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Business Travel Travel Management

What Are The Benefits Of A Corporate Travel Management Company?

Benefits of partnering with a corporate travel management company (TMC) include: access to a dedicated support team, reduced travel spend, risk management assistance, access to travel technology, enhanced reporting, travel policy creation and integration, and time savings. Read on to see how each of these benefits relates to both the travel manager and the business traveler.

7 Benefits of Using a Corporate Travel Management Company are:

  1. Access to a Dedicated Support Team 
  2. Cost Saving Strategies 
  3. Assistance with Risk Management
  4. Access to Technology and Tools 
  5. Enhanced Reporting
  6. Travel Policy Creation and Integration 
  7. Time Savings for Travel Managers and Traveler

1. Access to a Dedicated Support Team 

Benefits for the Travel Manager 

A corporate travel management company (TMC) should offer its clients a dedicated support team. As a travel manager, you are responsible for creating and maintaining an evolving, complex program. Working with a dedicated support team to help manage your program has many benefits.

First, you can lean on a team of experts. Whether you are creating a new travel program or you are looking to improve your current one, a TMC should be able to make recommendations to help you meet your goals. 

At Christopherson Business Travel (Christopherson), our travel management experts average more than 25 years of experience in business travel. We have helped hundreds of organizations overcome the challenges of business travel and achieve a variety of goals. Not only do we recommend adjustments our clients can make to their programs, but we also specifically point out how we can help them get there. 

Another benefit of having a dedicated support team is that travel managers can rely on experts to provide best practices, industry updates, and seasoned expertise. When a business travel program is outdated, corporate travelers become frustrated. In a dynamic industry that changes rapidly, it’s important for travel managers to stay informed about current and emerging trends.   

Benefits for the Business Traveler

Depending on your booking and service needs, your travelers might have access to a dedicated travel advisor team, a certified online support team, or a combination of the two. By partnering with a corporate travel management company, your business travelers can feel confident knowing they always have trusted experts to turn to 24/7, 365 days a year. 

Having a dedicated support team to assist with travel challenges (like delayed flights or overbooked hotels) significantly improves the overall traveler experience. A TMC also considers traveler preferences and loyalty information when helping them book travel within policy. At Christopherson, your travelers can access a small, dedicated team of travel advisors, so they always know who to contact for support. 

Some TMCs offer support via a call center, which can be frustrating. Call center agents won’t be familiar with your travel preferences or policies, and travelers often don’t receive the level of customer service they deserve. With a dedicated team, you’ll have personalized service and relationships you can count on.

Another benefit of having a dedicated support team is providing VIP services for your executive travelers. At Christopherson, priority response time, requesting special accommodations, and frequent traveler enrollment assistance are just a few of the VIP services we provide.

2. Cost Saving Strategies 

Benefits for the Travel Manager 

Corporate travel management companies help businesses save money by securing the lowest possible rates on travel. Consider the following hypothetical scenario: You reach out to a large hotel chain to negotiate a corporate rate for your business. You attempt to use your predicted number of reservations of 150 nights as leverage for a lower rate. The hotel is able to offer you a discounted rate of $160 a night. 

Now imagine that your corporate travel management company reaches out to the same hotel chain. Instead of 150 nights, your TMC is leveraging the 15,000 nights they anticipate booking among  75 different accounts. It probably comes as no surprise that the hotel is able to offer your TMC an even lower rate of $140 a night.

This example illustrates how working with a TMC increases your buying power and, ultimately, saves you money. Also, by consolidating your hotel spend, a TMC can continue to negotiate lower rates on your behalf year after year.

When it comes to your travel policy, corporate travel management companies make compliance effortless through integrated technology. You can find more details about this below, but one of the reasons travel policies exist is to help manage costs. If your travelers are booking outside of your policy, chances are they are paying more than you would like because they’re not accessing your negotiated rates. 

Next, let’s consider unused airline ticket funds. It’s inevitable that business travelers will have to cancel trips due to scheduling changes, which can potentially leave money on the table. Nearly 10% of all business travel airline tickets go unused. As a travel manager, how do you ensure these unused ticket funds aren’t impacting your bottom line? A TMC can monitor these funds, helping ensure they are used before they expire. 

Christopherson’s AirBank tool is our solution to managing unused airline tickets. AirBank captures those funds in a centralized database and then prompts travelers to reuse them during their next booking. AirBank’s transparency encourages active participation in the reuse of the ticket. This helps prevent loss of funds, cut costs, and eliminate waste. Managers can also access real-time status updates and reports on those unused tickets and the subsequent available funds.

Lastly, when partnering with a corporate travel management company that charges fair and transparent fees, travel managers are able to more accurately budget for their travel program costs. Christopherson’s all-inclusive pricing structure includes all account management, technology, integrated reporting systems, and tools. Some TMCs operate on an “a la carte” model which can quickly become costly and unpredictable making it more difficult to budget.

Benefits for the Business Traveler

By negotiating lower rates, travelers are often able to choose from higher-end hotels than they would be offered without the purchasing power of a TMC. This improves their overall travel experience and makes for happy travelers. 

Unless a tool or system like AirBank is in place, it is easy for travelers to forget about the unused airline tickets they have at their disposal. By providing travelers with money-saving tools like AirBank, travelers can easily cash in on those tickets whether booking online or with an advisor.  

3. Assistance with Risk Management 

Benefits for the Travel Manager 

Businesses have a legal and moral responsibility to keep their travelers safe from threats while they are on the road. Threats can range from something as serious as an outbreak of an infectious disease to losing a passport. Regardless of the circumstance, it’s important that travel managers are aware of threats as soon as possible and have a process in place to keep their travelers safe. 

Assistance with risk management is a huge benefit of working with a corporate travel management company. 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. When working with a TMC, travel managers often have access to risk management tools that make them more efficient and effective in times of crisis.

Christopherson’s SecurityLogic tool provides travel managers real-time information regarding which of their team members are currently traveling and where those travelers are

For example, Christopherson’s SecurityLogic tool (available within our AirPortal platform) provides travel managers real-time information regarding which of their team members are currently traveling and where those travelers are. SecurityLogic allows you to quickly see if your travelers are in or will be in an affected area. 

SecurityLogic’s alerts inform travel managers of events that could impact employee travel or compromise their safety, and the Safety Check feature can be used to verify traveler safety. 

Travel Risk Management Tool

Benefits for the Business Traveler

When businesses utilize the full range of benefits tools like SecurityLogic provide, travelers feel safe and secure while on the road. When traveling, staying up-to-date on breaking news can be a challenge. Travelers will find comfort in knowing that if they are in or traveling to a potentially dangerous area, their employer is proactively warning them of any threats and has a plan in place to keep them safe. 

4. Access to Technology and Tools 

Benefits for the Travel Manager 

Without updated technology, travel managers are left to manage their travel programs manually using spreadsheets and emails, which can be time-intensive. Integrating best-in-class technology into your travel program is a sure way to save you time and money. 

Corporate travel management partners streamline your processes for requesting travel, approving travel plans, and expense reporting. Christopherson’s AirPortal software platform has your negotiated vendor contracts, travel policy, and travel approval system built-in, ensuring compliant travel booking. All reservations filter into your custom reports and align with your managed travel program. AirPortal can be integrated with valuable benchmarking tools, preferred booking tools, and your HR feed. These technologies make your program efficient and integrated. 

Mobile App For Corporate travel Managers

AirPortal 360 Mobile, the mobile version of our travel manager dashboard, is the first and only comprehensive mobile app for travel managers that allows you to manage your entire travel program from the palm of your hand. With AirPortal 360 Mobile, travel managers can locate travelers in real-time, verify their safety, view itineraries, monitor travel plans, enroll/deactivate travelers, and manage traveler profiles from anywhere.

When working with a corporate travel management partner like Christopherson, you will also have access to tools like Virtual Pay. Virtual Pay eliminates faxing credit card information to hotels by creating single-use credit cards for each hotel booking. The unique card is then sent to the hotel for booking payment. This process helps eliminate traveler reimbursements, improve billing accuracy, and consolidate hotel spend.

Benefits for the Business Traveler

With access to a robust set of tools and technology, travelers are more organized, efficient, and satisfied with their travel program. Booking compliant travel, reimbursing expenses,  and locating travel plans becomes a breeze. Traveler profiles ensure that loyalty programs and preferences are always considered at the time of booking. 

5. Enhanced Reporting 

Benefits for the Travel Manager 

Arguably the most important aspect of any successful program is the ability to access, aggregate, and visualize the data to inform decisions. Some corporate travel management companies offer reporting tools that allow you to view your entire travel program in one location.

Domo, AirPortal’s integrated business intelligence and data visualization program, delivers real-time insights that help you take action and manage a smarter travel program. By aligning metrics that matter to you in one centralized location, you can start to visualize the story your data creates. 

With complete visibility into your travel program, you can quickly identify the departments that spend the most on travel or which hotels are booked the most. This allows you to draw meaningful conclusions that help you improve processes and save money. 

With Christopherson’s ValueLogic technology, travel managers can also assess the ROI of our partnership. Customizable reports show exactly how and where we’re saving our clients’ money.

Benefits for the Business Traveler

While travelers don’t necessarily need access to the full range of reporting options that travel managers need, data from these reports is essential to your travelers’ ability to book within policy, reconcile credit cards, monitor unused tickets, and identify when their profile information needs to be updated. Good data also makes life easier for travelers in the long run. 

6. Helps Create and Maintain Your Travel Policy 

Benefits for the Travel Manager 

When creating or updating a policy, it’s helpful to have experts consult with you on current best practices in your industry. A travel policy should be a living concept and evolve with the industry. Corporate travel management companies help ensure your travel policy is up to date and integrated throughout your booking tools, benchmarking tools, and HR feed. 

Benefits for the Business Traveler

Keeping your travel policy current is a great way to keep your travelers happy. And with policy integration, travelers can be confident their bookings are always compliant. 

7. Saves Travel Managers and Travelers Time 

Benefits for the Travel Manager 

Streamlined and integrated travel programs save travel managers time by keeping them organized and efficient. Whether you’re managing the ins and outs of a large global travel program or have a small team of road warriors, working with a TMC makes your day-to-day efforts easier by helping you implement the processes and plans that will help you reach your goals and support your travelers. 

Benefits for the Business Traveler

Centralized, integrated travel programs save travelers time by simplifying the booking process, making it easy to get travel approved, providing the resources and service needed to make their actual trip a breeze. Gone are the days of frantic inbox searches for flight plans, not knowing whether your booking falls within policy or where your frequent flyer number is. Travelers can spend time actually doing what they were hired to do rather than wasting time weighing the costs of different flight options or figuring out logistics of an upcoming trip. A travel management company has the expertise they can rely on.

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Business Travel Travel Technology

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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

How Christopherson Reduces Travel Costs

You most likely know that partnering with a travel management company will streamline your travel experience. Your company will also be more organized with easy access to all your information. And the added peace of mind for the security and communication with your traveling employees doesn’t hurt either.  But the additional question we’re frequently asked is – how is Christopherson going to save my company money? Well let’s talk through some of the main ways that we are able to reduce travel costs for our clients.

How Christopherson reduces travel costs for our clients

  • Our AirPortal technology allows our clients to track just about everything. Our new clients often discover that they’ve been previously losing money without even realizing it. Sometimes it’s black holes within compliance. Our AirPortal dashboard provides a top-level view of travel management programs, often providing insight into previously unknown areas of your travel program. By providing a transparent look at your travel program, you can fully understand ways it’s working, but also areas for improvement.
  • Part of the AirPortal suite includes our AirBank technology tool. It tracks all unused air tickets, ensuring you never miss out.
  • Our experienced account management team. As part of their role as your designated account manager, they will always be on the lookout for ways to additionally save your company extra money.
  • Superior vendor relationships. One way our account managers provide above and beyond cost savings, is with their various vendor relationships. Through our connections, we can pass on great deals and contracts to our clients, ultimately saving you money.
  • Our relationship with airlines. One of our favorite tricks is passing on discounts we personally get from the airlines directly to our clients.

 

Our clients often come to us with differing pain points. But cost savings is typically high on everyone’s list.  That’s why we work so diligently to continually provide ways that Christopherson lowers the cost of your travel. If you are interested in learning more about how we can specifically save your company money, please contact us for a free consultation.

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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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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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Business and Leadership Business Travel Travel Management

“The Handshake” and Communication Protocols for Better Business

handshake communication for business travelAll communication between computers requires that the devices agree on the format of the data. The parameters of a communications channel must be established before the digital “handshake” will allow the communication to begin.

All communication between humans also requires that both parties agree on the parameters of the communication before they meet–shall we use digital, telephone, or a physical handshake for this meeting?

In 1889 Jules Verne imagined that the “phonotelephote” would replace the need for physical handshakes. This is no longer science fiction. All of us are now inundated with email, text messages, and WebEx meetings. And yes, we still use the old-fashioned telephone too. But according to a recent article in The Economist, “Companies are spending more on sending their staff out to win deals.”

At Christopherson Business Travel, we’re seeing the same trend, with our airline bookings up 13% year-over-year. While some of this growth is from new clients, much of it is coming from existing clients who are sending their people out to meet face-to-face, shake hands, build relationships, and win deals.

Whenever we experience a poor-quality internal conference call, we remind ourselves it’s a good thing that people need to see each other face-to-face in order to obtain greater effectiveness. After all, that’s the business we’re in. For more than 60 years, we’ve been providing companies of all sizes across the globe with cost-effective, personalized, and hassle-free business travel management and resources. Plus, our exclusive AirPortal® travel technology applications are the only tools you’ll ever need to manage your business trips.

If you’re looking for better business travel management so that you and your team can extend more than a virtual handshake to your clients, our executives would be happy and share more information about our services and technology.

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Business Travel Travel Industry

Christopherson Business Travel to Attend GBTA Convention 2013

custom_1373323780_3625_728x90Screen shot 2013-07-08 at 4.57.04 PMThe 2013 GBTA Convention is quickly approaching! This year’s event is being held in San Diego, California from August 4-7 and Christopherson Business Travel is both a trade show sponsor and an active participant with more than a dozen attendees from our company.

We are excited to expand our booth space this year allowing for additional demo stations, beverages, snacks, and 15 drawings for $100 gift cards throughout the three-day convention. We’re also looking forward to releasing our new AirPortal 360™ Mobile technology.

AirPortal 360 Mobile is the first comprehensive mobile app specifically designed exclusively for the corporate travel manager. As the mobile version of Christopherson’s AirPortal 360 travel manager dashboard, AirPortal 360 Mobile delivers the essentials from our powerful collection of travel management software right to your fingertips.

Both easy-to-use and convenient, AirPortal 360 Mobile provides the ability to maintain duty of care responsibilities, keep track of travelers and itineraries, access and manage traveler profiles, ensure policy compliance, and more, even if you’re on the go.

If you are attending GBTA, please plan to stop by booth #3625. We’d love to show you our new AirPortal 360 Mobile. You can also schedule an appointment by emailing info@CBTravel.com.