The key to a successful implementation is planning, communication and rigorous attention to detail. Through understanding your business objectives and investing time at the start of the programme, a successful implementation programme brings real benefits to the long term business relationship by building strong foundations.
When going out to tender, GMG identified several challenges in relation to varying customer service experiences, risk management and inconsistent pricing which resulted in leakage and a compliance level of only 42%.
This level of leakage meant that the incumbent TMC was further unable to deliver meaningful management information as the data only reflected part of the story. The resulting lack of visibility gave GMG no clear picture of their true spend or insight into their travel programme. Without this critical view GMG were unable to take full control of their travel spend and drive compliance.
Non-compliance and lack of management information impacted GMG further in the following ways:
- An inability to effectively monitor the whereabouts of their travellers, and make contingent travel arrangements in the event of severe disruptions to service (e.g. as a result of terrorist activity, industrial disputes, severe weather, ash cloud etc)
- Difficulty in monitoring GMG’s environmental impact from business travel
- Lack of management information and therefore the ability to identify opportunities for savings as well as efficiency
- GMG’s leverage being eroded and their ability to achieve better rates through consolidated volume diminished
FCM consulted with GMG to identify and understand their key business objectives.
FCM provided the best solution available to its clients as we do not subscribe to a one size fits all approach. Instead, we carefully considered which range of booking solutions was most appropriate and produced a bespoke solution to meet GMG’s specific needs.
The key element behind the success of FCM’s recommendations was the ability for GMG to mandate travel policy whilst managing resistance to change from the shift of booking travel from the travel booker to the actual traveller.
It was agreed that GMG’s immediate priorities and therefore those to be specifically addressed during implementation were:
- Effective booking process
- Traveller tracking
- Data analysis to identify missed savings
In order to manage the implementation, a project team was created work with Gmg on customisation of our service proposition, update of travel policy, training and reporting functionality. FCM took a very structured approach to implementation. The Account Manager for GMG drew upon our experience of implementing in similar situations and assumed the role of project manager. Throughout, weekly calls were held along with monthly face to face meetings to keep the momentum going.
“The implementation process was smooth and structured, with a partnership of our and FCM’s staff working together to introduce: new travel policy, online booking tools and re-examining reporting to make sure meaningful data could be used strategically. The partnership approach ensured our bookers were able to influence and provide vital feedback of the new booking process whilst creating a platform to establish buy-in and resulting in successful training and roll out.”
Paula Tsung, Head of Workplace and Sustainability, Guardian News & Media
Keys to success
FCM’s Blueprint Implementation Programme ensured continual tracking of the integral action points required to ensure a seamless integration to FCM as the travel management provider.
Key to the success of the implementation was engaging with GMG travellers on the process and having key stakeholders in place to drive it as well from their end. Pilot group training and testing is an important element to ensure any variances are taken into account. Every client is very different and FCM tailors our approach to deliver a relevant and meaningful solution.
Roadshows were then conducted by the FCM team, which involved informing GMG travel bookers; the reasons for selecting FCM as TMC; updates to travel policy, and how the FCM servicing solution was built around their organisation’s particular requirements.
In addition, FCM conducted onsite training for the online booking tool as well as defining the circumstances and type of travel most suited to utilising the expertise of their dedicated booking team.
Online adoption has reached its optimum level of 85% with the remaining 15% of bookings being related to travel which requires the expertise of a travel consultant.
By operating a blended booking model, FCM ensured GMG achieved greater travel efficiency through using an automated system when it made sense and could draw upon the knowledge and experience of their dedicated booking team when required.
FCM has worked in partnership with GMG creating a successful travel programme building on the foundations of a robust implementation plan. This has resulted in:
- Consistently excellent customer experience
- Clear and measurable savings and greater control
- Assistance with duty of care to travellers
- Implementation of a sustainable travel policy
- Achievement of targeted online adoption rate