Written on December 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm, by Concur
When it comes to things like hotel rooms and car rentals, a lot of corporate travel managers out there already know some employees are deciding to book these items outside of their travel booking tool. Sometimes, employees can find a better travel option or more competitive prices and benefits when they let their fingers do some worldwide web walking. And while companies are sure to appreciate the intention of their employees to try and save money, what isn’t working out so well is the “leakage” surrounding this otherwise best-intentioned behavior.
Why? Just ask a corporate travel or finance manager. First, they work hard to get those all-important corporate negotiated rates with their suppliers. They don’t just prefer that employees work within their corporate booking tool to get those rates; oftentimes it’s a policy requirement. Second, companies need visibility into how and where that money gets spent. Going outside the booking tool means that companies can lose money, even as employees are trying to save it. And finally, with no visibility into all of these plans made outside of the booking tool, companies are exposed to a whole host of issues around duty-of-care.
So what to do? It’s a question that the industry is asking. And it’s a question that Concur wants to help answer.
A few weeks ago, Mike Koetting, EVP Supplier Management at Concur had the chance to talk about Open Booking – Concur’s solution for this industry-wide challenge – at the PhocusWright Travel Innovation Summit. As he explains in the video, “Employees who work for a company with a managed travel program know there’s only one approved way to book their travel: through a travel management company (TMC) and a global distribution system (GDS). Unfortunately that narrow process doesn’t reflect the reality of today. Corporate travelers are frustrated by the inefficiencies. They’re frustrated that they can’t shop and book where they want. We know corporate travelers are frustrated because half of them are breaking policy and booking outside of their program.”
Concur believes it is possible to bring new efficiencies to the traditional model while also giving travelers the freedom they desire with Open Booking. And a big part of Open Booking is its ability to aggregate information and data no matter where it comes from and get it to flow back into the booking tool – thanks to the partnerships Concur has with travel suppliers. Right now Avis is helping to define how this will work.
Curious about how? Check out the video below of Mike’s presentation with Buddy Altus, VP of Distribution for Avis Budget Group. You might be particularly interested to see the solution in action at 4:50. Open Booking is still in the demo phase, so the screen shots you’ll see in the background aren’t exactly how the whole thing will look in the end. Still, it will give you a pretty good idea of what’s possible.
Better experience for the traveler. Better experience for travel managers. And a better experience for travel management companies. That’s exactly what we’re after with Open Booking.
Are you a travel supplier interested in working with Concur to capture information that can flow back to the booking tool? Find out more here.
Whether you’re a travel or finance manager, or you work for a travel management company, if you have an idea or a recommendation around Open Booking we’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.