Our background with Africa Population Health and Research Center (APHRC)
Africa Population Health & Research Center (APHRC) is a research institution with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. APHRC conducts high quality policy-relevant research on population, health, education, urbanisation and related development issues across Africa. FCm has worked closely with APHRC to help the organisation gain more value from its spend on travel and solve travel management issues more efficiently.
FCm Travel Solutions Kenya has been managing APHRC’s travel since May 2012 via a dedicated account manager, while also exploring the possibility of establishing an implant office to deliver improved efficiencies and cost savings.
Here's how we made it possible...
FCm Kenya manages most of APHRC’s travel needs including corporate and personal air travel for APHRC staff and their families, airport transfers, meet and assist, visa processing, travel insurance and holidays. The vast majority (71%) of APHRC’s travel is within Africa, 18% is international travel and local travel accounts for 11% of the company’s spend on travel.
The APHRC account is managed by one of FCm Kenya’s senior travel consultants who works closely with the nine travel bookers in APHRC. This team comprises four program administrators that look after different areas within the organisation and their personal assistants.
As APHRC use an internal department to specifically handle their hotel bookings and conference travel (MICE), FCm was keen to show the organisation what the benefits were if they consolidated their entire travel program with FCm. APHRC holds regular conferences throughout the year, monthly meetings and an annual team building event, which FCm could assist with to ensure time and cost efficiencies for the client.
To help the organisation streamline these events, and to show them how consolidating this segment of their travel program with FCm could deliver savings across their travel budget, FCm proposed establishing an implant office within APHRC.
This would allow FCm to provide dedicated, on-site travel and MICE support across the organisation. APHRC has expressed interest in exploring this option and FCm Kenya is in the process of preparing a technical proposal to indicate the savings that will be achieved if an implant office is set up.
With the hands-on approach taken by FCm, most challenges that arise with APHRC are quickly resolved. One recent challenge was that the timing of the monthly invoice delivery, which was out of sync with the internal processes of the APHRC’s financial department. This was causing logistical issues with payments and caused the payment processes to be rushed. After explaining the issue to FCm’s credit control manager, FCm’s key account manager has been working with the credit controller to ensure they are able to meet the deadlines set by APHRC.
Similarly, when issues arose with airport transfer services, FCm looked at options to improve the booking processes and internal booking system to ensure that services were delivered on time and without problems. In addition, FCm has taken a proactive role in the coordination of group transfers to ensure APHRC personnel receive timely and professional ground transport services.
By having an open and honest relationship with APHRC and allowing good communication between both stakeholders, FCm put a plan in place to resolve these issues, dramatically improving the overall service level received by the clients. While the option of setting up an implant is still under discussion, FCm has the resources and flexibility to tailor a solution which will suit the ongoing needs of APHRC.
FCm has also been able to deliver additional value to APHRC by way of:
- loyalty programs with airlines KLM (Bluebiz) and British Airways (Onbiz)
- corporate discounts with KQ, Air Uganda, Ethiopian Airlines and Rwanda Air
- visa processing requirements
- monthly MIS reports
- customer care visits
- quarterly SLA review meetings
- supplier product presentations.