We have a lot of haters in the world. Haters will hate. But it made me think about why Topaz has been around for so long. I do not hear much about companies that have been around since 1978 - so what better way to kick off the first top ten list of the year, than to list the top ten reasons Topaz has survived the test of time.
10. We won't be intimidated - So why would this be in our top ten list? Because I think you do not last long when you allow customers to dictate the results of an audit. It doesn't happen often, but when it does we stand by our ethics (see number 1) and we will not be intimidated by threats or verbal abuse to change an audit result. So when that happens, we do our best to make our customers happy within the context of our policies and principles.
9. Opinions - Blind opinions do not always mean a thing. Like me picking a team to win the Super Bowl. I am by no means an expert, so my opinion should not be taken very seriously. But in our industry, the opinions of Topaz become a valuable insight into the future of our industry, and should at least be considered. Opinions are not given lightly - they are well thought out and generally worth consideration - even if you disagree with us.
8. Small - We are not all that big which means you can call anyone on our team directly. You usually will get a call back or email response pretty quickly. If you don't, it can only mean we are taking some much needed time off to chill out - and you should never take that personally. Small is good for customers because we care about each and every one of you.
7. Because we care - Too often in our industry we hear of companies and sales that only want to sell you the biggest or the most expensive. We realized long ago you cannot do that for long before people catch on to your game and stop doing business with you. We have turned down business because we realized our services were not going be of value to potential customers - and those individuals have become lifelong supporters of what we do because we cared.
6. Valued Resource - Sometimes in our world we need to give out stuff for free - and sometimes we need to charge a fair price for information that is a true value added resource. We don't charge a ton for our stuff - and often even give it away - all to make a point that the price to play in our industry sometimes must be being fair. As long as we can survive with everything else, we will continue to help our industry.
5. Fairness - There used to be a competitor to Topaz years ago that did exactly what we did - but they were not all that fair in how they audited. To give an example, if they found an error, they would then attempt to focus on those specific type of PNR's for the rest of the audit - all in an effort to drive poor results. We have never done that, opting instead for a fair and level assessment of performance.
4. Honesty - This one can backfire - some hate to hear honest answers, which is why politicians are so loved in the world. But over the years Topaz has always demonstrated a desire to be honest - when it comes to anything related to an audit or anything related to our industry. You either love the honesty or want nothing to do with it.
3. Independent - We tout this all the time - but for good reason. We are not owned by a TMC or by some hedge fund - there is no airline interest in our ownership - just me and Tricia. And we will keep that as long as we can assuring our independence in everything we say and do.
2. Adaptability - Over the years we have be required to adapt in changes in our industry - channels of distribution have changed and so have we. But we have remained dedicated to the core responsibility we have to delivering on the needs and requirements of our customers so that they can manage and create the best travel programs in the world. Moving forward into the future, we will continue to adapt to make sure we deliver on our promise.
1. High Ethics - We do not bend when it comes to ethical behavior. We cannot just ignore certain errors - nor do we accept kickbacks or incentives to manipulate results (oh, we have been offered). We have the highest level of ethical behaviors - and we demonstrate that every day. Even if we screw up, we own up to it, and do everything not only to make it right, but to implement processes to prevent those same mistakes in the future.