Is it possible … to save $2 million through travel program consolidation? Yes it is.
Consolidation of an organisation’s national travel program with FCm Travel Solutions has given the company deeper insight into their travel data, greater control of their booking processes and the opportunity to leverage customised travel management solutions for broader savings.
When this client first came on board with FCm in 2011 they had been dealing with a number of different travel management companies (TMCs). Additionally some divisions were self-managing their travel. Despite a company mandate to move all travel to FCm, the change management process presented a number of challenges.
With almost 10,000 employees and a high volume of domestic travel involving bookings across air, hotel accommodation and car hire, the company was looking to centralise travel management to more comprehensively leverage their travel volume with suppliers.
Here’s how we made it possible...
Our client’s primary objective was to consolidate their travel program with FCm. The company was looking for a travel program that was centrally managed through a single TMC.
They also sought FCm’s assistance to educate staff on the benefits of consolidation.
Critical to the success of the client’s consolidation process was FCm’s understanding of their business and travel needs. FCm visited on and off-site locations to meet staff and get to know all levels of the business. One-on-one meetings were also held with travel bookers, their managers as well as individual travellers.
Online booking technology
Early in the first year of the partnership, FCm implemented the e3 online booking tool (OBT). The OBT was customised to suit the company’s payment requirements and use of preferred suppliers for air, hotel accommodation and car hire. While the initial implementation phase of the OBT focused on driving online adoption, recent FCm roadshows have included more advanced training for travel bookers.
Hotel supplier education
Following arrangements to set up an invoice account for the client with FCm, it was important their preferred hotel suppliers understood what the new booking and payment process involved. Part of FCm’s supplier education was to ensure that charge-back facilities were made available to employees for all hotel stays. This helped to avoid credit cards being used to pay for hotels and confusion over payment processes.
Hotel accommodation cancellation strategy
Various divisions within the client’s company require bulk accommodation bookings. Quite often these group bookings will include last-minute changes that are made within the penalty-free cancellation period. To ensure these hotel ‘credits’ are used, FCm keeps a close track of hotel bookings that are cancelled inside the non-penalty period so they can be transferred to other parts of the business where possible. This not only minimises cancellation penalties, but also creates availability of rooms in often hard-to-get locations.
Customised service offering
The client’s booking team at FCm includes a dedicated consultant for groups and conferencing bookings, VIP, network services and crew bookings. The client was also appointed a dedicated account manager and a Travel Club Getaways consultant to manage all leisure travel bookings.
FCm provided comprehensive airline contract consultancy services to ensure the client was getting the best deal for their air travel volume. FCm’s consulting services included an in-depth review of their air travel spend, patterns and preferences, airline analysis and benchmarking.
- FCm’s work to enhance the company’s airline contracts resulted in an annual saving of approximately $1.95 million.
- Savings included an average sector price reduction of $246 to $186, which represents a 24% year-on-year drop, when comparing the July to September quarter 2013 to the same period in 2012.
FCm’s tailored servicing and relationships with the company’s preferred suppliers, has provided savings through waivers, booking favours and waiving of no-show payments.
The client saved approximately $36,500 from this servicing approach.
Car hire savings
FCm negotiated a supplier rate with a secondary car hire company to ensure the company always receive the best rate and availability.
Based on their volume of car hire spend, FCm’s second car hire contract has saved the company approximately $40,000 in car hire fees over a three-month period.
Response from FCm
“What has been critical to the success of the re-engineering this client’s travel program is the collaborative partnership between both the client and FCm. FCm spent a lot of time getting to know and understand the client’s business and its travellers.
FCm’s knowledge of this client’s business and their trust in FCm has enabled their program to be enhanced with customised solutions that directly address their travel needs at a company level and at an individual traveller level.”
Kate Taylor, FCm Travel Solutions, Account Manager