From negotiating with suppliers to chasing down travelers for expense reports, any business travel manager can tell you how complicated corporate travel management can be. Fortunately, with the right travel platform backed by the best technology, moving from unmanaged to managed travel doesn’t have to be complicated.
To learn more about how TripActions is helping procurement leaders solve these travel management challenges, we spoke with Sarah Toomey and Jeff Kurn of Anaplan — a software company helping large organizations connect the dots between their teams with connected planning. As a leader in their industry, Anaplan takes various organizations within a company that are historically siloed and helps them make data-driven decisions and plans.
As travel and procurement leaders, Sarah and Jeff must solve many of the problems modern travel managers face. In today’s fast-paced, tech-savvy world, travel leaders need to balance the needs of the business with the needs of their travelers, who increasingly expect a tech-forward, people-friendly travel experience.
“The travel manager is usually part of procurement, but also part of HR,” said Jeff Kurn, Global Travel Manager at Anaplan. That dual role means supporting business travelers when they’re completing the initial booking, when they’re traveling, and when they’ve returned back from the trip.”
Although she is considered part of Finance and Operations, Sarah also has a strong employee enablement component to her role. “Part of my objective is to empower employees to successfully navigate our processes, policies, and procedures here on their own.” said Sarah Toomey, Head of Global Procurement at Anaplan.
Prior to TripActions, Sarah and her team struggled to gain visibility into Anaplan’s travel since their travel was largely unmanaged. “I would say our biggest challenge has been lack of visibility, so if our core mission is to connect everybody and to make sure we’re making decisions that are data driven, we weren’t doing that from a travel perspective,” Sarah said. “The biggest thing for us was just getting the information we needed to negotiate better rates. This means that our Finance team can better plan, and managers can ensure that their teams are spending their travel budget responsibly.”
Jeff explains, “From a strategic sourcing perspective we were not able to negotiate as well as we could with the airlines and hotels because we did not have that infrastructure in place to do the preferencing of the suppliers. Travelers themselves were booking independently for the most part, and we didn’t have visibility until we saw their expense reports.”
Anaplan needed all their travel information in a central place to negotiate better rates so the finance team could better plan, managers could more effectively manage their teams and budgets, and teams could budget for travel more responsibly. It was clear they needed to move to a managed travel program.
When searching for travel tools, Sarah and Jeff prioritized a mobile experience for their travelers, quick implementation, personalization, 24/7 traveler support, and a resourceful innovative partner that they could bet on to scale with their business in the future.
“For us, it came down to who we thought could grow with us,” explained Sarah. “Similar to how in the past we’ve wanted customers to take a bet on Anaplan rather than going to one of the more traditional companies, we wanted to follow suit in a similar vein with a more innovative market leader.”
With TripActions, Sarah and Jeff got the quick implementation they wanted. It took just two months from deal close to full on boarding for their team across the Americas.
“I was not disappointed with our implementation,” said Sarah. “I thought we were off the ground very quickly, everything happened very flawlessly, and the experience as a whole seemed very fluid. Anytime we ran into a roadblock it was quickly solved. Not only that, but leadership at TripActions was willing to dive in and help us solve those problems. We got a great travel program live in a very short amount of time.”
“Since bringing on TripActions, we’ve averaged 11 percent savings across all travel,” Jeff said. “I even think this stat is an underestimate. We’re seeing a lot of bookings on rates we never would have seen on other platforms, so true savings is likely much higher than our reported number.” Sarah adds, “We had a third party events management company that charges significantly more than what you guys charge. There were tremendous savings in that switch alone.”
Sarah, Jeff, and the rest of their teams can rest assured they have visibility because of the high rate of adoption they see with TripActions. “We’re just in a much better place today in terms of how much we’re spending, employee experience, and the ability to negotiate deals,” said Jeff. “We have deals with airlines and hotels we would have never gotten before because of TripActions.”
We work closely with our customers to deliver a best-in-class travel experience. Check out some of our other customer stories to learn how TripActions is fast-becoming the default for business travel.