In a global company, employees won’t all speak the same language. But if their travel is managed with a focus on simplicity, they can “speak the same tools.”
That was the motivation for Danish company Danfoss’ decision to serve all employees worldwide with one global travel management company, BCD Travel, and SAP Concur’s online booking tool. “Our whole business operates under a ‘One Danfoss, One Way’ strategy aimed at finding the most efficient way of doing things,” said Iris Lohmann, head of Personnel Expense Management and Operational Procurement for the maker of mechanical and electronic components used in refrigeration, heating and cooling and renewable energy technologies.
8% savings on travel
Lohmann, who leads a small travel team that serves 28,000 employees across the globe, said Danfoss uses a “simple but successful strategy: Satisfy the end user, and at the same time operate efficiently. We are focused and systematic about it.” Applying that strategy to travel got results.
- By moving to an online booking tool, Danfoss saved 8% on travel because travelers saw and selected cheaper fares, and the company reduced agency transaction fees.
- 87% of reservations suitable for OBT booking are made by travelers using the tool.
- Over 90% of the online bookings are the lowest logical fare, which leads to significant savings.
- 40% of bookings are made more than 14 days in advance, which means cheaper fares are more widely available.
- Traveler satisfaction has improved to 79%.
- Danfoss is able to manage corporate travel with a lean internal team of three people who support the OBT and relationships with BCD and other suppliers.
Beyond the data, Lohmann has another metric for gauging the success of Danfoss’ travel program. She eats lunch most days in the company canteen, sitting with salespeople who are Danfoss’ most frequent travelers. When the unified OBT strategy began in 2015, the discussions around travel were “very hot,” she said. “Today, there is almost no noise around travel.”
One point of entry for travelers
Here’s how it all started. “We already had a single tool for expense, SAP Concur Expense. We saw the potential benefits of putting our OBT tool in the same basket,” Lohmann explained. “The real value would be one point of entry for travelers all over the world for travel booking, trip documentation and expense submissions.”
BCD Travel was involved from the start. The TMC helped manage Danfoss’ OBT implementation across 80 sites operating in 46 countries. At times, five countries were being implemented simultaneously.
Erika Sáenz, a member of the Danfoss travel team, points to 90% OBT adoption in North America and India as evidence that the single-tool strategy has worked. “We’ve been able to change the mindset of the traveler. This would not have been possible without BCD to support us. They know Danfoss. They know our travelers. They understand what we want.”
BCD was the safety net
After implementation, BCD supported Danfoss’ configuration of Concur. The company shaped the online booking tool to fit the unique needs of its travelers. Then the TMC supported Danfoss’ traveler education campaign—travel portal communications, targeted emails, promotional videos, traveler training (online and in person) and even one-on-one conversations with noncompliant travelers—that explained why Danfoss was switching to a universal OBT, how to use the tool and why it would make trips easier.
“We showered travelers with information,” Lohmann said. What’s more, when travelers had difficulty transitioning to the online booking tool, BCD was their safety net. “They could always turn to BCD to book their trips,” she explained.
Travel is a change-management benchmark
Four years later, Danfoss’ unified travel strategy continues to add value. “We’ve been able to shift from traveler education to traveler engagement and from a focus on compliance to focusing on traveler satisfaction, experience and well-being,” Lohmann said. “Travel is now the company’s benchmark for successful change management.”