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Consolidation

08 February 2016

By Carol Beacher, HRG Business Manager

A global consumer goods specialist has a vision to consolidate its entire travel operation under a single online travel booking service for all travellers worldwide.

In Europe, the client wanted to bring its travel services for seven countries within HRG’s Berlin-based regional centre which would act as a hub for all bookings and related support services. In time, the European hub will also connect to further regional service centres worldwide enabling travellers to access a seamless travel service anytime and from anywhere.

By consolidating all travel the client is seeking to streamline processes, reduce costs, manage behaviour at the point of sale and enhance the booking process but all within the company’s non-mandate culture.

A plan was devised with two critical elements – the relaunch of the client’s online booking tool with the aim of making it the first choice for travellers and consolidation of the travel service into the regional centre.

Previously, each country had operated a separate travel service which was inefficient and meant wasted cost saving opportunities.

The regional centre harmonises service, ensures consistency across the travel booking process, centralises travel feedback enabling HRG to continually improve service and leverage suppliers and supports the client’s travellers and bookers with any issues relating to the online booking tool.

HRG and the client worked closely together to devise a change management plan with a communication strategy and ensured commitment from stakeholders in each country. A joint consultation was launched to understand the travel process in each country and introduce the changes and explain how they would be beneficial and reassure travellers of the service levels expected by the client.

Implementation was taken care of by a joint HRG/client team with a staggered country by country approach allowing plenty of time to support and educate travellers and resolve any issues.

From day one the European consolidated travel strategy worked and the regional centre is now handling 100,000 transactions annually and providing support in five different languages – German, English, French, Spanish and Italian.

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