Case Study: Oil Spill Response
Oil Spill Response
Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) is an industry-owned cooperative which exists to respond effectively to oil spills wherever in the world they may occur. Their membership consists of over 160 environmentally responsible corporations. Besides oil majors, national / independent oil companies, they also have energy-related companies operating elsewhere in the oil supply chain joining as Members.
OSRL are a UK-based, multinational organisation and had previously been using six different travel management companies (TMC) around the world. This fragmented approach to travel management resulted in a lack of visibility of consolidated travel spend, and more importantly, the traveller tracking didn’t link up.
In their main market of the UK, OSRL had reservations about moving away from someone they had held a relationship with for nine years. However, the company had experienced substantial growth in travel since 2009 (272%) due to company expansion and the previous incumbent couldn’t keep up with demand. In going out to RFP, OSRL’s aim was to appoint a single TMC who could manage all aspects of their travel globally and support continued growth and expansion. They also had very clear objectives in particular aspects of their programme.
What was achieved:
Driving strategy through data
Without a consolidated view of travel spend, it was virtually impossible for OSRL to drive policy management or effectively negotiate with suppliers. They had only received quarterly reports from the incumbent, who would provide the data but without recommending strategy.
FCM implemented our proprietary reporting tool which provided OSRL a national, regional or global view of their travel spend and significant insight into their purchasing behaviour and travel patterns across different countries and regions. The tool is flexible and allows OSRL to extract data in accordance with selected criteria and parameters. OSRL are able to access this information 24/7 via a secure, central portal. OSRL’s dedicated account manager, is now able to work with Alice Linley Munro, OSRL’s global travel analyst to identify opportunities to drive cost reduction through supplier negotiation and policy compliance.
In addition, none of the previous incumbents had ever talked to OSRL about using marine fares, which given the nature of their travel, will result in them achieving substantial savings almost immediately.
Travel policy compliance
During the implementation process, OSRL’s dedicated account manager identified opportunities to refine the OSRL travel policy to drive greater compliance at the same time as taking into account the traveller experience. An effective policy should follow the seven Cs: Culture; Care; Content; Comprehensiveness; Control and Compliance. Currently, the OSRL travel policy is lengthy, complicated and in places contradictory. FCM will work with OSRL to produce a clear, concise policy which will be easy to understand and easy to adhere to.
From our first conversations, I could tell that FCM had the right ethos for OSRL. All the way through the RFP process, FCM stood out as understanding Oil Spill and I really believe that together, we are going to make our travel better. There’s a true feeling of collaboration and the team from FCM are open, approachable and so far have made excellent recommendations.
- Alice Linley Munro, OSRL’s global travel analyst
Finance and payment terms
OSRL categorise their travel in two ways ‘War-time’ and ‘Everyday’. FCM therefore set up summary invoicing on a monthly basis separated into ‘Fixed & Direct’ for the ‘Recoverable’ to enable easy differentiation of cost and facilitate oncharging where required. Previously payment had been made using individual credit cards, so setting up summary invoicing created a much easier process for everyone.
In addition, OSRL travellers had encountered problems trying to pay for hotels in Angola with their Amex credit cards. FCM were able to provide a billback solution for Angola with our FCM visacard to facilitate this process. Different countries required different credit terms and payment methods. Some also had specific requirements, eg. Bahrain receives locally issued invoices in local currency, which are also sent to the UK, converted and billed to Oil Spill in the UK.
Traveller tracking, safety and Emergency Assist
OSRL have to be able to respond to an oil spill instantly. When they need to mobilise a team they require instant turnaround for travel as the OSRL team on call have to be ready to go within an hour. Both OSRL’s dedicated day team and our out of hours team, FCM Emergency Assist, have been able to fulfil this requirement.
"We get a really swift response and loads of choices from FCM," says Alice. It’s also important for OSRL to be able to track and locate all their travellers at any given time to support their duty of care and ensure the safety and security of their employees. Traveller tracking is available to OSRL through the FCM reporting tool.
In the original RFP, OSRL had included requirements for the implementation of an online booking tool (OBT). During the discovery process, FCM identified that the OSRL travel profile would derive greater benefit from offline service than an online tool. With the exception of Norway, it was mutually agreed to wait for a period of time and then review the requirements for an OBT. An OBT was implemented in Norway due to the type of travel and regional preferences.
To further assist OSRL with streamlining their processes, FCM implemented our platform, a single gateway through which OSRL can swiftly access all elements of their travel programme. FCM's platform is a secure, web-based platform which allows OSRL to manage all their traveller profiles (previously very much a paper process). It also houses key information including contact details for their dedicated booking team, travel policy, a travel alerts feed and can be customised to provide links to a range of additional travel, weather and destination information.
FCM 's duty of care capabilities are also accessed via the platform and should it ultimately be determined an OBT is required for OSRL, this will be connected via the platform as well.
“My job is so much easier since FCM came on board – we’ve had good feedback from the other countries and whereas I frequently heard from them in the past when there were issues, I now hardly hear from them at all.”
- Alice Linley Munro
As it was the first time OSRL had a global supplier, the challenge was to ‘sell’ FCM as the new provider after such a long period with the previous incumbent. OSRL had to strike the balance between the UK office leading the project yet not dominating the other regions so they didn’t seem as if the change was being ‘imposed’ on them. From discovery phase through to go live, we operate to a proven blueprint which involves an initial meeting at the client’s premises, weekly meetings, a robust action plan and designated checkpoints which ensures every process, policy, person or system is covered. The strategy with OSRL was to go live in the UK first to ensure everything was up and running as smoothly as possible so any refinements could be made prior to rolling out OSRL operations in other countries.
FCM capped off the implementation process with road shows in both the UK and Singapore. This is an on site visit with the travel team to start building relationships, get to know the key bookers and travellers and answer any questions the extended OSRL team may have. FCM create tailored invitations and collateral for these road shows to promote the upcoming visit and assist in generating a feeling of positive anticipation for the change. Alice Linley Munro said, “The road show was excellent and well received by my bookers. In addition, the travellers who popped in to say hello passed on feedback that it was great to put faces to names."
FCM was able to help Alice across her entire programme. She has visibility over OSRL's travel spend and where travellers are. Booking guidelines that are right for that market have been rolled out, which has not only helped tighten the programme but boosted the knowledge of business travel policy and procedures.