Change of pace

Building dependability in a modern world

One of our customers, a cutting-edge global marketing company, continually seeks best-in-class, ground-breaking products to improve the way they run their business. Their travel program was no different. In 2015, the company’s travel program included our online booking tool—but only in their North American countries. Travelers located in other countries did not have an online booking tool, so they booked outside of their travel policy using travel booking websites. This increased costs, limited their visibility to traveler spend, and limited duty of care oversight.

With their impressive online adoption rate and proven cost savings within their North American countries, it was fitting to expand their online adoption throughout 14 countries. As their Travel Management Company (TMC), we knew we could deliver results.

We began by mapping out a strategic plan for the company to deploy the online booking tool across the globe. While Concur™ is the online tool used in the US and Canada, the best fit for each of their other countries was our online booking tool that gave the company:

  • The ability to book air, train, hotels, and rental cars online anytime during the day or night
  • A customized policy, including showing preferred rates first when booking hotel stays
  • Agent assistance for complex itineraries
  • A 24/7 alert system to notify travelers of unexpected disruptions, like strikes and severe weather conditions

Simplifying improvements
Having consistent travel programs globally was a top priority. Streamlining the same travel program across all of the countries gave them the ability to capture bookings at a global level. Every offering in one country was available in all the other countries.

“With the ability to capture data at this overarching level, they can report to each country on their travel spend, savings, and compliance while still maintaining adequate oversight,” said their American Express GBT Client Manager.

Communication is key
The adoption of a new process can be challenging for a company that does business within multiple countries. The online tool was customized to fit their compliance requirements, but we had to make sure their travel policy was clear so it was easy for travelers to follow.

During implementation, we noticed that some travelers were not using the online booking tool. This prompted a corrective action by adding reason codes to offline bookings. Once travelers provided this feedback during their offline booking, we then responded to traveler reasons and improved adoption and compliance.

“Once we knew traveler issues, we reached out to those travelers and fixed any issue they were having, whether it was training, access, etc. After that, the adoption increased dramatically,” said their American Express GBT Client Manager. In fact, online adoption improved by 30%¹ within a nine-month time frame, creating a successful travel program that fit their modern business approach.

The implementation of the new online booking tool worked. The company is already seeing confident results including:

  • 85%¹ online adoption in eight countries and growing
  • $2.5¹ million in global savings yearly
  • Booking outside of travel policy decreased by 70%¹

¹ Source: American Express Global Business Travel Reporting