How engineering firm, Bechtel Corporation, challenged travel partners to launch a first-of-its-kind NDC pilot program
This is a story of innovation through collaboration…
…and making the complex achievable. It all started when David Weaver, Bechtel Corporation’s travel manager, took his travelers’ feedback to heart – why couldn’t their corporate booking experience better reflect a consumer one? David decided to take up the challenge and investigate if New Distribution Capability (NDC) could help fill the gaps in experience.
After finding that his travel management company (TMC) at the time could not meet his expectations, David decided it was time for a detailed technical review process from other TMCs. “It narrowed things down to who was serious enough to go on this path,” David said. “We needed parties with the same goals.” Travelfusion was selected as the content aggregator, SAP Concur
as the OBT, and United Airlines as the key supplier. After a lengthy review process David selected FCM as his new TMC, and new life was breathed into the project.
It takes a lot of guts and a lot of foresight to realize that the days of working with a single point of sale are gone […] We need pioneers, and we were delighted to work with a partner like David.
- Tom Wilkinson, Director of Distribution & NDC, SAP Concur
Setting goals for the NDC pilot program
NDC continues to be a hot topic in 2023 – and for good reason, given its potential for improved traveler experience. But difficulties with accessing fares via traditional distribution channels are well known. FCM and David worked together to take a pilot approach into Bechtel’s program – after three months of planning, design and configuration – with the help of travelers who demonstrated “high tolerance for variability.” Insights into the traveler experience was crucial to David. Fortunately everyone he asked to participate said yes.
From phase one to phase two
Milestones reached in phase one included:
Purchasing bundles via Travelfusion
Traveler entitlement recognition
Duty of care process
By David’s standards, phase one was a success. So much so that he awarded FCM, United, and SAP Concur each a Bechtel Coin that says “vision, value, and commitments” recognizing them as three partners that embody these values.
Phase two is focused on testing with Concur and Sabre, to explore truly scalable global solutions, which can encompass additional airlines and markets. While there are still many hurdles to overcome, including seamless servicing and scaling the solution across other carriers, the achievements made so far in the pilot program are a testament to the power of productive partnerships and what’s possible when it comes to evolving the traveler experience.
We’ve done some great things, and there is still more work ahead, but we do want to share what we’ve accomplished, all through the cooperation of partners.
– David Weaver, Travel Manager, Bechtel Corporation
Read the full story
While great progress had been made and Bechtel’s visions were realized, there’s still some work to go. Read onward for more details on how FCM helped Bechtel’s aspirations become reality as well as what lies ahead.
Become a travel program challenger
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