The Challenge – With 10,000 employees across the globe, multinational financial software assistance company FD Technologies needed to simplify its travel management technology for enhanced booking, monitoring and reporting experience.
The Solution – Provide the global organisation’s travel management team with an online travel technology ecosystem accessible within one central hub.
Headquartered in the UK, FD Technologies has a diverse employee population throughout the world, a population that frequently travels between Ireland, the US, Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Germany and many other destinations.
When Corporate Travel Manager Chris Lehane joined the company, he found that the booking, monitoring and reporting had become too ad hoc to effectively manage the many travellers on its books.
As the company was rapidly expanding, Lehane explains how it became critical that all its travel management could be done within one over-arching technology tool.
“My role is global so anyone who travels in the company must come through me and the travel team,” Lehane says. “Before I joined the team, employees were booking their own travel – through the airlines themselves at times – so the corporate travel team couldn’t produce any centralised reporting.”
A TMC WITH GLOBAL REACH
A TMC with global reach was essential for FD Technologies, as was an intuitive, easy-to-use online booking tool combined with exceptional customer service from its TMC.
Choosing to partner with Reed & Mackay meant Lehane and his team have access to R&M/Portal. This exclusive technology – which had been designed and developed with clients’ needs at its heart – provides a central hub for travel managers and bookers that ensures compliance, control and security across the globe.
R&M/Portal houses trip data, travel alerts, risk information and more in one all-encompassing travel management programme. Information is updated across all platforms at the touch of a button, allowing alerts, approval requests and boarding passes to be sorted instantly.
Easy access to invoices significantly reduces administration time, while live availability and scheduled searches allow clients to fire off options to their Reed & Mackay consultant for any last-minute changes.
“R&M/Portal is a really good online booking system; I use it at least 20 times a day in my role and that’s no exaggeration,” Lehane says. “I’ve shown it to other people in the business and they’re equally impressed. Any information they ask for regarding travel, I can get it from this one central resource; a resource that is essential to my role. The portal has so many different capabilities that make my job easier. You can see the amount of work that’s clearly gone into R&M/Portal over the years to get it right.”
MANAGING TRAVELLER SECURITY AND TRIP DATA
R&M/Portal also includes an interactive world map that pinpoints the position of all travellers and provides critical advice tailored to their exact locations to help travel managers keep them safe.
“The traveller tracking on R&M/Portal is fantastic and really important,” Lehane says. “As I’m booking for so many travellers, it’s essential I have a tool where I can quickly find out what trips have been booked for which travellers and when. I simply search for their names and can easily see not only all the trips they’ve been on but their current trips too, as well as have access to their invoices and travel spend.”
AN ONLINE BOOKING TOOL FOR ACROSS THE BUSINESS
As well as access to invoicing within R&M/Portal, clients have access to reporting functions. Lehane adds that the company’s finance team and senior leadership have used the tool, so they can access some of its broader data reporting.
“I also encourage our travellers to use R&M/Mobile, because we’re on full billback and the app gives access to the virtual card,” he says. “The virtual card solves a lot of problems with hotel payments and, for those travelling regularly, it stores all their hotel and flight reservations too.”
SERVICE SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
Being provided with high-level customer service was of equal importance to Lehane and his team as the technology was.
“Initially, I needed some help from Reed & Mackay’s account management with the reporting side,” he says. “Its service can be super helpful for a start point as there’s a lot to manoeuvre and the service aspect of Reed & Mackay is unmatched in the industry.”
NEXT STEPS USING THE TRAVEL ECOSYSTEM
FD Technologies will be looking into how R&M/Protect – part of R&M/Portal – can further work for the business. Wholly owned and serviced in-house by Reed & Mackay, R&M/Protect is a unique travel risk platform powered by global risk intelligence provider WorldAware – part of Crisis24.
At the heart of it is the traveller tracking. Should an incident occur, R&M/Protect issues instant travel alerts across critical platforms such as email, R&M/Mobile and R&M/Portal. Reed & Mackay’s Incident Management Unit is then ready to step in at a moment’s notice to help get travellers to safety.
“As a business we’re looking in greater detail around duty of care and the travel experience; we’re already using the traveller tracking,” Lehane says. “Yet I think there’s so much in the R&M/Protect suite that could work really well for our business, such as its risk reports and information on all the transport and medical aspects, particularly if our travellers are visiting a destination for the first time.
“We’ll also be looking more closely at the sustainable travel options. From R&M/Portal I can get reports showing what airline routes have cost us over the years and can see the trends if they’re becoming more expensive or cheaper. If I’m ever asked by our finance teams how much flights are over a set period, I use the tool to provide a report, which provides excellent visibility.
“You need a concrete technology tool to cope with global travel,” Lehane concludes. “Technology has always been a focus for Reed & Mackay and, since it became part of the Navan group, it’s becoming even better. There’s a lot of exciting things happening for Reed & Mackay technology in 2023, which I’m looking forward to using.”