Case study: St Vincent de Paul Society consolidates travel program

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In partnership with FCM since 2019

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200+ travellers

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$25k airfare savings in six months

Background

St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies) NSW employs 2000 people across a diverse range of roles from social workers and health experts to IT and store managers. The not-for-profit organisation advocates for and supports people impacted by issues such as homelessness, poverty and displacement.

The NSW division of Vinnies partnered with FCM in January 2019. Prior to the relationship, the not-for-profit organisation had been booking its business travel through several different travel agencies throughout the state. Across NSW Vinnies has over 200 employees that travel for work to attend meetings, training or conduct client visits. Most of the organisation’s travel is domestic with a large portion of the travel into regional NSW.

The organisation has a team of seven travel bookers who book on behalf of all NSW travellers as well as a Head of Procurement who oversees the travel category.

The travel partnership

In June 2018, Vinnies joined the Church Resources’ network and subsequently was introduced to FCM as one of the network’s preferred travel suppliers. Since then they have worked hard to improve their program for greater efficiencies.

Air travel

Working with FCM and Church Resources, Vinnies has ensured the negotiated airfares available through the Church Resources network are easy to access by its travel bookers, who have been provided training on how to access and book specific fare types.

Vinnies employees also have access to discounted airline lounge memberships from Virgin Australia and Qantas, through the Church Resources’ network.

Car hire

As a not-for profit Vinnies utilises industry specific rates for its vehicle hire, enabling the organisation to tap into lower rates. The organisation’s travel policy also recommends travellers book a smaller car category where possible and refuel vehicles before returning cars to the depot.

Accommodation

Vinnies access industry specific rates for its hotel accommodation and have access to FCM’s and Church Resources negotiated rates. FCM has loaded the regional properties that are frequently booked by Vinnies’ travellers into their online booking tool.

Travel management

Since partnering with FCM, Vinnies has implemented a new online booking tool, trained their travel bookers on new processes and effectively handled the change management process internally. Key to their partnership with FCM has been:

  • FCM’s account manager who provides strategic program advice
  • Implementation of a customised online booking tool (OBT) and HUB
  • Travel reporting and quarterly program reviews with key stakeholders at Vinnies.

The results:

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$25,000 in airfare savings in six months through Church Resources’ discounts
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The OBT has consolidated Vinnies’ travel bookings
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A customised OBT makes it easy for travellers to book their frequently visited regional properties
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Reporting has provided clarity on the key areas to focus on for program improvement
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Implementation of the HUB has centralised Vinnies’ travel management
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Increased visibility into travel bookings has strengthened Vinnies’ duty of care program.
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Previously we had multiple travel agencies throughout NSW, but now we have consolidated our bookings with FCM and use Church Resources…we are achieving greater financial benefits for travel than we would have on our own.”

Linda Eames

Head of Procurement

St Vincent de Paul Society NSW

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