In the future Travel Management will be part of the global procurement team and report directly to the global indirect supply manager and the chief procurement officer. Travel experts from inside or outside the company will engage with people in risk management and HR regarding travel and safety policies. No matter the structure, reality will overtake existing communication and process structure. This also happens to the meeting structure outside the normal work place. One of the areas being influenced is APPS.
In today’s market with thousands of Apps entering the market every day, finding the right one for a corporation is virtually impossible. Many large companies are developing their own and includes i.e. booking facilities and other service delivering’s.
Many global Travel Management Companies (TMC), airlines, Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Travel & Expense administrators (T&E) hotels, train companies and car rentals have their own Apps and try to lure travelers to use their App exclusively.
We believe in creating an environment where companies offer their people, needing to be away from their normal workplace, basis and relevant information on their Smartphones. The information should be valuable to the company like policy, guidelines, vendors local and global. On top of that a system following the traveler all the way and can be in contact if and when accidents or incidents happen. Be sure to offer safety and security information before, during and after the trip.
If and when a traveler deems an App relevant to their trip, we believe to let them have access to it or, if valuable to the company, ensure the knowledge is shared cross the company.
We offer a structured and user-friendly App for employee to use. The utilization of vendor agreement as well as the meeting data becoming available will create a high return on investment to you.
OUR CORPORATE APP
The app should be relevant to all employees needing to be away from their normal work place. By adding various key information needing to be activated, the traveler must fill in required fields. This could be reminder of new eating places, shops or other soft information and also reminder of meeting management.
As we are talking about travelers we are aware of the issue of Roaming when arriving at the destination. Depending on individual agreements companies may have with phone companies, there should be a reminder of using i.e. map or other local data, demanding services will be prohibitive.
I strongly believe that a “simple” basis App including specific company information and few chapters is the way forward. Such an App should include:
The App database must be able to register and collect relevant data being entered, system wise or manually. It should have a user-friendly interface and update possibilities for company representatives adjusting local information, changing the travel policy etc.
The Travel Policy
Attachment 1 provides example of questions and answers. The core travel policy should of course be available on company Intranet or physical file. The App version should concentrate on travel related information and guidelines.
The traveler will, together with a lot of other information, receive the travel policy and be asked to load the App into the smartphone.
This includes company addresses or address plus the vendor’s contact and possible addresses with map references. The information from the vendors should include an overview of the deal including what is or is not included in rates. This could be Wi-Fi included in the room rate but liability insurance not included in the rental car deal. It should also include local public transportation possibilities.
There should be a chapter with other information, where the travelers can add their own recommendation and a message service distributing this to all travelers using the App.
Security and safety information
By using services like Riskline, bringing a constant flow of information from strikes to earthquakes almost as they are happening, travelers can be informed about security level and immediate information if anything involving their security happens.
This area should include a message service from central point of view, if serious incidents occur will ensure that head office can act and send a uniformed sms that can be answer with i.e. an OK by the employees in the area.
It could be simply adding “mysafetravel” App to our app and make a corporate agreement with Riskline.
Possibility for the travelers to recommend destination vendors and rate them
This can be valid from local to international and include rating all vendors or add new eating places or shops or websites. Key structure should be with some kind of star rating, short description, address and phone/mail.
Once a recommendation is added all Apps in the company will be updated with the information.
Meeting information and registering.
Once a meeting is arranged and entered in the company calendar system Outlook, iCalendar, Google calendar or others, the App version is automatically updated. Once the traveler activates the” Corporate Traveler”, the system reads the calendar and ask the traveler to fill in the 2 menus before the App opens up. It might be helpful to have this reminder during the trip.
There is no doubt that all travelers have their own preferred apps from local information to booking engines for airlines, train, hotels and cars. New entree’s will add more offers and make information available to travelers, groups and families.
Today there is a range of products available steering all the travel data, from really advanced Apps like Roadmap to pure schedules like rip-it.
It is our belief that these should be available only after being screened by the company IT department securing VPN structures or using a catalogue of possible recommended Apps.
Our suggestion is to make folders of each destination and either add relevant Apps or let the traveler add whatever Apps they deem necessary.
What is the value to the company?
Weather the company provide smartphones or not, the App will ensure that the travelers have easy access to the policy or guide at all times and we already know, by using question and answer structure, it increases compliance.
The fact that the local information is easily available, makes it easier for less frequent travelers to use the right vendor as well as best local transport solution. This will increase safety as well as utilize existing agreements much better than before.
We all know the experience with that restaurant, which was good last time, suddenly has decreased in service and quality, a new eatery has opened or where to shop for your kid’s birthday present, information which is nice to have updated in the palm of your hand. This is possible in this App and can be updated easily by the travelers. By collecting this information, you can enter deals or improve them locally.
Safety and security is a priority when away from your normal work place. Here you have instant information in case anything occurs and the company has easy access to contact any traveler anywhere and receive feed backs or answers.
By registering all meetings happening, as well as the addresses, you have the information at hand to the travelers, including last minute changes, even better, you have all the meeting data at hand. Once the travelers fill in the App, we can collect the data and provide the company with interesting data i.e.:
To the traveler:
Saving a lot of time investigating how to come to a company address outside their normal workplace. It is easy to use the chosen vendors and diminishes the uncertainty where to stay, and how to get there.
By offering freedom to select any Apps outside this one it makes it easier for the traveler to design their own smartphone platform. It is up to the company if they will include other apps or demand certain supplier apps to be used.
The company creates a strong feeling of security as they at all time are aware of where the traveler is at any time. The traveler will be alerted if there are delays on trains, strikes or even flight delays.
Easy overview over per diems and what is allowed in order to get a refund.