Avoiding the pitfalls in leveraging customer data.
I was in a meeting in Dallas when I looked out the window to see dark clouds on the horizon. Armed with my laptop, I monitored the storms around Dallas on weather.com, checked delays at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at dfwairport.com, and clicked over to flightstats.com to look up the progress of the aircraft that would carry me to my next meeting in Austin. I was co-hosting a dinner that evening at Dell Inc. and couldn’t risk standing up my partner. Knowing that it was a short three-hour drive to Austin, I drove rather than take the chance of standing up 150 colleagues. Crisis averted! That evening, I shared my story of using information and carrier visibility to avoid travel delays — similar to how Dell uses inbound shipment information to keep its lean factories running.However, the next day my decision was called into question. I slipped my American Airlines card into the ticket kiosk at the Austin airport, and the kiosk pushed me to a counter attendant. I learned that because I had skipped a segment of my six-hop week of business travel, my entire remaining itinerary was canceled, and I would have to repurchase the remaining flights.