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AstraZeneca Wins Big by Working with American Express Global Business Travel

Companies put travel management programs in place to optimize their travel spend – not to win trophies. But a little recognition never hurts, and serves as a good reminder that you’re on the right track. Since 2011, AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in London, and American Express Global Business Travel, have worked together to accelerate AstraZeneca’s travel program. The joint program, called the AstraZeneca Travel Service, has paid off with significant savings delivered through November 2012, and a “Best Travel Team” win in the 2013 Business Travel Awards, an annual recognition program with an independent panel of judges


What led to this honor? When it came time for AstraZeneca to renew their contract with American Express Global Business Travel in 2010, they looked closely at how they could make their travel program less transactional and more strategic, and ultimately achieve their long-term savings, supplier sourcing and traveler satisfaction goals.


AstraZeneca decided to expand its relationship with American Express by adopting the Business Travel Outsourcing (BTO) model. In this model, the AstraZeneca and American Express Global Business Travel teams are seamlessly integrated and work across invisible boundaries to oversee every stage of travel management, from supplier sourcing to program execution. Having close ties and a shared vision means that American Express Global Business Travel can better listen and respond to AstraZeneca’s specific needs, and both parties can challenge each other to think differently.


The results were immediate. In the first year of the program, the joint American Express Global Business Travel and AstraZeneca team achieved or exceeded most expectations, and they continue to outperform across many categories, from customer satisfaction to preferred supplier use. Key achievements included big steps toward global consolidation, improved supplier contracts, a bespoke training program for service delivery teams and a revised travel policy, now effective in all markets.

By choosing BTO, AstraZeneca benefits from American Express Global Business Travel’s deep insight at the very deepest level, with direct access to our consulting expertise and best practices, built from decades of travel management experience. And it’s backed by everything else that makes American Express Global Business Travel a trusted travel partner: our comprehensive network and heritage of delivering world-class care. AstraZeneca credits this model for being the foundation for their success. “We’ve built a team of experts who provide the business with travel insights on a regular basis,” said Caroline Strachan, Global Commercial Lead for Business Travel Management at AstraZeneca. “This has allowed us to significantly enhance our in-house capability and maximize the value we achieve from our business travel budget.”