Head of Product (3rd Party Connectivity)
The role is a Commercial one with a technical bias. It is closely aligned to colleagues in IT Applications and Web Development teams, working with business stakeholders and third parties to drive fast paced development that enables significant growth of Monarch Holidays.
There are two three elements to this role:
- Strategic leadership management of the development roadmap of Monarch Holiday’s reservations system, Travelbox
- Strategic leadership and management of the integration of third party hotel supply through Bed-banks and Channel Managers
- Leading product setup and global product policies, and the optimisation of sales through technology
As part of the senior management team of the Product & Commercial team of Monarch holidays, this role plays a key part in shaping and delivering the future growth of the business.
Areas of Responsibility
- Lead and motivate a team of Managers and Execs
- Input to Product and Commercial team strategy and actions as part of the Management team of the department
- Present all areas of responsibility in a timely and effective manner to key stakeholders in the business and the holidays Senior Leadership Team.
- Lead or input to key business projects linked to the areas of responsibility of this role, for example:
- Inventory Management Review
- B2C merchandising (delivering a Travelbox Cache)
- Third party hotel strategy including Accommodation only sales
Travelbox Development (Tour Operating System)
Planning & Development
- Set out the Strategic Development Roadmap for Travelbox, engaging with all stakeholders to evaluate, prioritise and approve developments and bug fixes.
- Oversee delivery of sufficiently detailed business cases for all development work.
- Present the leadership team with clear and well documented progress updates on the roadmap, delivery timeline and risks/barriers to sale.
- With your team, act as consultants with key business stakeholders on the development of solutions to business needs.
- Lead the Product & Commercial department input to Travelbox development requirements, seeking input from peers and stakeholders within the team.
- React quickly to Group or tactical needs, quickly scoping and evaluating developments and working on project teams or leading these developments.
- Oversee transition from development through to “business as usual”.
- Lead each release cycle for the business (alongside IT teams):
- Up to 3 planned major releases a year, with a monthly minor releases
- Co-ordinate with business stakeholders within Tour Operations
- Manage the monthly release cycle alongside IT Applications team.
- Oversee all testing
- Champion change and be the Travelbox advocate across the business
- Be the link from the MTG Business to IT, Codegen and Digital teams
- Manage “lean” projects around process
- Project manage selected development items
Strategy & Planning
- Develop a thorough understanding of industry approach to connectivity between third party beds aggregators and reservation systems.
- Developing a clear strategy (with IT Applications) on the infrastructure required for effective third parties connections (primarily beds, but also other products (e.g. ancillaries or flights)).
- Set out the Strategic Development Roadmap for third party integrations, under the two streams of Channel Managers and Bed-banks, aligned to business growth goals (scale and timing)
- Assess direct and indirect connections, building business case justification on the appropriate solution.
Third Party Bed Connections
- Channel Managers
- Co-ordinate the feasibility study and priority order for Channel Managers
- Oversee deliver channel manager connections in priority order
- Access other channel managers through third parties (e.g. Multicom)
- Bed Banks
- Co-ordinate the feasibility and priority order for Bed Banks, and the best connection option. Delver these connections.
- Ensure all input and compliance is as required (content, images, H&S, prices, admin processes, indemnity etc.)
- With relevant other business leaders (e.g. Product Director, Purchasing Director), manage the relationship with bed banks, both strategic and tactical.
- Oversee management of all global business rules and policies for set-up (e.g. Geographies), and Sale Optimisation (e.g. “Customer Fit scores”).
- Manage the strategy and tactics of integrated search results for directly contracted and third party hotels. Work with Product, Marketing & Digital teams on solutions that eliminate zero-results and grow web conversion
Optimise connections from Travelbox to all distribution channels
- Work all stakeholders in Monarch Holidays, plus Web Development and Digital teams to ensure optimisation of Travelbox functionality for Trade and Direct websites.
- Actively manage hotel product from third parties, working with Product teams to ensure range, relevance, accuracy and availability.
- Support a number of key initiatives that are linked to Travelbox, including:
- Cached prices for improved merchandising
- Making hotel product available to Monarch flight customers
- “Manage my booking” functionality
- Ancillary sales (Monarch and third party)
- Lead Inventory Management initiatives for the Product & Commercial team to improve system accuracy and maximize availability.
- Own Ancillary sales and revenue targets for Monarch holidays (both Monarch flight ancillaries and other e.g. car hire, attractions, insurance)
- Feed development needs into Web and Travelbox roadmaps
- Manage relationships with third party partners (directly or through Purchasing / Group Commercial teams).
- Good knowledge of “Travel Technology”, especially relating to tour operating platforms.
- Working with Channel Managers
- Working with bed banks (e.g. Hotelbeds)
- Working with API connections
Skills & Competencies:
- Proven management experience of a multi-functional team
- Strong negotiator / influencer
- Project management (or significant involvement), demonstrating working to tight deadlines and low costs
- Communication (distilling complex information into quality presentations and documentation)
- Ability to develop robust business cases, and present these to senior leadership
- Strong analytical skills
- Ability to prioritise and make sound decisions
- Preferably educated to degree level
- A minimum of 5 years Travel Industry experience, closely linked to technology teams in a technology provider, Online Travel Agent, bed aggregator or Tour Operator.
- Experience of managing teams and creating strong employee engagement
- Delivered projects of significant scale or large developments across multiple departments.
- Previous roles could be in travel technology or commercial roles closely linked to online distribution and reservations systems.
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