Shaping Construction and Engineering travel: Our FCM heroes redefining innovation 

 Since 2006, Olivera Stojkoski has been a Team Leader at Flight Centre Travel Group, and has worked tirelessly the last 13 years as a dedicated FCM Travel Management Team Leader. During her extensive time as an FCM expert, Oli has seen her fair share of highs in the business travel industry, from technology enhancements and rollouts to customer process implementations, as well as lows, including natural disasters and Qantas' grounding. And through it all, Oli says her priority stayed as communicator between TMC, customer and tech provider.

What’s been a standout travel management solution created by you and your team for an FCM Construction and Engineering client?

My team and I onboarded a leading construction equipment provider with thousands of international, domestic and FIFO travellers over 7 years ago, and they wanted an approval process that spoke to their booking system. The goal was to be compliant and have everything approved in their system, while also removing the paper trail and implementing an automated system. Our team built a bespoke request model together with our technology partner, and with the learning and development team of our client. The project took one year to complete and after a lot of testing and fine-tuning, we got there! Afterwards, we worked with the company’s learning and development team to create a training module for all their travel bookers and self-users. We worked as a team to do that, and it was very successful and helped our client achieve their goal.

Did you overcome any difficulties that arose during this client’s onboarding? 

During COVID recovery, our team was reduced to myself and my coworker, which meant we had to cover longer shifts, just the two of us. But we kept processing refunds, and we continued applying credits on hold. When that same client first came back to us again at the beginning of COVID, they didn’t stop, it was business as normal for them. Within the first five days of coming back onboard with FCM from their previous travel provider, I had their credit on hold list, and it was remarkably high, and they wanted us to reduce that. They had around $90,000, and we reduced that in five days to about $60,000. It was great and the client just loved it. It was something which we are enormously proud of today. And in the last year alone, we've saved them over $500,000 in credits on hold.

How do you and your team foster relationships with clients?

I couldn't do it without my team and that is a big part of it. I work with a wonderful team of 20, who work across 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, to support our customers. Our team makes sure that customers are supported and understood, and that we always have a workaround. Our customers value our opinion and aren't afraid to ask us questions. For us, it’s about education for our clients, and allowing us to make recommendations to save them money. With all our customers, we try to simplify the process, to better the outcome. We’re also mindful that we can't become complacent with our customers, we still have to make sure we're engaging, and keeping them happy. We are at the end of the day, the travel management company and they come to us for some support and guidance.

What does a typical day look like for an FCM Travel Manager? 

I don't think many people really know what goes on in the travel managers' world. There's a lot! We're responsible for troubleshooting everything for our clients, and we need to know every single platform and need to know how to fix it, because we're there to help provide tech support as well. We’re also an important link for customer savings because of our strong relationships with our suppliers, which means we’re able to secure better deals for our customers. We’re also here to rectify customer issues and we always have a workaround because systems do break, and we make sure that our client's business is not impacted.

If you’re a building and construction company that’s not travelling with FCM, it’s time to chat! We know how to develop a travel program tailored for your industry.

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