When I authored the report on Dynamic Packaging I had high hopes that we were on the brink of a new era; one which the value of a customer and the need for inventory management were both satisfied through an end-to-end solution. I apologize for using this hackney phrase, but my reference to the concept of end-to-end in this context means satisfying customer needs in a profitable manner. In that research study I described the ultimate dynamic packaging system where the users preferences were stored, filtering content, while supply levels had a “just in time” quality, controlled by direct connections into revenue management software. Well its 2007 and we’ve had some movement such as the success of HBSI in connecting to a variety of PMS. Some of the Travel.2.0 start-ups have implemented personalization techniques using AJAX, but overall no one has implemented a true end-to-end implementation
A question prompted by some work with a new client concerns the true nature of a dynamic packaging system verses a travel shopping cart. The ability to simply put items in a basket with opaque prices that adjusts the total based on a rules engine is a typical way “dynamic packaging” is being implemented today. Examples of this style of shopping cart based dynamic packaging can be found at a number of sites using a variety of technology solutions. The key element missing in these implementations is not dynamic packaging, but dynamic pricing. The ability to adjust the overall price based on relationship between the components and ultimately the value of the customer is missing from most of these implementations. This vision of the ultimate in dynamic packaging is still an admirable objective, but so far the market has not reached this ultmate goal.