Travel buyers say user experience, pre-trip approval, travel risk management and data consolidation the priorities
Faced with a plethora of online tools and technology, Australian companies need to know what products are best in market if they want to reduce travel costs and increase productivity in the future, says leading business travel retailer FCm Travel Solutions.
FCm recently hosted a travel technology forum at the Crown Promenade Hotel. The technology showcase attracted a strong turnout of representatives from the Victorian business community, which took advantage of being able to hear about the latest developments in travel technology from a raft of providers.
On the agenda were presentations from Locomote, Serko, Concur and cievents, which has collaborated with FCm to develop integrated technology for managing meetings and conference bookings.
As part of the event, FCm launched its newest technology products including ClientBank Connect - a reporting and data analytics tool that gives companies in-depth view of their travel expenditure using data from third parties such as Concur and iJET International.
FCm also talked about its travel risk management program FCm Secure, that provides customers with global travel alerts, comprehensive traveller tracking, monitoring as well as on-the-ground rescue and recovery support.
General Manager FCm Travel Solutions Australia, James Kavanagh said the response to yesterday's event was a clear indication of just how critical travel technology was to Australian companies with high-volume corporate travel programs.
"Technology for online booking, employee trip approvals, spend analysis and travel risk management gives these businesses the automation and data consolidation they need to drive maximum cost and productivity efficiencies," James said.
"When it comes to these sorts of online tools, there is so much choice in the market ... how do corporate travel buyers know what is the best solution for their company? Understanding the differences between all the products, the strengths and integration capability of the tools is needed by business leaders these days to ensure they're making the most informed decisions.
"This is what these kinds of events provide - advice and information in the one place at the one time."
Julie McLean, FCm's Strategic Partnerships Manager said travel buyers had four key priorities when assessing online technology.
1. User experience
2. Pre-trip approval
3. Travel risk management
4. Data consolidation
Julie continued that travel risk management had become central to the technology conversation within the corporate sector.
"Companies are highly engaged with new technology because they want to enhance the way they are managing travel risk," she said. "Companies are very keen to learn how they can better protect and support their travelling staff should they find themselves in a high-risk situation. Travel does increase the level of exposure that an employee may face while conducting businesses so companies need to ensure they are meeting legislation for duty of care.
"This is where products like FCm Secure come into play and give employers the global intelligence and support they need to inform and protect staff. "