Inside Look: Tony Howes
We go behind the scenes to find out just how our expert staff work. This month we speak to our long serving Operations Manager Tony Howes who tells us about his role.
What’s your role Tony & how long have you been working here?
I am the Operations Manager and have been here 33 years.
Tell us a little bit about what you do and who for?
I look after the day to day running of the department ensuring service levels are met and resources are sufficient. I'm also responsible for training issues and dealing with any complaints.
What specific skills does the job require?
Good man management skills, as well as a focus on customer service and the ability to communicate and adapt in a very fast changing market.
And what are the main challenges?
Keeping up to date with new products and new offerings from airlines and other travel suppliers, whilst trying to maintain a personal but professional service in an often pressurised environment.
What do you spend most of your time doing?
A lot of time is taken up by 'disaster recovery', as there is always something going on i.e.terrorist attack, strike action, weather disruption etc so this means running off reports, contacting affected travellers and so on. It's an important part of our duty of care.
What do we offer which makes us stand out, why do you think clients choose us and not another TMC?
Experienced and knowledgeable staff providing a personal service rather than a 'call centre mentality' – and with that we also have a low turnover of staff.
Are there any particularly interesting projects on the horizon?
Using our own technology, which is developing all the time and expanding the department to meet the new challenges - as well as developing the staff to meet these fully.
What has been the most memorable travel request you’ve dealt with here?
Once we handled a round the world trip for a PR company on behalf of someone marketing posh showers, so all the destinations were water related, such as the underwater hotel in Florida , rain forests in South America etc.
What is it about the job that you most enjoy?
The variation and different challenges that present themselves in this fast moving industry – the world literally is our oyster.