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Travel Management

 August 26, 2011
HRG Leverages Online Travel Tools To Streamline Travel Management Processes In Asia Pacific

 The economy's recovery from the global financial crisis has been accompanied by rising travel costs due to increases in fuel prices and hotel rates. While companies in Asia Pacific are adamant about maximising travel costs, they are faced with the challenge of their own expectations of a high touch service from their travel management company (TMCs).

Addressing this challenge, Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) leverages its sophisticated suite of technology products, which include online booking and self-service reporting tools, to deliver quality service and cost savings to clients through an efficient and streamlined process.

Despite witnessing a steady interest for online booking tools in Singapore and Hong Kong, HRG has observed a discrepancy between the demand and the adoption of online booking tools in these markets. The lack of personal service could be one such factor dissuading companies in these two countries from fully embracing online tools.

"In Asia Pacific there is an emphasis on building strong business relationships through personal communications. While companies in Singapore and Hong Kong recognize the value that online booking tools could bring to their business, they are hesitant to adopt them because of the traditional association of high touch service expectations of corporate travel management," said Greg Treasure, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, HRG.

HRG has a range of customisable solutions that meet clients' requirements. For example, HRG's i-Suite is an online tool that delivers value-added service to clients. By giving them a one-stop 24/7 access to a host of valuable services like online booking, expense management and travel alert information, HRG i-Suite provides clients with timely travel data, enhanced user satisfaction, and the ability to make optimum programme management decisions that translate to cost savings.

In order to help clients recognize that such benefits can be reaped from utilizing online booking tools, HRG is encouraging them to implement a partial mandate for the use of such tools. This strategy has proved successful for one such client, which reported an online adoption rate of just under 20% within two months. This figure is expected to rise to 30% over the next 24 months.

"The Asia-Pacific region has made a swift recovery from the financial crisis. Corporate travel is beginning to pick up again but travel budgets have not necessarily returned to pre-recession levels. Companies can get a better return by implementing cost effective and efficient travel patterns with HRG's customizable and flexible online tools, while still experiencing the quality service that we are known for. Although this will require a change in working behaviour, it would yield more benefits compared to the alternative mode - the classic and cumbersome process of making numerous phone calls," Treasure concluded.