Category Archives: Travel Management

A Millennial Friendly Travel Policy?

Millennial travel policy

While attending the GBTA Convention in Boston this past month, I was both expectant but still a little surprised about the buzz around the concept of millennial business travelers. After all, millennials have been in the workplace for roughly 15 years. During this time, this generation is still inspiring new ideas to pop up.  While there, I attended a couple of education sessions focused on travel policy. One session that I found particularly interesting, featured a panel of two travel managers.  They presented and answered questions on their individual company’s travel policies, including millennial travelers.

Millennial Friendly Travel Policy

• There is a common assumption that millennial travelers are collaborative and like big open public lobby spaces where they can relax and catch up on work. Actually, some are introverts and still appreciate having a work station in their hotel room.
• Millennials have a need to personalize everything and are more likely to dine out in a unique restaurant or go sightseeing on a business trip. It tends all about the experience for these travelers but, as this generation gets older and takes on more personal and familial responsibility, we might begin to see a shift in the “bleisure” time.
• Millennial travelers are 60% more likely to pay for an upgraded hotel room or seat on their flight. This one is actually true and they seem to be willing to treat their comfort as a personal expense.
All of this comes down to one word- OPTIONS. Build a policy that works for your company, is good for your bottom line and vendor relationships but also provides your travelers a few options and you will have happy travelers.

 

Christopherson and Domo Partnership

Christopherson-Domo-app

At Christopherson, we’ve built a reputation of being the most innovative, technologically-savvy TMC in the industry. Whether we build it ourselves or integrate with other cutting-edge companies, we are committed to being the first in travel technology and a leader in delivering our clients digital tools to solve their problems. Which is why we are excited to announce our latest solution for busy companies and their employees. Christopherson Business Travel and Domo, a business analytics company, have paired up to streamline travel management data. Using Domo’s ability to quickly turn data into insights, and our technology suite to enhance your travel program, we’re again the first to bring unparalleled service to business travel.

Christopherson and Domo—bringing two leaders together

Domo connects directly to any source of data to streamline its reporting. It can combine, cleanse, and transform data in a flash, uncovering insights in just a few clicks. It allows users to visualize and share data across your organization with ease.

Christopherson and Domo have a multifaceted relationship. We have been using Domo to provide actionable insights for our own business for four years. And we are Domo’s premier travel management company. With a symbiotic relationship like ours, it was only inevitable that we would build something great together.

As the first travel management app developer within their ecosystem, the possibilities to integrate were intriguing. Domo and our travel management software, AirPortal, now integrate at ten different data sources. These ten Domo data connectors help us to gain valuable insight and answer questions with intuitive data exploration and filtering. Our account managers receive alerts when a client’s travel spend makes a significant change, up or down. Our sales team and our OPs managers are also able to make smarter, faster decisions to improve their business results. 

Introducing our Domo-Partnered Apps:

We’re excited about our three new Domo Partner apps that will be released at the Global Business Travel Association Convention this week. The first in an ongoing series of apps, they pinpoint managed travel frustrations and easily finds solutions.  

Travel Leakage Analyzer

This app provides insight into travel spend, revealing pieces previously hidden.  It integrates directly to a feed from a our Airportal, a general ledger, or Concur Expense, and compares it to bookings made through Christopherson. From there it analyzes travel compliance, and more importantly, finds non-compliance. The drill down functionality also allows you to be as granular as needed. With this tool, you can understand your entire picture of compliance, and know where to start to change it around.

Travel Map Insights

With this app you can effectively determine the best locations for future hotel RFPs, based upon a real time data. By looking at hotel locations, total room nights, average daily rate and total spend, your travel manager can make a more informed decision to future vendor negations. Travel managers will be able to easily see and sort the data to make better decisions.

Travel Analytics

This is a set of apps offering powerful analytics tools to travel managers. It accesses their data in real-time, making it fast and simple to gleen powerful insights for travel executives and managers.

The Christopherson and Domo Relationship  

Premiering at GBTA, this is just the first of an exciting future for powerful and real-time solutions in the travel management industry. With our powerful travel technology suite, coupled with Domo’s cloud-based analysis system, the potential to revolutionize travel management headaches are endless. If you are attending the GBTA convention in Boston this week, we invite you to join us at booth 1175. We will be demo-ing our  integrated apps with Domo, as well as exciting updates to our AirPortal 360 suite. Hope to see you there!

Enterprise/National as a Ground Transportation Supplier

To be effective, corporate travel programs require many moving parts. One critical area involves nurturing wonderful supplier relationships, including ground transportation. We’ve found that Enterprise/National offers customized benefits for many of our clients.

Customized benefits from Enterprise/National:

  • Dual Brand Agreement (National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car).       Programs are customized and negotiated based on the company’s specific travel patterns and traveler needs.
  • One loyalty number “Emerald Club” that is provided and works for both brands globally.
  • Global Billing options are available.
  • Local Account Management and support provided for any customized agreement.
  • 100% location compliance with corporate pricing.
  • Supporting lines of business that can help with other areas of ground transportation: Enterprise RideShare, Enterprise CarShare, Enterprise Fleet Management, Enterprise Truck Rental, Exotics by Enterprise, Enterprise Car Sales.

Christopherson Business Travel maintains excellent communication with the many Enterprise/National Representatives throughout the country.  If you need a referral to the right contact in your area, please allow us to be your resource for making an introduction.

We’ve spent the last 60 years dedicated to finding travel management solutions for busy companies. From customized travel programs to advanced technology, we provide peace of mind. Contact us to learn more about how Christopherson, along with our preferred partners, and assist you with your travel needs.

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How Do TMCs Assist Travelers?

How-TMCs-Help-Travelers

On our blog, we often talk about the benefits of a managed travel program for corporations.  But what about the traveler?  Whether traveling every single week or only once a year, a company’s managed travel program should assist travelers as well.

Traveling itself is taxing. And that’s not even counting in the stress from meetings, staying on top of emails and time management. We support companies, but more importantly their employees, with the eccentricities of travel. Christopherson provides  a wealth of essential resources, just for travelers.

How Christopherson assists travelers:

  • One-stop Shopping. Book your air, hotel and car from one source.  All discounts and negotiated rates are at your fingertips.
  • Guaranteed Lowest Fare. The traveler will receive a refund if a lower fare is found that meets the same qualifications as the original fare.
  • Afterhours. Christopherson is available 24/7  You will receive experienced, efficient, and courteous support round the clock, no matter where they are in the world.
  • Unused Ticket Tracking. Unused tickets are tracked and made available to you immediately upon cancellation of the original ticket.
  • Traveler Profile. Avoid wasted time and hassle of having to communicate or re-entering your unique travel preferences every time you book your travel.

You have enough on your plate. We cover the tiny details of travel so you can focus on the more important items.

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Christopherson Business Travel is an award-winning travel management company with more that 60 years of experience.  From our custom-built technology to our experts employees, we’ve succeeded by providing superior support for all the unique problems travel hands out. If you think your company could benefit from additional travel management solutions, contact us today.

Surviving a One-Day Buisness Trip

Surviving a one day business trip

We are all so busy that, at times, a one-day business trip can have a lot of benefits. First, it saves your company money on an overnight in a hotel. Second, it takes less time away from any personal and professional duties and can make a person more productive. While the benefits are strong, the concept of doing such a trip can be daunting to some people.

Tips to surviving a one-day business trip:

1) Stay healthy. Catching an early flight, attending meetings, and then catching another flight at the end of the day is exhausting. Combat this by drinking plenty of water and eating healthy to ensure you have plenty of energy to get you through the day.
2) Dress comfortably. Without access to a hotel, you will need to wear business clothes for the entire day. Invest in some that are wrinkle free and wear comfortable shoes.
3) Pack a small “what if” bag. You’ll need to be prepared in the event that you need to stay over. Extra undergarments, travel sized toiletries and a toothbrush can put your mind at ease.
4) Take advantage of any travel perks. If you have access to an airport lounge or a business center, these can be a great place to catch up on work. If you don’t have such access, you may consider using your extra time to enjoy your destination for an hour or two.
5) Lastly, if your trip includes a red- eye flight, you might consider purchasing an upgrade to ensure you get enough sleep to continue to be productive once you land.

A one-day business trip is eventually inevitable for most professionals.  But if you tackle it strategically, you can walk away with a productive and energetic day under your belt.

Christopherson’s Simple Implementation Process From Public Travel Sites

For several years, Christopherson has outlined all of the reasons why companies should use a travel agency.  We’ve outlined why public travel sites don’t work.  But what we haven’t talked about is just how simple it is to make a change to a “managed” program.

Christopherson’s managed travel implementation is simple

In some instances, companies know they need to make the change, but they’re worried it’ll take too much time and too many resources.  Will IT need to be involved?  Who will communicate the change to the travelers?  Building a custom online booking site sounds daunting.  Is it?  How do we get the travelers to use the new system?

It’s actually very easy. Christopherson Business Travel can implement a brand new program in less that 2 weeks.  We’ve been implementing accounts for decades and we have the process down to a science!  No, your IT department does not need to be involved.  Our online booking tools are web-based so there is no pull on your internal systems.  Let’s take this step-by-step:

Frequently asked questions about our implementation process

Who will communicate the change to the travelers?  Christopherson has a plethora of sample communication letters for you to wordsmith.  It’s best to have this communication come from the CEO or President, but we provide you all the content you need.

How long does it take?  2 weeks! And we hand hold you through the entire process.  After the initial implementation call (see below), we schedule as many follow up calls as needed for a simple, on-time roll out.

What goes into building a custom online booking tool site?  The first implementation call will take 30-60 minutes.  Our account managers will provide you a check list of items needed (including form of payment, policy info, hotel contracts, car rental agreement numbers, etc., when applicable).  Then, our gurus in the in-house Online Support team does the rest. The site is built, tested, and ready to go.

Who trains the travelers?  We do!  Depending on the size and number of locations, we customize training based on your needs.  In most cases, a 30-60 minute GoToMeeting is all it takes.  Need more training?  No problem.  That’s what we are here for.

There will be many complex systems you’ll need to implement for your company.  Travel isn’t one of them.  As one of our account managers says, “It isn’t rocket science”.

Let us outline how we can get your company on the path to better financial controls, travel policy adherence, safety and efficiency in as little as two weeks.  And remember, we do all the heavy lifting.

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Why Universities Use TMCs

Why-Universities-Use-TMCs

When I tell people what I do for a living, they always look surprised when I mention working with universities and higher education. Because Christopherson Business Travel has the word ‘business’ in its name, it’s easy to assume that that’s our only client base. The truth is that colleges and universities need as much travel management as corporations. Here is why many institutions of higher education choose to take travel off of their own shoulders and work with a TMC:

Reasons universities work with travel management companies (TMCs)

1) Universities often have many departments. All of those departments can be a lot for one person or one department to manage. The average university travel program includes; athletics, faculty and staff business travel, study abroad/ student trips and groups. This means at any one time, a university has dozens of people, with varying ages and levels of travel experience on the road. Christopherson employs a University Travel Team of agents who are highly experienced in booking all segments of university travel.

2) As an employer, a university has a duty to ensure the safety of their travelers. This is where we come in. With SecurityLogic, which is housed in our proprietary AirPortal 360 technology, travel arrangers are able to stay informed of the location and security of all travelers. SecurityLogic is a dynamic reporting and communication tool created to facilitate your duty of care responsibilities.

3) Keeping payment methods secure. It is very rare that all university travelers will have their own university specific credit card. So it is quite common for schools to elect to use a departmental card, or ghost card, to be utilized by several travelers. With Christopherson, regardless of your payment configuration, the appropriate card is stored in the Traveler Profile. Once it is stored, it is masked for your protection.

4) 24/7/365 agent access. Things happen when your travelers are on the road and we are here to help your travelers find options. Between our University Team of Agents and our after- hours support, we have you covered.

5) Consultative account management. Managing a university travel program can be a daunting task and you want someone in your corner with more than just a little experience. Our highly experienced account managers take a consultative approach in ensuring the success of your program.

Christopherson Business Travel has been successfully fulfilling the travel needs of higher education clients for more than 30 years and currently manages travel programs for more than 30 colleges and universities.

CV Travel Is A Humanitarian Travel Lifesaver

humanitarian travelRose Pylidis, a Christopherson Business Travel Executive, volunteers her time with a humanitarian organization in South Africa every year. Their goal is to create awareness and funding for food, clothing, shelter and education for women and children affected by poverty, abandonment and HIV/Aids. She flies out every year, bags in tow, to visit places such as Mabopane and Makanyane to volunteer her time and energy.

Rose has been volunteering with this non-profit for 16 years, but this is her first time traveling with the help of CV Travel, a recently acquired Christopherson Andavo company. Specializing in humanitarian travel and faith-based travel, they organize travel and provide travel support. This is Rose’s recent experience traveling with their help.

Humanitarian travel with CV Travel

How did you book travel before using CV Travel? 

Normally I would just book my trips via the Delta website.  This time, I used CV Travel to book my trip. They took care of everything!  In addition to the discount pricing, the thing I most appreciated was the ability to take 3 pieces of luggage per person.  With six of us in the group, that enabled us to bring much-needed clothing for women, children, and babies, as well as additional school supplies.
What info did you need to provide CV Travel? 

What I so appreciated was their ability to offer us different flight options/pricing within 2-3 day arrival/departure variable.  All she needed was our names as they appeared on our passports to hold the space and then we had several weeks before we had to make the final payment.

How was it different than how you previously booked humanitarian travel? I had such

I had such peace of mind knowing that I could contact CV Travel with any questions or possible changes.  Also, the fact that everyone in our party was able to take 3 suitcases at no additional charge.

Do you have any humanitarian travel tips for others?

On a personal note, I do keep a checklist for my international trips and always make sure to include an adaptor for charging phones, computers, etc.   Also, I spray colloidal silver on any surface that will be used to put my food on, especially the tray on the airlines, as well as spray some in my mouth.   Regardless of the area, I always make sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray.   Another important thing to consider is to take clothes that can be layered.  Also, closed-toes shoes are important.   Even though bottled water is normally available, it wouldn’t hurt to take some type of water purification device, even iodine tablets.    For humanitarian purposes, packing items that don’t require a lot of space or don’t weigh much including – stickers, socks, toothbrushes, washcloths, hair ribbons and postcards from your local area. They love seeing where you come from and understanding how other people live.

Christopherson Andavo Travel is a full-service travel company, providing assistance with corporate, leisure, and humanitarian travel management. Contact us to arrange your next excursion.

The Overlooked Factor In Efficient Travel Programs

efficient travel programs

In February, the GBTA- North Carolina chapter had the pleasure of hosting Scott Gillespie, a true travel management thought leader.  Mr. Gillepsie is the CEO of t-Clara and frequent contributor to Business Travel News. His presentation focused on a question travel managers often find themselves thinking – how do I gauge success with my travel management process?

Identifying the difference in efficient travel programs

Gillespie based his findings from a recent study, sponsored by ARC, American Express Global Business Travel, and his firm, tClara.  Participants were 700 US-based road warriors who answered questions about their company’s travel policy. The questions focused on if their travel management policies emphasized convenience or budget.

Not surprisingly, travelers operating under strict cost-focused travel programs tended to be more dissatisfied. They admitted to nearly 13% less compliance with their travel policies. They also indicated a 15% higher rate of burn-out and were significantly less willing to travel within two years time.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, travelers with companies that had convenience-based travel policies tended to be more productive on the road and had an overall better outlook about their jobs.

What travel managers should also be measuring:

So are these companies specifically prioritizing cost over the wellbeing of their employees? Of course not! Most companies just aren’t measuring employee satisfaction as a KPI. Gillepsie advised that each travel manager obtain an employee turnover report for employees in traveling roles from their HR department. Getting insights on high turnover rate is the first step to see if adjustments to the travel policy to result in higher employee retention. From there, it may make sense to look at other priorities for travel policies than budget.

Read Scott Gillepsie’s article for other key performance indicators and details on the survey.

 

With our 24/7 service, online support and exceptional service delivered by our travel agents, Christopherson helps ease any challenges that occur when your travelers on the road. In addition, your consultative account manager will assist you in making the necessary changes to your travel policy to decrease traveler dissatisfaction and increase productivity!

Christopherson Business Travel and your Risk Management Program

Risk-Management

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Charles Brossman, a prominent risk management author and consultant speak at GBTA- North Carolina’s Education Breakfast. His informal but informative conversation educated our group on the legal terms associated with risk management. These terms, coupled with real- life examples, left us thinking about ways to improve the risk management programs for our own organizations.

How Christopherson provides risk management security

Guess what? By partnering with Christopherson as your Travel Management Company, you already have the shoe on the right foot. Housed in our AirPortal 360 platform, SecurityLogic allows travel managers can access real-time threats. This includes security updates, weather, traffic, airport delays, and disaster alerts. These alerts can be automatically pushed to travelers via text and email. With the intuitive Safety Check feature, you can request safety verification from your travelers, from anywhere in the world. Once activated, the traveler will immediately be messaged. Knowing that you are worried about their safety and they can also quickly respond. Additionally, SecurityLogic provides multiple global map overlays. All travel information is geocoded to street-level accuracy. So you can zoom into any country, city, or street to find risks near your travelers.
Learn more about how Christopherson can assist with your duty of care and risk management goals.

Charles Brossman is the author of the book “Building a Travel Risk Management Program: Traveler Safety and Duty of Care for Any Organization”. For more information on Charles Brossman and his services, see his website.

Christopherson Business Travel provides full-service travel management for companies. With advanced technology and customized service, we are one of the top TMCs in the nation. Contact us to learn how we can save your company time and money on future travel.