Business travel — from the booking process, to actually traveling, to wrangling expenses after the fact — can be a pain for any organization, made even more painful when a company is experiencing high growth. With the right tech-forward corporate travel solution in-tow, enterprises moving fast can leverage effortless business travel to keep their organizations moving up and to the right.
TripActions recently sat down with Branch’s Kevin Hong, Senior Financial Analyst, and Tae Kim, Head of East Coast Sales, to learn more about how Branch relieved travel pains to help close business faster. Branch is a fast-growing company solving for digital fragmentation by offering a new way to unify marketing attribution and user experiences across platforms, channels, and devices. Branch optimizes every digital touchpoint for engagement and conversions, helping mobile teams offer more personalized cross-platform experiences and maximize marketing campaign impact.
“At Branch, our biggest value is ‘customers first.’ We’re willing to — on the drop of a dime — hop on a plane and visit a customer if need be,” said Tae Kim, Head of East Coast Sales at Branch.
Branch doubled their number of office locations in less than a year, which in and of itself is a tall order for any organization. Adding business travel management on top of day-to-day processes proved to be a challenge. Many of the challenges Branch faced when it came to travel could be traced back to their legacy TMC. In addition to the high international airfare rates and uninspired reporting functionality, it was also described as being “clunky”, “unintuitive”, and “not user friendly”.
Kevin Hong, Senior Financial Analyst for Branch, sums it up succinctly, “Simply put, our old corporate travel system was a hassle for everyone to use, and we in Finance could not, in good conscience, ask people to use it.”
In addition to discouraging traveler adoption, Branch’s previous solution did not have the flexibility, nor the fast-paced, customer-first mentality the company required. For instance, as a road warrior, Tae has to travel frequently, spontaneously, and often last-minute. The simple planning of a trip shouldn’t be a hassle, especially when the organization’s business model relies on these in-person connections.
“Trying to book on the fly was pretty difficult, simply because the overall experience wasn’t great,” said Tae. “I dreaded taking trips, not because of the customers, but because our corporate travel booking tool was so difficult to use.”
Clearly, Branch needed a new travel platform. After attempting to negotiate with their existing provider, Branch also looked to other TMCs, some of which required significant manual processes or individual agents to book travel. For a company that has up to 200 employees booking up to 30 trips per day, that wasn’t going to cut it.
“It took us two days to get up and running with TripActions, which was really fast!” said Kevin. “I’ve done a lot of implementations and nothing takes 48 hours. I was able to take an employee list from HR, upload it, and our employee side was covered. It was also equally fast and easy to get our policy set up in the system as well.”
On top of a quick, painless onboarding experience, Kevin and the rest of the Branch team now enjoy a travel platform that’s intuitive and helps keep costs down.
“The TripActions reconciliation tool saves us hours during month-end close, every month. Before I had to export our credit card statement, CTRL+F into our employee list and find all of them manually,” Kevin said. “It would take me hours to find everyone’s department, location, and type it in. I tried to do everything I could think of to automate it, including writing my own scripts. The TripActions reconciliation tool just does it so much faster.”
Although Kevin reaps the benefits of features designed for finance leaders just like him, the biggest benefit of TripActions for Branch, in his eyes, is the traveler support.
“I think the peace of mind that comes from knowing my travelers are only a few seconds away from chatting with an amazing support team is the biggest benefit,” Kevin said. “We have a ridiculously quick response time from online chat, and they never give us cookie-cutter responses. All support team members I’ve chatted with are extremely capable individuals.”
Kevin and the rest of the Branch team look forward to continuing to manage their ever-growing business travel needs on TripActions. From booking trips for job candidates to closing deals in-person, TripActions is there to streamline travel for Branch, helping them seize travel as a strategic lever for culture and growth.
“I think it’s obvious that whoever designed the foundations of the TripActions platform really understood what business travel is like and what its major pain points are,” Kevin said. “It’s hard to make this kind of product without taking a step back and thinking through everything before you get started. Hats off for making a cohesive product and not leaving anything undone. It’s really polished. Just the fact that you don’t need to train anybody to use it speaks volumes.”
We’re delighted to hear how the TripActions corporate travel platform is making booking and managing travel easy for our customers everywhere. If you’re curious about how we’ve helped others streamline travel management, check out our customers page for more case studies.