While some are wondering when airlines and global distribution system operators will begin negotiating new distribution deals to replace existing "full content" arrangements--many of which expire in 2011--Dan Maschoff of Accenture Procurement Solutions is expecting more corporate client-specific discussions on inventory access.
"It is not just the binary 'is it in the GDS, is it not?' It’s the 'what do I see when I as traveler A for company X want to book a trip?' That view of content is a whole new dimension," Maschoff said during a Tuesday presentation at an Association of Corporate Travel Executives event in Boston. "Maybe if we are negotiating really aggressive discount structures, maybe we will see less inventory. On the other hand, if it is a preferred supplier of ours, and we come at them, and it is an identifiable Accenture-related request, maybe we'll find more inventory. Frankly, we are trying to build that into some of our negotiating strategies right now."
Conceptually not new, this type of added wrinkle for supplier-corporate dealmaking is perhaps more likely nowadays--and into the future--as technology enables tailored distribution strategies.