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Web-based Corporate travel services

I am interested in what others have used for low-end web-based corporate travel solutions.   One of our portfolio companies doesn't want to make much of an investment in a solution (time or expense) but has asked how we might set up corporate travel where the 'corporate travel policy' can be embodied into a web-based service without the major setup commitment to something like Concur or Rearden.

I have used Concur Technologies and find it very effective and I also understand that Rearden Commerce is great as well (but there may be a political conflict there with a Board member...)

SO far the ideas have run from "Make everybody use Expedia or Travelocity", to finding an agency that uses Cliqbook (which I have not used in a few years), to engaging a large outside agency such as Casto or Carlson-Wagonlit (which are seen as too big for the small 40-person company to want to engage in.)

What have others used with success, and where the fees tacked on to the travel are all that you have to pay?

Keith

Answers

Simon Westbrook
Title: CFO
Company: Aargo Inc.
( CFO, Aargo Inc.) |

There are other solutions in the market in addition to Rearden such as Egencia (Expedia Business). Both of these feed into expense solutions such as SutiExpense. They seem to provide more flexibility for small to
medium sized companies than a Cliqbook/Concur solution.

William Breaden
Title: Executive VP CFO / Treasurer
Company: ServCo LLC
(Executive VP CFO / Treasurer, ServCo LLC) |

I'll start with I am both a service provider who consults on procurement for PE Groups in indirect expenses catagories (www.ServCoLLC.net) and a user as a CFO with 15 years of experience as a CFO / CEO. My suggestion is a smaller / but nationally based travel agency. You are correct that Carlson and such are too big and won't provide you the time. However, if you are doing $100K+ in travel annually, you can get the attention and guidance of a mid-level travel agency that has both web based and white glove service levels and fees that corrolate to the service level you desire. Controls are also available and they will help you with your travel policy.

Feel free to reach out to me if you desire more information.

wbreadenatservcollc [dot] net

Bill

Topic Expert
Mark Sphar
Title: Chief Accounting Officer
Company: Veracity Payment Solutions
(Chief Accounting Officer, Veracity Payment Solutions) |

In agreement with William above. We use a mid-tier travel agency that OEM's the Rearden platform at a per-use fee to us. Set up was free. Cheaper than calling the travel agency directly to book and not so high a per-use fee that us finance guys cringe. Happy to disclose our east coast agency if you wish.
Good luck

Ted Barowich
Title: Director
Company: In-Between
(Director, In-Between) |

One of the last projects I worked on at my previous company was the selection and installation of a TMC for just the reasons you indicated. We narrowed it to Egencia and American Express Corporate Travel (Rearden platform). Travel budget was about 3M for about 150 travlers, spanning airfare, car rental and lodging. The company chose AMEX because of its credit card relationship, and internal commitment in building the site was about 6-8 weeks, and that is where the bulk of the policy decisions can be established (and some NEW ones implemented) to gain increased control. In the selection process we were treated well by both finalists. I can provide further insight and contact names for both if interested, and they certainly can direct you depending on where you are located, and the nature of your travel needs.

Scott Wallingford
Title: VP Corporate Strategy
Company: Sabre Holdings / Travelocity
(VP Corporate Strategy, Sabre Holdings / Travelocity) |

Most medium-sized travel agencies will have re-seller relationships for Rearden, GetThere, etc., so you can have access to online tools and a high(er) touch local agency. A simple solution is Travelocity Business or Egencia, where they have the online tools, touchless processing, low fees, call center service and reporting. These iTMCs are great easy to implement solutions if you want ease of set-up and solid technology (including mobile capabilities) and integrate with any expense management solution. Fundamentally, will depend on the complexity of travel you do (more complex typically needs agent help - multi-stop overseas travel). Online adoptions are quite high, which keeps cost down.

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