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Business Travel Travel Technology

The Corporate Travel Software Travel Managers Need

Managing corporate travel can be complex. Travel managers need solutions that actually make their job easier, not more complicated. Corporate travel software is key to making that a reality. When innovative digital solutions are seamlessly woven into a corporate travel program, travel managers can more successfully manage the daily details and data that inundate business travel. They’re able to better manage costs, decrease spend, and ultimately work more efficiently. They’re also able to provide a frictionless travel experience to their travelers.

Christopherson’s Corporate Travel Software Solution

Developing corporate travel technology to meet the evolving needs of travel managers is one way Christopherson Business Travel leads the business travel industry. The foundation of all our digital tools is AirPortal, an integrated software platform that delivers secure, real-time visibility into an organization’s entire business travel program.

AirPortal is provided to Christopherson customers at no cost, allowing corporate travel managers to fully utilize the entire suite of AirPortal’s intelligent tools. These tools help them:

This is because AirPortal’s powerful collection of corporate travel management tools provides specific solutions to a wide array of travel program challenges while generating cost savings.

Another valuable feature of AirPortal is that it directly maps to the structure of individual organizations. This means travel managers can oversee travel for their entire company, or that responsibility can be distributed accordingly based on the business structure. It also means you have the ability to manage and report company-wide travel spend or by department or division.

“Clients who use the full range of AirPortal’s tools have a better understanding of their organization’s travel program, including traveler safety and security, spend, and unused tickets. This level of visibility provides peace of mind, convenience, and savings.”

-Adelina Littler, Manager – Implementation & Account Support

Dashboards for Travel Managers & Travelers

To meet the specific needs of users, AirPortal provides customized dashboards for travel managers and travelers:

  • AirPortal 360 – travel manager dashboard and app that deliver a 360° view of entire travel program + the tools to manage it
  • My Travel – traveler dashboard that delivers the tools and booking options to manage individual travel

With one login, users can access their intelligent dashboard through which any combination of Christopherson’s technology tools are provided. For instance, with AirPortal 360, travel managers have all the tools, data, and reporting they need to manage travel spend, traveler safety, unused tickets, travel policy, traveler profiles, and more. With My Travel, business travelers have instant access to booking options, itineraries, mobile syncing, and more.

Simply put, AirPortal opens the door to valuable corporate travel software, essential benchmarking and reporting tools, online booking tools, and mobile applications.

Must-Have Corporate Travel Software Features

AirPortal provides access to a suite of customized tools for both travel managers and travelers. Those tools allow you to:

  • Access comprehensive reporting
  • Manage unused airline tickets
  • Manage traveler safety
  • Integrate traveler profiles
  • Integrate travel policies & vendor programs
  • Digitize trip approvals
  • Visualize data

AirPortal’s advanced technology also provides the following additional benefits:

Compliant Travel Booking

AirPortal has your travel vendor contracts, approval system, and travel policy built in. This allows all travel bookings to filter into custom reports and align with your managed travel program.

Actionable Intelligence

My Action Items, a standard feature on both dashboards, acts as a digital administrative assistant that transforms business data into actionable intelligence so you always know what business travel tasks need to be done next.

Mobile Access

AirPortal 360 Mobile is the first and only comprehensive mobile app that allows travel managers the ability to manage their entire travel program from a mobile device.

Industry Integrations

AirPortal integrates seamlessly with other industry-leading technologies, opening the door for smarter digital business processes and practices.

To learn more about how AirPortal can help you manage a seamlessly integrated, cost-saving travel program, visit our Technology page.

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Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

5 Reasons You Should Switch to a Managed Corporate Travel Program

When corporate travel programs are managed effectively, businesses operate with more confidence knowing both their employees and their bottom line are protected. But many of the corporate travel challenges businesses and travel managers face remain constant. For example, current circumstances brought corporate travel policies and compliance back to the top of the list of priorities, showing how the benefits of a managed corporate travel program are even more relevant to your business than before.

In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), more than one third of travel buyers and procurement professionals said they are more reliant now on their travel management company than they were before the pandemic.

When travel programs are managed effectively, businesses operate with confidence, knowing both their employees and their bottom line are protected, even amidst unexpected circumstances. But if unmanaged, corporate travel programs can quickly devolve into a disorganized T&E mess, costing organizations thousands of unnecessary dollars, while also exposing them to costly vulnerabilities.

Pandemic or not, corporate travel management is a major business responsibility that involves multiple stakeholders, not just the corporate travel program manager.

Today, the corporate travel challenges businesses and travel managers most often face could be avoided with consolidated management of the travel program. For example, current circumstances brought corporate travel policies back to the top of the list of priorities as organizations of all sizes look to keep travelers safe, keep the cost of business travel low, and manage expectations.

In this critical time, switching to a managed corporate travel program solves common problems associated with corporate travel and saves money. Perhaps more importantly, making the move to a managed travel program can help ensure employees are prepared and protected when they travel.

What Is a Managed Travel Program?

A managed travel program is a term used to describe the partnership between an organization and a travel management company (TMC).

A TMC’s services include, but are not limited to, providing online booking options as well as expert travel agents to schedule flight, hotel, and car reservations, travel policy creation and integration, unused ticket management, and reporting tools. The best TMCs act as a partner to your business, helping you manage corporate travel through an organized, consolidated, and integrated program.

For example, Christopherson Business Travel provides corporate travel management solutions through industry-leading technology and personalized service. Solutions are customized to the unique needs of each business, whether they need support in developing a travel policy or access to a centralized technology platform for travel management.

The Top 2 Challenges Facing Business Travelers

According to GBTA, only 55% of business travelers are satisfied with their company’s travel policy. This makes compliance a top corporate travel challenge facing organizations.

Modern business travelers often want flexibility and freedom. So whether it’s booking their own travel with non-partner vendors through non-approved sites or wanting the ability to extend a business trip for leisure, corporate travelers will often make their own arrangements if the tools are not in place for compliance. This can quickly create costly challenges for businesses.

Additionally, both business travelers and their companies are increasingly more aware of the safety and security of business travel. A GBTA poll noted 70% of travel buyers and procurement professionals say they’ve elevated duty of care as a higher priority within the company. But business travel duty of care requires more than lip service. It includes knowing where travelers are at any moment of their trip, training on safety procedures, 24/7/365 en route communication options, and more if unexpected emergencies occur.

5 Ways a Managed Corporate Travel Program Can Benefit Your Business

Meeting the needs of business travelers while meeting the goals of your organization can be a tricky balance. To secure that balance, successful organizations turn to TMCs to help manage their corporate travel programs.

Here are five ways a managed corporate travel program can benefit your business.

Experienced Business Travel Experts

Whether it’s through account managers or travel advisors, a managed travel program offers the value of experienced experts who can help you identify opportunities for cost savings, negotiate better rates, and reach the goals you have for your travel program. At Christopherson, our account managers take a consultative approach to evaluating where you are and identifying solutions and strategies to get where you want to be. Our talented travel advisors know the ins and outs of business travel so they can assist your travelers and take advantage of the lowest fares.

Corporate Travel Cost Savings

Many managed travel programs tout cost savings, but the best TMCs show you exactly where you’re saving and how much you’ve saved.

Optimizing your travel budget with the data and reporting tools from Christopherson helps you visualize spending and compare it against industry benchmarks. Our lowest fare searches, vendor negotiations, industry partnerships, and discount programs help your travelers choose cost-effective options.

Travel Management Software

A managed travel program should offer powerful technology to help execute all aspects of your program.

Christopherson’s integrated technology platform gives stakeholders total access to the business travel software, tools, and real-time data they need. From online booking tools, to reporting solutions, to profile management, everything is accessible from a single

dashboard, making managing business travel easier for both corporate travel managers and their business travelers.

Travel Policy Compliance

Organizations need their business travelers to be in compliant when booking travel. By taking a holistic look at your travel program, understanding your travelers needs, including stakeholders in the conversation, and integrating your policy with your technology, you can increase your compliance rates.

At Christopherson, our account managers help you create your sensible travel policies and integrate them with your booking options. At booking, your travelers will have in-policy, cost-effective choices that help them stay compliant, which means you save money and can deliver on your duty of care.

A Proactive Approach to Risk Management

The world is an unpredictable place, which means having the ability to quickly alert and communicate with travelers in potentially unsafe or risky situations is critical to taking a proactive approach to travel risk management.

Christopherson provides the risk management tools organizations need to keep track of their business travelers and assist with safety and security measures.

Ready to Make the Switch to a Managed Travel Program?

With these benefits in mind, if you’re considering switching to a managed travel program, contact the experts at Christopherson today to learn more about our corporate travel management solutions.

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Why Every Business Should Embrace Corporate Travel Technology

Corporate travel technology has changed the way organizations and their travelers manage and plan, book, and experience business trips. For travel managers, keeping up to date with current innovations in corporate travel technology is critical to ensuring traveling employees are protected and prepared. Corporate travel technology also allows both managers and employees to have peace of mind through all stages of the trip.

Travel technology is constantly evolving, which means there’s almost always something new on the horizon. Below are a few critical innovations in travel technology, specifically designed for corporate travel programs.

Travel Management Software: A Must-Have for Corporate Travel

Businesses with a high volume of traveling employees face unique challenges. From booking the best rates to managing business trip approvals, tracking expenses and traveler safety, the list of responsibilities for corporate travel managers is endless.

Travel management software is a tool no corporate travel program should be without. The best travel management software should do more than track the minimum essentials. It should also integrate with other industry-leading technology tools. It’s critical that your travel management software includes a few key travel tech features:

Virtual Payment Options
Accurately tracking and reporting on business travel expenses are key to running a cost-effective corporate travel program. One way corporate travel technology helps you do this is by offering virtual payment options.

For example, companies face hotel payment challenges if a traveler is a contract worker, has limited credit, or doesn’t have a company credit card. But with virtual payment options provided by corporate travel technology, companies can easily pre-authorize payments with single-use credit cards. This option not only creates operational efficiency, but improves hotel billing accuracy, limits fraud exposure, and helps consolidate hotel spend.

Easy Booking Tools
While the internet has given everyone access to the vast options provided by airlines, hotels, and rental car companies, culling all those options takes time. Quickly finding the lowest rates, knowing which vendors provide the best value, and making bookings that align with corporate travel policies takes expertise. By partnering with a travel management company that delivers integrated corporate travel technology, travel managers can provide their travelers with booking options (online or with expert agents) that align with the company’s goals while still serving the needs of employees.

Corporate travel technology also allows travelers to create travel profiles that populate bookings with their travel preferences, reward memberships, and credit card numbers to eliminate the need for re-entering those details during the booking process.

Integrated Travel Policies
Corporate travel technology gives travel managers the ability to integrate, communicate, and enforce their corporate travel policies. You can also include your specific vendor contracts and detailed reporting requirements to easily manage expiring contracts and ensure you’re tracking the right data. This leads to overall cost-savings and improves both policy and vendor compliance.

Having the ability to customize and integrate your travel policy also means rules can be applied at the time of booking, so travelers maintain compliance from the very beginning.

Risk Management

In an era where anything can change at a moment’s notice, keeping track of traveling employees has never been more critical. Corporate risk managers need real-time access to global health and safety threats as well as the ability to quickly communicate them to business travelers.

Corporate travel technology should help you manage business travel risk by identifying risks and assessing impact, locating travelers by name, travel date, and/or location, and allow you to quickly verify safety or provide communication and assistance should an emergency arise.

 

Centralized Location
There are countless travel apps, all designed to manage different aspects of business travel. —too many options for too many singular actions. Travel managers don’t need one more app to manage one more thing. They need one tool that gives them access to everything.

The best travel management software should allow you to conveniently organize, access, and manage your entire corporate travel program from one place. When you gain access to a fully-integrated corporate travel software platform, you’re equipped to reduce spend, manage risk, track unused airline tickets, access traveler profiles, ensure policy compliance, and more. And travelers have access to the booking options, support, itineraries, and business travel resources they need to have successful trips.

Leveraging Digital Solutions

Christopherson Business Travel provides digital business travel management solutions that help companies maximize their budgets and keep travelers safe and happy.

Our integrated software platform, AirPortal, provides the essential tools for successfully managing and navigating corporate travel.

From booking to approval to security to reporting, AirPortal streamlines critical processes. AirPortal also helps companies maximize their travel budgets and reduce costs with features like AirBank, which tracks unused airline tickets to eliminate waste and ensure re-use.

Companies are always looking for ways to protect their bottom line. AirPortal’s Value Scorecard allows you to assess the ROI of your travel management company partnership by identifying and quantifying both the savings and value you’ve achieved.

All of these tools and features are easily accessible via desktop and mobile. Your dashboards are also customizable to meet your unique needs and how you manage your program and workflow.

Industry-Leading Technologies and Personalized Service

No matter the size of your company or business travel volume, Christopherson’s personalized service and industry-leading technologies can help you take control of your corporate travel program. Contact us today.

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What You Need to Know About Unused Airline Tickets

One of the biggest conundrums COVID-19 caused for travel managers was the deluge of unused airline tickets. As the pandemic spread and business travel was cancelled at an alarmingly rapid pace, companies and organizations of all sizes saw their accounts of unused credits balloon far beyond normal. The question on every travel manager’s mind then became: How do we track and manage all the unused airline tickets? How do we make sure we don’t lose those funds?

A Solution for Managing Unused Airline Tickets

Keeping up with the various airline policies for cancellations, refunds, and exchanges can be confusing at best. Compound that with the airlines’ frequent changes to and extensions of those policies during this time of coronavirus and travel managers have a recipe for a potentially significant loss of funds.

Because managing unused airline tickets even in the best of times can be difficult, Christopherson built AirBank. Travel managers can use AirBank to successfully track the entire lifecycle of unused tickets to ensure their reuse, save money, and eliminate waste. AirBank is accessible via AirPortal, our integrated software platform for travel managers and their travelers.

As airlines continue to revise their rules in response to the pandemic, AirBank remains up-to-date. Every shift in expiration (per airline, per ticket date, per travel date) is being extracted and applied to the tool’s tracking. 

How does AirBank work? 

When a flight is cancelled, unused ticket credits, including valid partial credits, are immediately available in AirBank. AirBank then comprehensively manages your unused tickets in the following ways:

  • Audits tickets to confirm whether they were used and determine any unused value
  • Automatically captures your unused tickets in a centralized database to prevent their loss 
  • Updates unused ticket status continuously
  • Reports all unused tickets
  • Enforces the use of unused tickets

At any given time, travel managers can see all unused tickets and, with our AirBank widgets, can also drill down from a company-wide view of all unused tickets to single transactions for greater detail.

Ensuring the Reuse of Unused Tickets

Both travel managers and travelers can see unused tickets via their respective AirPortal dashboards. This allows and encourages everyone to be active participants in the reuse of those funds.

To ensure reuse, AirBank is integrated into your travelers’ booking options. If a traveler books with one of our full-service travel advisors, AirBank prompts the agent at point-of-sale to use the available ticket. If the ticket was not used, AirBank requires documentation of the reason. AirBank also integrates with Christopherson’s online booking tools and prompts travelers who book their own tickets.

AirBank also sends email reminders to individual travelers and travel managers 120, 60, and 30 days prior to ticket expiration. 

If you have any additional concerns about managing and reusing airline tickets, we welcome your questions. We are here to deliver the tools and support you need to manage a stress-free business travel program and help you successfully begin traveling again.  

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel Technology

How to Cancel a Trip in Concur Travel

Below are the steps you can take to cancel a trip in Concur Travel:

  1. On the home travel page in Concur, click on Travel at the top of the Menu Bar.
  2. Then click on the Upcoming Trips tab to see future trips.
  3. Click on the right to cancel the trip.  This will Cancel the entire itinerary (all vendors in the record).

If the traveler has a hotel booked included in the record they cancel, they will need to make sure they receive a hotel cancellation number after the cancel. 

If they DO NOT get a cancellation number they could be trying to cancel within the penalty timeline and could get a no-show charge from the hotel.

The screenshot below outlines how to see withdrawn (canceled) trips in the Trip Library in Concur

  1. In the Trip Library, travelers can search for past travel using the date range box. 
  2. They can check the box to include withdrawn trips to see trips canceled in Concur. 
  3. The traveler can then click on a specific trip for a canceled hotel reservation and they will see the hotel cancellation number.
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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel Technology

What Does a Travel Management Company do?

A travel management company (TMC) is a travel agency that provides extensive business travel support to organizations of all sizes. A TMC can simplify your workload, help you manage travel risks, reduce travel spend, serve your travelers, and provide integrated and centralized data reporting.

1. Simplifies and Streamlines Your Workload

Corporate travel management is complex. As a travel manager, you are often juggling a lot of different tasks within your company. Trying to keep track of employee travel preferences, travel plans, unused tickets, and more can be a daunting task. Travel management companies streamline your processes and support your business travel program through service and technology.

Christopherson Business Travel understands that technology is key to simplifying your workload. That’s why we built our AirPortal software platform. AirPortal provides customized dashboards for both travel managers and travelers with access to all the tools each stakeholder needs to manage the travel program and their business travel, respectively. This suite of tools within AirPortal streamlines the ability to manage risk, spend, profiles, travel plans, unused tickets, booking options, and more.

Each traveler is able to create a unique profile within our travel management platform that securely stores their travel preferences and loyalty program information. These profile details are fully integrated to ensure ease and convenience at the time of booking. When working with a TMC, travelers are able to book travel online or with an expert travel agent, based on your unique service needs. Your company travel policy is also custom-built and integrated to ensure all bookings are compliant.

AirPortal uses artificial intelligence to show the user what’s most important. On both the travel manager and traveler dashboards, AirPortal provides My Action Items, a feature that lists pressing or time-sensitive tasks and reminders so you always know what’s most important today. For example, if a traveler books their flight and rental car, but not a hotel reservation, a line will populate in their My Action Items alerting them of this gap in their travel plans. Or maybe a travel manager missed a travel approval request. This too will appear in the My Action Items feature of their dashboard, along with any other pressing tasks.AirPortal360 Travel Management Company

Some travel management companies like Christopherson also integrate their travel management software directly into valuable benchmarking tools, preferred booking tools, and your HR feed. Facilitating these integrations allows you to access everything you need from one centralized location, saving travelers and travel managers time, and ultimately money.

Providing guidance through account management is another way a travel management company can streamline and focus your travel program toward reaching your goals. Account managers should work with you to carefully analyze your program to see where you’re succeeding and where the gaps are. Based on that analysis, they should then provide a custom travel management plan to help you know where improvements can be made. This kind of consultative account management allows travel managers to lean on the expertise of seasoned industry professionals

2. Helps You Manage Risk

Duty of Care is the legal and moral responsibility each organization has to keep its employees safe from threats. Such threats could include extreme weather or natural disasters, political strikes and civil unrest, car accidents, theft, personal attacks, or terrorism—the list goes on. As a travel manager, how do you maintain confidence that you are upholding your obligation to protect and care for your travelers?

A travel management company can help expedite your knowledge of threatening situations in areas where you have travelers and facilitate your response and/or assistance. At Christopherson Business Travel, our clients utilize our SecurityLogic tool to access critical, real-time security data, quickly locate travelers and verify traveler safety.

SecurityLogic Corporate Travel Management Company Example

In a recent study, only half of the travel managers surveyed felt confident that they could locate their travelers within two hours of an emergency. If your travelers’ plans are not stored, managed, or accessible from one centralized location, trying to locate employees during a crisis could be a messy and stressful task, not to mention potentially disastrous.

SecurityLogic provides travel managers with a real-time list of who is currently traveling and where those travelers are. SecurityLogic also allows you to quickly see if your travelers are in or are going to be in an affected area.

Travel alerts inform you of events that could impact employee travel or compromise their safety. Travel managers have the option to click through to the news source to get even more information. For extra security, you can set up auto-alerts that push directly to travelers via text and email to verify safety.

Click here to see a quick video tutorial on SecurityLogic.

3. Reduces Your Travel Costs

Partnering with a corporate travel management company can significantly reduce your overall travel costs. TMCs have expert knowledge in all aspects of the travel industry, including contract negotiations. Your account manager should be able to negotiate with your preferred vendors to ensure you are paying the lowest amount possible.

Cost Savings from University Corporate Travel ColoradoBusiness travel plans often change or get canceled. Did you know that nearly 10% of all business travel airline tickets go unused? As a travel manager, how do you ensure those funds from unused airline tickets are used before they expire? Keeping track of all the changes in your traveler’s plans could be a fulltime job in and of itself.

Travel Management Companies should ensure your unused tickets don’t impact your bottom line. Christopherson’s AirBank tool, found within AirPortal, captures those unused airline tickets and prevents the loss of those funds by prompting their reuse at the time of booking, whether online or with a full-service advisor.

Working with a business travel agency also ensures employees are booking within your company travel policy. By booking within policy, you can take advantage of your corporate rates, ensure you aren’t overspending, and make expense tracking and reporting a breeze.

Lastly, by partnering with a TMC you are saving time. Every hour you do not have to spend dealing with a travel headache, is an hour you can utilize elsewhere. Travel managers shouldn’t have to troubleshoot flight delays, manually keep track of itineraries, or pull reports from multiple locations. Travelers can find information quicker, make last-minute updates to travel plans, access 24/7 support from a trusted travel expert, and locate all expense receipts in one location.

4. Serves Your Travelers

Companies rely on corporate travel to close new business, foster relationships with current accounts, or inspire and connect departments within their own organization. In order to ensure those travel dollars are well spent, businesses need to prioritize the traveler experience to avoid fatigue and travel burnout. This is where a travel management company can shine.

By utilizing a tool like AirPortal, travelers can access all their travel plans in one location. No more frustrated inbox searching! Travelers are also alerted when they have incomplete trip plans. This allows you to avoid the high-stress situation of arriving at a new destination and realizing you forgot to book a hotel. Avoiding these small hiccups makes for a better traveler experience overall.

Let’s dive deeper into the actual booking process. Whether your travelers like to book online themselves or with a travel agent, partnering with the right travel management company can provide huge upside.

First, adhering to company travel policy is effortless. Regardless of which booking option they choose, your travelers are only offered options that fit within your policy. Traveler preferences are also documented, integrated, and considered before any bookings are confirmed, which makes for happy travelers!

Most importantly, TMCs should offer around-the-clock expert support and consultation. We all know that flights are sometimes delayed or canceled. Occasionally hotels are overbooked. Having access to a dedicated travel advisor team or a certified online support team means your travelers can feel confident in knowing they always have a trusted expert to turn to.

High-stress circumstances during business travel can lead to traveler anger and resentment towards their employer. These situations need to be solved quickly and with little effort from the traveler. With Christopherson Business Travel, your travelers have an expert in their corner to deal with unforeseen issues no matter the day or time.

5. Provides Integrated and Centralized Data Reporting

Next, let’s dig into how a travel management company can help the travel manager as well as the finance department. Many businesses struggle to analyze data because this information is coming from multiple departments and software. Christopherson’s AirPortal platform takes all your data points and presents them in a meaningful and centralized way.

Your AirPortal reporting and analytics tools can help you identify which departments or individuals spend the most on travel, which travelers book outside of your policy, and trends to see where you can save money. Having clear, concise reporting ensures accountability across all departments and helps you to make better-informed business decisions.

In addition to AirPortal’s benchmarking and analytics options, you can also access ValueLogic, an ROI tool that allows you to see exactly how and where we’re saving you money. And since not all travel programs are the same, AirPortal’s reports can be customized to your specific needs, so you see what matters to you. The end result? Cost savings and a well-managed travel program.

 

Read our blog post, What are the benefits of a corporate travel management company?” to learn about more benefits a TMC can provide. 

 

Do You Need A Travel Management Company?  Customer Testimonial for CBT Travel Management

From Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits to start-ups, any organization that wants to save time or money on travel can benefit from using a TMC. Download our whitepaper “Do I Need A Travel Management Company?” to better understand how your travel program could benefit from a TMC.

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Christopherson’s Online Travel Support & Tools

Not surprisingly, the ability to book travel online is important for many busy professionals. Because we’re known for our travel advisor services and consultative approach; our exceptional online booking tools and support team can sometimes fly under the radar. With our team of industry experts and our company’s preferred partnerships, they are often the unsung heroes of easy booking and travel solutions. So, what makes our online travel support superior above others?

What does our online travel support look like?

Booking travel quickly and easily is a top priority for our busy clients. With our many years in corporate travel management, we’re well-versed in the unique challenges of online booking and support. That’s why we provide three specialized support teams and various online booking tools for our clients. Reliability is a necessity, and our services and technology ensures it runs smoothly.

Christopherson’s online support teams

It can be surprising to learn how complex online booking and support can be on the back end. It’s much more than just connecting buttons and going live. Designing our support team into three specialized groups has proven to be the best way to provide proactive and expert service for our clients. What’s even better, is our online support team are also experienced travel advisors. They often assist in other ways if needed! Here’s a closer look at our online support teams:

  1. Frontline support team – This team is dedicated to the phone and email support of the travelers. They are available to assist with anything the traveler may need while booking online. While most TMCs charge to speak with a support team, this is included at no additional cost for our clients.
  2. Reservation support team – They monitor the reservations going through our automated systems to ensure everything is working smoothly.  They contact travelers when there may be a payment issue, schedule change and handle the processing of our Airbank tickets to online reservations.
  3. Online tech team – This team handles the implementations, updates, audits and general maintenance of our 1000+ online sites.  Working directly with SAP Concur on any outstanding issues and builds, they are SAP Concur certified and regularly attend trainings.

Christopherson’s online booking tools

We work with three online booking tools: Concur Travel, Deem, and nuTravel. Because of our Concur Preferred Partner status and associated customer benefits, we often recommend our clients book through Concur Travel.

Being a Concur Preferred Partner

A Concur Preferred Partner is a travel management company that is recognized by SAP Concur to be fully equipped to manage travel needs, based on their relentless commitment to their clients and technical advancements. The company must also be a leader in the industry and fully aligned with SAP Concur’s mission and vision. They also have a history of constant collaboration with the Concur Travel team.

Christopherson is one of only 23 companies nationwide that hold this exclusive membership. In fact, we were one of the first to receive this distinction as a result of our innovation and integrations. We have worked closely with SAP Concur since 2003, and currently manage more than 1,000 sites for more than 750 companies using SAP Concur.

We are also the first agency to become a Concur Certified Agency. This new designation was earned by Christopherson’s online technology specialists, through training and testing, to ensure complete proficiency in the design and maintenance of Concur Travel sites.

What are the benefits of working with a TMC with Concur Preferred Partner status?

This preferred status is more than just a fancy title. It comes with perksmany that directly benefit the customer. So what does that include?

  • Full and open integration – Being a preferred partner enables us to offer comprehensive service and a commitment to innovation.
  • Priority escalation of Concur Travel issues – Think of this like cutting in line when an issue arises. Our perks are your perks.
  • Cutting-edge service and support – As your company grows, so will your travel program. Being a preferred partner gives us the ability to evolve, not only in the industry, but also as your travel needs change.
  • High quality service and responsive interaction – Being a longtime direct reseller of SAP Concur, you can be assured of high quality service and responsive interaction.
  • Access to Christopherson’s SAP Concur Certified Online Tech Support Team – Our specialists know the inside and out of SAP Concur, and are always available via phone or email.

See why our online travel solutions are continually recognized as one of the best in the industry?  And this is just skimming the surface of our extensive and ongoing services. Interested in learning more? Contact us with any questions or for a demo of our AirPortal technology.

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3 Tools To Analyze Travel Data

Business travel management is a beast of a task. So when we had an opportunity to instantly analyze travel data and identify trends, we just couldn’t resist. Last July, Christopherson teamed up with Domo to bring top travel management solutions across both platforms.  Domo, a leader in business analytics, is known for compiling  data and instantaneously providing helpful insights and action items. These insights can be used by anyonefrom the CEO to the traveler to help them make data-driven decisions.  With Domo, we created three apps to further analyze travel data, reduce travel spend, and optimize hotel booking; so our client’s travel programs can be as efficient as possible.  

Tool #1 – Travel Leakage Analyzer app

One of the top goals of any travel management program is to reduce overall travel costs. Developing a travel policy, making vendor partnerships, and the rigamarole of reporting, all goes towards saving the bottom line for your company. Even with all of the efforts from your travel manager and help from your dedicated TMC, not all of your employees will follow the protocol to a tee. Whether a traveler is in a last minute bind, or they forgot the policyout of contract bookings are bound to happen.

The Travel Leakage Analyzer app works instantaneously to find these gaps, or leaks, in your non-compliant bookings. The app automatically pulls travel data from our AirPortal platform and financial systems like Concur. It then provides a top-level view of your travel spend over a period of time. With this knowledge, you can plug the holes of non-compliant bookings, or make informed recommendations on future policies or vendor contracts. 

Tool #2 – Hotel Spend Analyzer app

Sure, you could go through every receipt to understand which hotel provided you the lowest rate over the past year. Or maybe spend hours analyzing which hotels your travelers booked with the most. We know you don’t have time for that.  With their Hotel Spend Analyzer app, analyze your hotel data from our Airportal platform and seamlessly take out the information you’re looking for. That means no time wasted in clunky excel sheets or blurry eyes from staring at the computer for hours. Discover underlying trends in your hotel bookings, like total rooms, average daily rate and total spend by region, even down to the specific hotels. Breakdown data by regions in your hotel booking history, to set future benchmarks or use for negotiating lower rates with hotel vendors. 

Tool #3 – Domo? app

This dashboard Domo app allows Domo users to easily and intuitively connect multiple real-time travel data feeds into the Domo platform. Perfect for travel managers, it accesses data, analyzes the travel data, and providing real-time solutions. These app makes it fast and simple to put the relevant insights into the hands of travel executives and managers.

 

At Christopherson, we’ve always strived to be the first in cutting-edge travel technology. With our partnership with Domo on the three apps, we know we’ve made it easier for clients to instantly identify travel trends, reduce travel spend, and optimize hotel booking. In fact, our Domo app is continually a Featured App in Domo’s Appstore. These additional apps to analyze travel data are available to companies who already use Christopherson and Domo.  Contact us to learn more about our integrated apps or our overall approach to travel management

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Business Travel Travel Technology

How Christopherson Provides Organization for Travel Management

It could be the ‘type A’ personality in me, but I often think there’s room for improvement in most situations. I’ve also noticed this trait in many travel managers, procurement officers and executives. In positions as busy as these, isn’t the job more manageable with a structured and reliable system? Fortunately, I know Christopherson can provide that oh-so-necessary organization for travel management tasks. Our technology allows for peace of mind and instant access to information for company’s travel management needs. Why are we so confident that we can provide that satisfaction? Read some of our top benefits below:

How Christopherson provides organization for travel management

  •  With our AirPortal 360™ Dashboard and Mobile App, you have a 360° view of your travel program instantly and at all times.
  • No more digging through your inbox to find a traveler’s itinerary. Christopherson’s SecurityLogic® will tell you exactly where your travelers are in seconds. You can even look at their past or upcoming trips by customizing your search.
  • Eliminate that spreadsheet tracking your company’s unused tickets. AirBank® technology seamlessly tracks the unused funds from cancelled tickets. We even provide reminders, ensuring they are used before expiring.
  • All of your traveler’s pertinent travel information and preferences is stored in our Traveler Profiles, allowing you to take one less step when booking. There is no need to keep a series of post-it notes on your desk with traveler’s information written on them.
  • Lastly, eliminate the need to “shop” for fares prior to booking a trip. With PolicyLogic™, your company’s travel policy is built into our software. When travelers book their travel either with an agent or through one of our online booking tools, your travel policy will always comply.

By choosing Christopherson Business Travel as your travel management partner, you are signing on from streamlined and organized travel management. We are at the forefront of travel technology, and have been since we opened our doors in 1953. Contact us to learn more about our AirPortal® platform, and how we can declutter your travel management procedures.

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Business Travel Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel and your Risk Management Program

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Charles Brossman, a prominent risk management author and consultant speak at GBTA- North Carolina’s Education Breakfast. His informal but informative conversation educated our group on the legal terms associated with risk management. These terms, coupled with real- life examples, left us thinking about ways to improve the risk management programs for our own organizations.

How Christopherson provides risk management security

Guess what? By partnering with Christopherson as your Travel Management Company, you already have the shoe on the right foot. Housed in our AirPortal 360 platform, SecurityLogic allows travel managers can access real-time threats. This includes security updates, weather, traffic, airport delays, and disaster alerts. These alerts can be automatically pushed to travelers via text and email. With the intuitive Safety Check feature, you can request safety verification from your travelers, from anywhere in the world. Once activated, the traveler will immediately be messaged. Knowing that you are worried about their safety and they can also quickly respond. Additionally, SecurityLogic provides multiple global map overlays. All travel information is geocoded to street-level accuracy. So you can zoom into any country, city, or street to find risks near your travelers.
Learn more about how Christopherson can assist with your duty of care and risk management goals.

Charles Brossman is the author of the book “Building a Travel Risk Management Program: Traveler Safety and Duty of Care for Any Organization”. For more information on Charles Brossman and his services, see his website.

Christopherson Business Travel provides full-service travel management for companies. With advanced technology and customized service, we are one of the top TMCs in the nation. Contact us to learn how we can save your company time and money on future travel.

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Travel Management Travel Technology

SecurityLogic Provides Immediate Communication During Disaster

Does anyone else remember the nightly news slogan from years ago, “It’s 10 o’clock… do you know where your children are?”  This catchphrase, of keeping an eye on your loved ones, still resonates today. The past few weeks the airwaves have been flooded with terrorists attacks in New Jersey, New York, Washington State and Minnesota. And now, Hurricane Matthew is about to hit the east coast, potentially causing massive damage.  I also find myself thinking of family, but also co-workers and other business travelers when distaster strikes.

Working in an industry filled constantly with travel and constantly changing schedules, it’s hard to know where everyone is in a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, it’s important now more than ever to not only get in touch with employees or co-workers, but have a plan in place should disaster occur.

Communicating with your business travelers during a disaster

Having an established plan in case of an emergency is the first step. Ask yourself, what is your company’s current protocol should an event occur in a city your employee is currently traveling? Do you have their email and cell number readily available? Will you need to dig through emails to find their itinerary? Who will be in charge of making these safety calls to traveling employees?

Answering these questions ahead of time will make your company more prepared, should an event occur. Developing a travel policy usually helps to establish these protocols. If you don’t have a travel policy, check out our travel policy FAQ to get started.

SecurityLogic provides peace of mind for travel managers

One of my favorite features of the Christopherson software is our SecurityLogic technology. Perhaps it’s because I can be a worrywart, but the value of this immediate and interactive technology is a lifesaver in dire situations.

For a travel manager, the goal is simple – locate all of your business travelers instantly. Through our AirPortal360 interface, you immediately know how many employees are traveling at a moment’s notice.  We supply a world map view, with pins representing your travelers. From there, you can overlay alerts, warnings, and weather. Really anything that may influence your business travelers is viewable from the map.

SecurityLogic by Christopherson

Using the rest of our technology suite, we offer easy access to your traveler’s itinerary and contact information. Travel, security, and human resource managers are able to locate  travelers and send them messages. Your business travelers can then respond to the security check and let you know they are safe. Our SecurityLogic takes the guessing out of what could be a hectic situation and provides immediate answers.

Christopherson Business Travel is an award-winning corporate travel management company. We’re passionate about assisting companies with their travel, and we think our travel technology and consultative account management does a pretty great job at it.  Contact us to learn more about SecurityLogic or our other travel technology tools.

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Travel Management Travel Technology

How AirPortal 360 Provides Actionable Intelligence

At Christopherson Business Travel, we strive to continually develop travel technology that effortlessly eases travel and travel management headaches.  We’ve learned that while an engaging and useable platform is necessary, quick analysis and actionable take-aways are becoming crucial components to our clients. That’s why we further developed our AirPortal 360 technology to include actionable intelligence. We provide actionable items that your team can run with immediately in addition to our existing technology.

AirPortal includes many tools that help travel managers and travelers. Travel managers can keep tabs on various aspects of their travel programs.  We have always focused on creating tools that are elegant and easy to use.  Now with actionable intelligence, we take it one step further by reaching into the various products and retrieving the items that actually need attention. This helps ensure that important items do not slip through the cracks. This give travel managers the confidence that they are supporting both their travelers and their managed travel program.  

Travel Manager’s Actionable Intelligence includes:

  1. Travel Approvals Pending
  2. Hotel Payment Authorizations Failed
  3. Safety Check Assistance Requests
  4. New Traveler Enrollment Requests
  5. Trips Missing Hotels
  6. Unused Tickets Expiring
  7. Vendor Contracts Expiring

Additionally, we make sure travelers have their own dashboard to view their itinerary and documents. With our My Travel dashboard, they can quickly access their travel information in one place. Here they can effectively communicate their hotel plans, unused tickets and additional items, further completing compliance and duty of care responsibilities.  

Traveler’s Actionable Intelligence includes:

  1. Travel Approvals Pending
  2. Trips Missing Hotels
  3. Unused Tickets Expiring
  4. Credit Card Expiring (coming soon)
  5. Passport Expiring (coming soon)

AirPortal users receive a daily digest email with a list of their action items.  The user can choose the time of day they would like their daily digest delivered.  From the email they login into AirPortal Actionable Intelligence Dashboard and handle the items that require their attention.  

To learn more about our new AirPortal 360 Dashboard, contact your Christopherson Business Travel Account Manager or fill our the contact form on this page. Want to learn more? Read our company philosophy or additional travel technology solutions.

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Travel Management Travel Technology

Seamless Technology Integration Is Vital For Travel Management

While Travel Management Companies (TMCs) provide many solutions for businesses, I’ve found that one of the most valuable is offering effective system integrations.  A managed travel program needs the flexibility to easily connect to many diverse systems that are required for a complete and effective travel management system.

That’s one reason why we created our own proprietary system, AirPortal. Not only does this provide access to our own unique travel solutions, but it manages all of the information flowing between these systems as well.  AirPortal also provides the user interface for our clients, giving them one central location from which to manage their travel program. 

Our new AirPortal Integrations highlights many of the integrations that we offer, including some ‘one click’ installs.  Take a look and see what we can do for your travel program.  If you have a key vendor that is not on the list, give us a call — we are always adding additional integrations.

integrations8-9

The following are some of the category choices that we offer:

  • Data Feeds/Reporting
  • Traveler Safety/Security
  • Virtual Payment Solutions
  • Online Expense Tools
  • Online Booking Tools
  • Traveler Apps/Integrations

So, leave the heavy lifting to us and get on with the rest of your day. Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company that specializes in innovative travel technology and consultative customer service. Contact us to learn more about our proprietary technology and how we continually save our clients time and money.

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Travel Management Travel Technology

What Is Duty of Care?

I recently wrote the blog,  What does a Travel Management Company do?  In the process of writing it, I realized that we use industry phrases, assuming everyone understands what we are referring to.  Take Duty of Care for instance.  If you were to ask your next door neighbor, your hair dresser and your mother what Duty of Care is, you will probably get three totally different answers.  I even googled Duty of Care and found more than three different definitions! But this definition by Merriam-Webster was the most simple and straightforward: ‘a duty to use due care toward others in order to protect them from unnecessary risk of harm’.

Duty of Care and your travel management program

So what does that mean for travel?  Simply put, it is an employers moral and legal obligation for the safety of their employees while traveling.  In the university setting, this even includes students!  Many countries, including the US, are in the process of developing strict laws to help protect business travelers. But until these laws are worldwide and regulated, corporations and universities without a managed travel program run the risk of serious consequences in the event of an emergency.

How SecurityLogic assists with Duty of Care responsibility

To assist corporations and universities with their duty of care obligations, Christopherson Business Travel developed SecurityLogic.  Our clients have access to global alerts and valuable tools to ensure the safety of your travelers.  With SecurityLogic, travel managers can access real-time security, weather, flight delays, and disaster alerts. They are then automatically pushed to travelers via text and email. And, with the intuitive Safety Check feature, you can also request safety verification from your travelers anywhere in the world.

SecurityLogic provides multiple global map overlays, and because all travel information is geocoded to street-level accuracy, you can zoom in on any country, city, or street to find your travelers through the tool’s customized search options. With customized search options our clients can quickly locate their travelers by name, department, date, and/or location.

An effective duty of care program is essential for every corporation and university. To discuss if SecurityLogic is a good fit for your company, feel free to contact us using the form on this page.

Read next – How To Get Started – Duty Of Care Advice

 

 

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Travel Management Travel Technology

How To Get Started – Duty Of Care Advice

Traveling is so much more than booking a ticket and getting the seat assignment you want on the plane. From a company’s perspective, safety of the traveler is a major concern. Considering duty of care, the company holds responsibility for the traveler’s well being. Many companies use a risk management team to educate their travelers. But what if your company has not yet implemented a plan? Read our tips below to start implementing a duty of care travel security plan for your corporation.

Duty of care advice for busy companies:

  • Consider working with a third party-risk management organization like iSOS or iJET.  Specializing in only medical and travel security assistance, they could be a good fit if you are only looking for assistance with safety. Review all costs associated prior to contracting.
  • Have a team approach. It is best to have all stakeholders involved in this decision including: travel department, security, HR, senior management, risk staff, and your designated travel management company.
  • Keep your travelers educated. Try different mediums of information like: travel policies, smart travel communications, web pages, and special alerts.
  • Keep communications simple and clear on who your travelers should call and what they should do in emergencies.
  • Travelers need to understand their ownership of their trip. If their trip is rescheduled or changed by the airline directly, your corporate travel management company will not get the updates so it is up to the travelers to notify the travel manager or key contact so contracted services can be rendered.
  • International travel comes with additional precautions. Travelers need to review their insurance coverage and ensure they have the ability to make larger payments for emergency tickets, hotel rooms and charter flights at a moment’s notice in case of evacuations.
  • Seek feedback from your business travelers to see what is working and not working.
  • Christopherson Business Travel has propriety technology called SecurityLogic® that will offer a jump start into launching a risk management program.

Read Next: Christopherson Business Travel Helps With Duty Of Care blog.