Blue Ribbon Bags

A Custom Software Solution for a Game-Changing Business Idea

.01

At A Glance

 

  • Headquartered in New York, Blue Ribbon Bags (BRB) provides a service that tracks and expedites the return of bags lost by an airline. BRB has now been in business for over 5 years, growing into a leading baggage service company. Travel agencies and credit card companies using the BRB service are able to differentiate themselves by alleviating traveler anxiety about their luggage – and creating more customer loyalty.
  • Making the vision behind BRB come to life required a custom software platform to be scoped and developed from scratch. Of critical importance to BRB’s success was how the platform would integrate and communicate with chosen Global Distribution System (GDS) networks. These integrations are notoriously complex to develop and maintain – with a need to be constantly updated.
  • From the initial consultative identification of business requirements to the execution of custom software development and implementation, to ongoing communications and delivery of the finished product, Primero exceeded expectations and served as a trusted partner every step of the way.

 

.02

Background

 

After a ‘miserable experience’ with a lost suitcase while traveling, Gabriel Menkin knew that there had to be a better way to solve this common problem. Millions of bags are lost every year, making lost luggage one of the biggest pain points for travelers. The way that lost luggage has been typically handled needed to be improved upon – and an idea was born.

After extensively researching the methodologies and logistics involved in the baggage handling process, Menkin took his idea to the next level and founded Blue Ribbon Bags (BRB). With a mission statement of allowing people to ‘travel more, worry less,’ BRB set out to offer a service that would facilitate bag return on both domestic and international flights. Menkin knew he had found the solution to an age-old problem, but needed help in making BRB a functioning reality.

 

.03

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

 

The BRB solution needed to be able to integrate with many third-party travel commerce systems – making it very complicated from the back end. The Global Distribution System (GDS) is a network that enables automated transactions between travel service providers and travel agencies. Because these systems contain all flight inventory, the ability for BRB to communicate flawlessly with the was of critical importance.

Having been introduced to Primero by a colleague in the travel industry, Menkin considered other options at first but was quickly swayed by the glowing recommendations that came along with that introduction. Upon conducting initial conversations with Primero, the choice became clear.

 

"Primero has been there from the very beginning, with quick, responsive, proactive service. They are the smartest people in the business and invaluable in making the vision for BRB come to life."

Gabriel Menkin
Gabriel Menkin
CEO

The Primero Solution

Robust, customized, enterprise software solutions are a Primero specialty. Primero developed a complete software solution for BRB – including mishandled baggage, airline and agent modules as well as back-office modules such as sales, accounting, and promotions – all from the ground up. Travel agents, in particular, loathe navigating away from their booking screen and going to a separate site to enter information, so BRB had to design their offering in a way that made the process a painless one. With the solution from Primero, one click is all that is needed for agents and agencies when purchasing a BRB protection plan. The service is then routed seamlessly through the travel agents’ GDS.

GDS systems are huge applications and typically built on legacy technology – making integrations difficult. They are also constantly changing, so BRB’s system needed to be agile enough to adapt to these changes.

With change being one of the only constants in this world – when industries experience any kind of change in the way that things have typically been executed – technology is needed to embrace this disruption. The competitive and consultative advantage that Primero provides allows its clients to differentiate themselves and enhance their offerings to their customer base. In BRB’s case, Primero has been there and guided the company through software product development and proprietary third-party integrations – over the course of several years. According to Menkin, “The Primero team has been able to handle any challenge that we have thrown their way. They are able to mold our platform in any way that we need.”

 

Setting the Bar

Creating a new standard by which others are judged

Part of the scope of work called for Primero to design and build an e-commerce site that integrated with Sabre’s back-end booking engine – to give travel agents the ability to upsell BRB’s travel bag coverage. This application, which included custom integration with Sabre, has brought BRB industry accolades and awards – changing the standard for other companies looking to add value with the GDS giant.

What started with an idea – to give travelers peace of mind with checked-in luggage while commercially flying – has grown into a service that is available for customers traveling on virtually any airline in every country around the world.

 

"Primero has been able to connect all of the dots. This has allowed us to communicate to every GDS system that we need to - in a way that no one else in the industry has ever done. I've been blown away by how smoothly and quickly they were able to analyze and figure everything out. The ability to connect to anyone is invaluable to us and gives BRB unlimited growth opportunities."

Gabriel Menkin
Gabriel Menkin
CEO