Changing travel policy is easy with help from an Expert

23 Jan 2017

EXPERT onboarding is the procedure used by Corporate Traveller to deliver an efficient and successful transition to professionally managed business travel.

Corporate Traveller's diverse customer base required an adaptable onboarding framework that would streamline the change management process, regardless of industry.  Using the experience of its staff and extensive customer feedback, Corporate Traveller created a consultative process that efficiently matches best practice travel solutions to a customer's business objectives.  Corporate Traveller utilised a large number of EXPERT onboarding strategies to sucessfully implement a new travel program for a client in the superannuation industry.  The policy was implemented over three phases:

Phase 1 - Assembling an expert team

Corporate Traveller's EXPERT onboarding process starts with the assignment of an Implementation Manager to each customer.  The Implementation Manager administers the onboarding process from start to finish and works alongside the customer's assigned Travel Manager, Account Manager and Business Development Manager.  This team works with key customer contacts to adapt the EXPERT onboarding framework to meet the required objectives. 

Corporate Traveller's Implementation Manager chaired an initial meeting with the Implementation Team and key stakeholders from the client.  Discussion topics included products and services, fee structure, anticipated challenges and delivery objectives.

The meeting identified three key objectives for the client's new travel program:

1. Introduction of an online booking tool integrated with company travel policy.

2. Switching to a more efficient payment system that would reduce the use of individual credit card payments.

3. Introducing a streamlined travel approvals process for more than 450 travellers.

This discussion enabled the client's stakeholders to add feedback and assist Corporate Traveller in identifying the most appropriate solutions.  The meeting culminated in the creation of an implementation timeline, assigning of responsibilities to key stakeholders and the agreement of a go live date.

Phase 2 - Selecting the right solutions

The Implementation Manager then holds a follow up meeting with members of their team to discuss key dates and solutions.  Tasks such as debtor creation, online booking tool configuration and new travel policy requirements become active at this point.  Each objective is matched to an EXPERT onboarding solution and tailored in accordance with the customer's internal requirements.  

Corporate Traveller selected its EXPERT online booking tool to give the client a single outlet for all business travel bookings.  The tool's flexible structure and interface offered a simple solution to automate travel policy and streamline the approvals process.  These two factors would have the added benefit of delivering an inbuilt counter measure to non-compliant bookings.  EXPERT online booking would also enable the client to consolidate its negotiated rates for airfares, hotels and car hire into a single outlet.  Corporate Traveller also switched the client to a fortnightly trading account to simplify its payment process and reduce the time investment required for cost reconciliation. 

The Implementation Team also recognised strong reporting data would be required to track the client's progress and measure its success.  Corporate Traveller implemented its EXPERT reporting tool to deliver the ability to capture all necessary data and disseminate the information efficiently.  

Phase 3 - Roll out

The Corporate Traveller team then activates each element on the implementation timeline.  The Implementation Team proactively communicates with the customer on each step to the go live date.  Following the go live date, the Implementation Manager monitors the customer's response via fortnightly calls and works in conjunction with the Travel Manager to compile an activity log.  Three months after the go live date, the Implementation Team conducts a comprehensive review with the customer to discuss long term objectives and distribute a performance review survey.  Corporate Traveller measures the success of the onboarding process via reporting data that is directly linked to customer objectives such as online booking adoption and changes in traveller behaviour.

Corporate Traveller hosted staggered training sessions on the EXPERT online booking tool to ensure a high level of policy compliance immediately from the go live date.  Webinar training began with a soft launch to the client's executive team followed by a roll out to all employees over several weeks.  This ensured staff were familiar with the functions of EXPERT online booking and the policy and cost saving rationale for the tool.  Training user guides were also made available on the client's intranet.  Corporate Traveller's proactive training modules delivered 93 per cent online booking adoption among staff as well as a parallel increase in policy compliance. 

EXPERT online booking also enabled the client to simplify its travel approvals to a smartphone accessible, one click process.  This change eliminated the previous, complicated approvals process and sped up the booking cycle for employees.  The introduction of EXPERT reporting enabled Corporate Traveller to collect real time data on the client's travel program and traveller behaviour.  Corporate Traveller was able to present these results to the client in quarterly meetings to analyse the new travel policy and identify additional ways to save.