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Rosenbluth Int. and . internet. business models . text and cases. ANUP SHARMA. Rosenbluth Int. Introduction Rosenbluth Market studies and scenario Acuisitions Competition GBF conclusions.

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Rosenbluth Int. and


business models

text and cases


rosenbluth int
Rosenbluth Int.
  • Introduction
    • Rosenbluth
  • Market studies and scenario
  • Acuisitions
  • Competition
  • GBF
  • conclusions
market and industry
Market and industry
  • Traditional brick and mortar agencies served business and leisure travelers.
  • Additional information was being provided such as car rental, cheap hotels and amusements etc.
  • Agencies were primary distributions channels for airline companies.
  • Late 9O’s agencies focused on providing lowest fare information and getting the tickets confirmed
market conditions cont
Market Conditions cont.
  • Primary source of revenue was commission on sale of tickets from airlines as well as car rental and hotels.
  • Market was divided in two major segments- business and leisure travels.
  • Leisure travel was not very popular where business travel market was huge and companies were looking for reliable one stop travel agency for long term contracts.
rosenbluth int1
Rosenbluth Int.
  • Started as Rosenbluth travel in 1892, by Marcus Rosenbluth, a Hungarian immigrant, to provide a way to help Europeans emigrate.
  • 1984- companies such as DuPoint realized the need of one single agency for their needs rather than multiple agents.
  • Rosenbluth travel became a travel management company and catered to business travel needs.
expansion phase
Expansion phase
  • 2 major strategies.
    • To collect the travel data for businesses and analyzing patterns to do further negotiations.
    • Gaining ability to manage call centers efficiently and effectively.
  • 1988, company realized the geographical limitations of this business and thus adopted the latest computer technology to connect all the offices.
  • This helped in providing correct information when needed and gave company better control in terms of traveler’s itinerary, travel preferences etc.
expansion phase cont
Expansion phase cont.
  • 1994, opened first “IntelliCenter”, a centralized reservation facility in Fargo, North Dakota.
  • Located in low real estate cost areas and highly productive human resources.
  • This improved the customer by far and reduced the issuing cost of a ticket by one-third.
  • Launched DACODA {discount analysis containing optimal decision algorithms}.
  • Helped clients to compare airline pricing, optimize their travel spending, negotiate favorable airline contracts, create holistic travel cost saving startegy.
  • Launched @Rosenbluth, helping clients book tickets on their intranet.
major competition
Major competition
  • American Express and Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
  • Characteristics:
    • Managed mostly business travel sector and minimal leisure travel.
    • Provided ticket screening and best suited fare options.
    • Worked together to reduce the price of specific careers through discounts. 53% success.
inside rosenbluth
Inside Rosenbluth
  • Operations:
    • Highly connected IntelliCenter, network operations center and other offices.
    • Network operations center handled the major travel contracts and provided information for associate offices.
    • Smaller reservations were handled by local account management.
    • All travel service associates were monitored through the network center. Information about the service level and performance was transmitted on a consistent basis.
    • Concentration on value added concept and removal of functions which were using up the resources for nothing.
inside rosenbluth1
Inside Rosenbluth
  • Human resources:
    • Biggest emphasis on the selection process.
    • Complex and detailed interview process to determine different skills of the potential hire.
    • Classroom based training and hands on as well.
    • Scripts and directions for all activities to guide the associate while making a successful sale.
  • Corporate culture:
    • Very Employee centered and friendly.
    • Flow of information through office bulletin boards and flyers
    • Only 2 employees had offices, hence pretty horizontal
    • Employee bonus based on client satisfaction and productivity.
    • Event celebrations such as valentine day and birthdays
    • Recognition of achievement thus creating incentive.
the result
The result…
  • Lowest employee turnover
  • Increase in customer satisfaction levels and sales.
  • Reduction in mistakes or refunds showing improved productivity.
  • Listed as one of the “Best places to work in the US.”
  • Call answering timings were fastest among all competitors.
biztravel com
  • A result of online appearance of a travel agency names Middlegates. Changed to new name.
  • Personalized profile set up options
  • Tracking everything from 20 frequent-flier plans to hotel discount programs.
  • Clients could choose itineraries that take advantage of specific bonus plans and optimize your rewards.
  • analyze client eligibility for seating upgrades on the flights clients have selected--and then go ahead and request an upgrade when the availability window opens
industry information
Industry information
  • 3% of total U.S. travel was done online and half of them was through online travel agencies.
  • Online travel booking grew from $4.2 billion to $16.6 billion by 2OO3.
  • Estimated sales online for air travel was highest among other transportation up to 73%.
the need to go online
The need to go online..
  • Online sales were getting popular day by day.
  • Convenient and time saving ways to manage travel was getting extremely popular within corporate clients.
  • Competitors were having strong online presence.
  • Online business proven as a beneficial for the core company and its operations.
  • All in all moving with the trend….
the decision
The decision.
  • In 1999, Rosenbluth decided to buy major stake in in a deal believed to be worth more than $100 million.
  • Major reason of this purchase along with the need was to target the SOHO {small office, home office} market.
  • Rosenbluth itself could not cater to this market because it just could not cost effectively serve it.
  • Other investors included Accel Partners, British Airways, Comcast Corporation, Continental Airlines, Hummer Winblad venture, Marriot Int., Sun Microsystems.
  • Benefits from these partners:
    • They were leaders in air travel industry.
    • Better access to airline inventory
    • Provision of frequent flier programs
    • Goodwill
value to the client
Value to the client
  • live agent support through a well set up IntelliCenter by Rosenbluth as a back up to the website.
  • Emails, live chat and other online communication methods were adopted based on the need of the client
  • 85% of calls were answered in 3O second period, email response within 6 hours and online chat was almost instantaneous.
  • Reduction in cost and errors due to trained Rosenbluth employees thus increasing efficiency
  • All customers received up to 5O percent discounts on some fares because of new partnership.
  • Rosenbluth provided the technological support to the website and thus enhanced the quality of service.
  • Examples include addition of features like “Fareguard” and “My company.”
cost and revenue analysis
Cost and Revenue analysis

Primary source of revenue were commissions and sponsorships and advertising.

  • charged airlines a fee for communicating with its customers.
  • Ads companies were charged $35 per 1OOO views which was above industry average of $7-$15.
  •’s relationship with airlines was based on effecting their market share hence they had more compensation than competitors.
some concerns
Some concerns..
  • Clint associate and website booking wasn’t looking as a great mix.
  • Clients were still requesting personal attention for information which could be easily obtained on the website.
  • Frustration and confusion among employees due to huge loads of emails and phone call on wait
  • Increase in errors and miscommunications.
  • Website was not serving the purpose it was taken over for a long time.
the death
The death
  • staff could not adapt to the changing environmental needs and issues.
  • The costs were increasing faster than revenue sources.
  • September 11th attacks was the final nail in the coffin.
  • Rosenbluth Int. terminated on september 22, 2OO1.
mangement comments
Mangement comments

“The Web site was struggling from the slumping economy, but the drop in business after the terrorist attacks was the final straw. After the actions of Sept. 11, we've seen up to a 70% decrease in bookings, and that was basically the last blow we could take,"

Marc Kaelin, vice president of Biztravel

  • Network effects:
    • None to minimum

Economies of scale:

    • Absolutely there

Customer retention:

- yes . High switching costs, Profile set up

  • Rosenbluth was acquired by American Express 2OO3
  • This mega merger was to support the success of these 2 major competitors.
  • Depending on client retention, American Express could wind up managing close to $11 billion in annual travel by both associations and corporations.
  • Acquisition or mergers were the next steps for any major players in the market after gaining successful market share.