in sales.

(Source:Break-even analysis, 2018)

Critical Factors for success

There are many factors present which contributes to obtain effective outcomes of a project. It includes efforts of team-workers, smart planning, open communication, careful risk management and more (Bonner and et. al., 2012). In context with Thomas Group, some critical factors which lead to execute project successfully are mentioned as below:-

Team-workers: Without building a right team, any strategy or plan of a project cannot be executed successfully. Due to this, expert members, core project staff, suppliers, distributors and all other stakeholders are considered as part of team dynamic. Therefore, to strive overall success, all members of team should give high commitment as well as share similar visions. Any type of dispute related to different background and opinion, will create a serious trouble for project managers. Thus, any out-of-sync team or inept leadership may leads a plan towards failure. Thus, managers of Thomas Group should introduce right persons in team as well as assign them roles and responsibilities as per their abilities (Why mobile app is important for travel industries, 2018). In addition to this, they should provide training and development to team-members so that they can understand in what manner activities are required to be done. each aspect of the project and make sure that they are working well together. Additionally, it is major responsibility of project makers to give timely information to team members and involved their participation in each decision making process. It will help in obtaining the most successful outcome after implementation of a project.

Smart planning: Comprehensive planning assist a firm to set up activities of a project carefully. This would help in implementing such a project more successfully. Under this process, it is necessary that all stakeholders must be on board while planning process. Along with this, they must always know updated information as well as direction in which project is going on (Birley and Moreland, 2014). The main important aspect of planning is to aid team-members to meet deadlines as well as stay organized. Moreover, good planning process not only keeps project-makers focused towards business objectives, but also make stakeholders aware of project progress. Thus, in context with Thomas Group, there are various advantages to smart planning. It includes creation of time-scale in reliable and realistic manner, ensuring accurate time for delivering outcomes of project, providing documentation of deliverables and  milestones which will help in determining progress of project. In case of any urgency, an efficient plan give details about alternatives by which serious problems and issues can be handled.

Introducing required technology: It is the most critical factor which meets requirement of a project successfully. Thomas Group is going to introduce mobile app at marketplace by which people can avail its services anytime. Therefore, for this process, it requires to replace old technologies with new one, develop infrastructure and software at organisation. For introducing mobile app, this firm needs to make modification in organisational and working process. Along with this, managers should organise training at workplace to develop skills and knowledge of employees accordingly. By introducing effective technology like cloud technique, they can store records and personal information of customers in safe and confidential manner. This would aid employees to easily access data and use it for giving best services to customers. Thus, all these processes helps in launching mobile apps more successfully.

Careful risk management: Implementing any new project successful without any interruptions rarely possible. The main reason behind this is execution process which is not done exactly as planned. As every project includes various type of risks which may leads the same towards failure (Avermaete, 2012). Therefore, during planning process, it is essential for project-makers to create a risk log with an action plan. This would give information to associated members about risks which may arise while conducting planned activities. In this regard, by developing a risk log or management plan, managers of Thomas Group give details to stakeholders where complexity can be arise. Thus, in case of urgency, team-member can take quick actions for resolving the issue. This would raise confidence level among team-members and stakeholders to face any issue more easily. Along with this, if something happen wrong, then they could find solutions for increasing progress of mentioned projects.

Having a central online database of project information is vital to ensure you don’t lose crucial project momentum during the project, but also in the event of losing key participants you can quickly get your new team members up to speed.

Visibility of plan

A powerful and attractive visibility plan is made to ascertain what strategies and techniques are used for implementation of a specific project (Allweil, 2016). Therefore, to launch travel or mobile app successfully, main keys for creation and execution of an effective visibility plan are:-

Have a plan in advance: This part indicates the overall marketing plan which is going to be conducted for entire year. In this context, managers of Thomas Group update marketing strategies in order to meet objectives and corporate goals by creating a business plan. With this assistance, they have made some conference meeting with investors, team-members and all stakeholders to entail information about how activities of business plan will be going throughout the year. In addition to this, discussion is also made to determine need of improvement by focusing on future profitability of business. Thus, it has been evaluated that visibility plan is necessary to make which shows outcomes of marketing performance, trends of marketplace in current year and goals that need to be achieved in set period of time.   

Make plan more elaborative and visible: Creating a visibility plan is necessary for exploring tactics like marketing, sales and competitive strategies. It should includes overall objectives that need to be achieved in given time-frame, targeted group, activities covered in plan, communication tools for conveying message to employees and team-members and motivate them to carry out activities effectively. Along with this, most necessary part includes  resources and budget by which whole plan is executed. Thus, in context with present plan of Thomas Group, the main objective of this travel agency is to increase sales and generate high profitability by introducing mobile apps. This agency targets youths and middle class people mostly and create holiday trips as per purchasing power of them (Al-Mubaraki and Busler, 2013). For boosting sales performance, this firm offer holiday trips in off-season period on attractive discounts. While, for promoting its mobile apps including features which provide benefits to tourists, marketing team use platform of social media. For this purpose, they have made various campaign and advertisement to bring awareness in people. Moreover, to gain competitive advantage, this firm offers flight tickets on lowest rates to gain retention and meet requirement of middle class people. In addition to this, for implementing business plan successfully, Thomas Group give employment to high skilled employees having good experience and knowledge in travel industries. This firm also introduces adequate amount of budget which is near about £20K. 

Adopt visibility strategies which march strength of business: There are many visibility strategies available which shows how effectively a company execute activities of its business plan and promote services. It includes e-mail, in-person workshops, advertise campaign, blogs, twitter or other modes of online techniques (Williams, 2014). Therefore, in this regard, managers of Thomas Group have formulated various strategies for promoting mobile apps in targeted area. It includes develop interaction with users through social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

Enlist business partners: A company having expansion of business in many countries,  cannot convey vision and message to entire world alone. With this assistance, such organisations need to create partnerships and develop relationship with joint venture. Therefore, partnerships is considered as one of the best visibility tool in business plan. When a firm develop effective relationship with partners and individuals who are associated with business, then it will help in promoting and spreading information about new project more successfully. In addition to this, it also increase abilities of business to reach ideal and loyal customers exponentially. Thus, in this regard, Thomas Cook which is one of the leading leisure travel group in world, has been running its business from more than 176 years. It has served near about 19 million travellers till now, which shows effectiveness of services. Its main partners who help in making holiday trips of tourists more enjoyable and comfortable are- SENTIDO (Hotels & Resorts), Smartline, SunConnect Resorts, SunPrime Hotels, Sunwing, Casa Cook and more.  

Activate Persistent and Consistent Action (PCA): This is the most important part which shows difference between successful and non-successful plan. In this regard, Consistent Action assists managers of Thomas Group to monitor and track record to ensure how activities of business plan is conducted (Adekola and Sergi, 2016). While Persistent Action states to follow up every instruction and strategies which help in reducing error in executing a project adequately.

Visibility of budget and investment:

The most concern part of any project is evaluation of finance required to conduct entire activities. As shown in business model, for launching mobile app, Thomas Group has made investment which is near about £20K. To optimise this cost effectively, managers have formulated a proper budget plan and distribute it in proper manner. It includes 22k Pounds for operational activities, 28K Pounds for R&D operations, 16k Pounds to IT development, 6k Pounds for licensing and 8k Pounds in maintenance the entire project.

RESEARCH REFLECTION REPORT

This is the most important part in any research report where a project makers share view point, problems and give recommendation for further improvement as well. As present report is based on evaluating the concept of mobile apps and its benefits for travel agencies like Thomas Group. Therefore, for this process researchers have used various methods and sources to collect relevant information. It includes qualitative research, which is a scientific approach with non numerical data to reach at potential understanding about social life and target place or population. It allows to exploring existing problems with complete relative depth. I have conducted this research to know about customer's experience, opinion, and their beliefs regarding product. This can be accomplished through personal interview whether in the form of telephonic-ally or face to face interview. This is the most effective method that used by corporate experts. Another interaction can be done with group discussion, company's executive and leaders observes  body language, often face expression and gestures of customers.

Therefore, to collect information about present topic in subjective manner, I have used qualitative research technique. It is helpful in generating content by arriving at genuine idea from demographic and social area. It includes small size samples than other methodologies that deals within lower cost and quick results. With the help of new insight, it makes authentic and accurate information about the related topic. Furthermore, this travel agency can improve their product growth and market share by analysing customer behaviour. In order to see whether mobile apps helps in increasing efficiencies and sales performance of a company, I have used secondary sources to collect data. It reveals information which is already collected by someone else and available from other sources. It includes company's records, information from government departments, taxes records, magazines, newspaper and census. It covers large samples of population with less time  consuming and in low cost. This data helps in assessing demographical changes, track to consumer's preferences reviewing on product and services. Secondary data evolves new strategies, innovative ideas with new concepts and provides a better prediction on that with new features and functions of products it will be sustainable in target markets or not.

Under this research, I have analysed that business concept is important to understand which outlines the major activities need to be done to turn an idea into reality. It also shows concept behind launching a new product or service, area which a firm will target and in what manner objectives are completed. In order to investigate the major concept, I have used nominal scale for determining recent trends of marketplace. This would help me in formulating business plan accordingly. Furthermore, feasibility research is also done which give alternative sources for accomplishing mentioned objectives in given time-frame. This type of research in identifying issues which may occur while implementing a new project in business. Thus, as as researcher, it makes me able to face different situations, which might arise in future during implementing a project. For developing feasibility research, both primary and secondary data are required to be collected. This would help in exploring information related to a specific topic in deep manner. The main key areas which I have focused on while conducting feasibility research are Industry where a company deals; concept of new products or services; target area of marketplace and last is structure of organisation. All these areas help me in determining which business model canvas is beneficial for smart planning.

Thus, through qualitative researcher techniques and secondary sources, I have collected relevant information for conducting further activities. This would help me in understanding the concept of mobile apps and its benefits for both people and organisation. By making this research, I have evaluated services provided by travel agency. As in this project, I have taken Thomas Cook Group which deals in travel and tourism sector. This agency offers a wide range of holiday choices included both domestic and international trips. Through launching mobile apps, this firm give benefits to targeted people to get amazing deals by advance booking. Holiday trips provided by this firm includes famous destinations of Turkey, Egypt, Majorca, Switzerland and more. The main beneficial point of this travel agency is rate of holiday packages, which suits budget of all kind of travellers. Under this research, I have evaluated that partners help a firm in promoting and executing its activities more effectively. As per case scenario, major partners of Thomas Group are its stakeholders, investors and business partners which includes some hotels and restaurants.

Thomas Group Agency mainly targeted youth, newly married couples and people who go with their family. With this assistance, they develop holiday plans as per interest and purchasing power of targeted audience. But it is recommended to this agency that if it targeted business-class people then it will help in increasing high profitability. As people who belongs to corporate  world, used to go for business meetings and attend conference in domestic and international states on regular manner. Thus, for targeting business-class, managers of Thomas Group is required to develop attractive trips and travel plans. This would help in gaining retention of organisational people for long period of time through which profitability can be generated in high manner. By investigation, I have analysed that there are many benefits a company can gain if it introduces mobile app. In context with Thomas Group is launching an application to provide tourism services more faster. It will be assist to fascinate employees in making booking process easier and timely. This mobile app customise services with different purpose that helps to customer in corporate as well as exploring trip. Application should be include these essential functions such as geolocation tracking services, climate forecasting, language translator, currency converter, emergencies services, cab integration, social dinning, wash room finder, trip review and so on. From tourist's perspective these functions will allows to gathering adequate information about destination, and relative services. Through all those facilities trip become more easier whether it is international or domestic travel.

I have analysed that every technology consists with both pros and cons, which create so many issues and challenges in front of a company. Therefore, talking about launching mobile applications, it has also possessed both pros and corns. Fully based on internet connection as a traveller, an individual will face various problem. For example: When there is server issues or connectivity is poor, then it creates problems in searching Thomas website. When tourists go on international trips, then roaming issues can be arise at several stages. Hence, worst internet connection is a major problems when travellers search or trace locations during visiting an unknown place. Apart from this, problems regarding downloading applications due to poor connectivity will also put travellers in trouble.

The main beneficial point as I have evaluated during investigation of this report is that  mobile apps is proliferation of big data. It gives opportunity to travel industries like Thomas Group to collect more information related to customer's demand. It includes purchasing habits, preferences, desires and more. This will give benefits to travel sectors to create holiday trips more specifically which cater desires and trends of tourists. The process of analysing data and then convert into action is termed as personalisation. This will tailor needs of customer needs  and exceed their expectancy as well. In context with travel industries, this has revolutionized the way of managing and developing customer relations with business. For this process, by creating unique and personalized travel research, booking experience of travellers will definitely crave out. A mobile app in travel industries have capability to show potential bookings as per basis on a past interests of travellers.

Through investigating this report, I have analysed that profitability of travel organisations after introducing mobile technology, has significantly increased. It also drives cost of developing a sophisticated travel app with has capacity to make effective interaction with customers. But as compared to other digital technologies, development and launch of a mobile planner app, seems to be much expensive for organisations. In addition to this, it has ascertained that value which recoup by introducing these apps can far exceed than initial cost. It may robust online presence and decrease growth in revenue as well.

From this assignment, I have explored that under what conditions, travel companies may fail to anticipate the success. It includes cost of maintaining, monitoring, updating, and modernizing travel apps. The main reason behind this is requirement of developing infrastructure, make alterations in organisation and adopts new technology. Therefore, this would increase cost of production and operational companies of a company. This, in order to overcome from such conditions and keep pace with modifications and advancements in technologies, Thomas Group is required must keep adequate amount of funds. In addition to this, they must prepare proper budget plan to update and reconfigure mobile apps to keep pace. By investigation, it has estimated that near about 70% budget of travel companies keep reserved to upgrade and maintain operational process after implementation of mobile and roll-out the complete process. Thus, if it is not properly managed  then this could be expensive as well as time-intensive process also. Along with this, it can damage entire process of company and can adversely impact on profitability also.

Thus, from overall mentioned project, I have summarised that tourism industry might get success by launching mobile travel apps. It helps in optimising and extracting extract the expected Return on Investment (ROI). Travel companies like Thomas Group can become able to create a strong presence in minds of tourists as well as to reach out targeted customers. For this process, managers of travel organisations are required to conduct proper research. It will help in determining which segment of marketplace they need to target. It will help in developing strategies to create awareness among customers about benefits of mobile apps. Through this process, they can provide information about top features of travel planner apps and what kinds of benefits it will provide. Mobile apps which may integrate user friendliness and some high functionalities, have potential to attract people in vast manner. This would helps in enhancing sales performance and base of customers for travel agencies. According to perceptions of mine, the top features of mobile apps to attract minds of customers in travel sectors include: Browse by holiday destinations; search through type of domestic or international trips, lifestyles, facilities etc.; create wish lists and save holiday expenses; track locations and landmarks more easily.

REFERENCES

  • Al-Mubaraki, H. M. and Busler, M., 2013. Business incubation as an economic development strategy: A literature review. International Journal of Management. 30(1). p.362.
  • Allweil, Y., 2016. Homeland: Zionism as housing regime, 1860–2011. Routledge.
  • Amersdorffer, D., Bauhuber, F. and Oellrich, J., 2012. The economic and cultural aspects of the social web: Implications for the tourism industry. Journal of Vacation Marketing. 18(3). pp.175-184.
  • Avermaete, T., 2012. Making a new world: Architecture & communities in Interwar Europe (Vol. 13). Leuven University Press.
  • Birley, G. and Moreland, N., 2014. A practical guide to academic research. Routledge.

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