Simplifying corporate travel at Daimler

BCD Travel, other suppliers revolutionize processes, reduce costs for automaker.

Daimler’s Global Travel Management group asked its travel and technology supplier partners to completely rethink and simplify the whole corporate travel process. In response, those partners helped develop Daimler’s Global Travel Management “FiveStar Model.”

“When travelers spend too much time on travel administrative tasks like booking, paying and completing expense reports, a company the size of Daimler loses an equivalent of €25 million (about US$27 million) in productive working time each year,” said Daimler’s head of Global Travel Management, Bernd Burkhardt.

In cooperation with the automaker, several suppliers—including BCD Travel, Amadeus and AirPlus—began by rejecting the popular assumption that greater choice is always best. They focused, instead, on simplifying the process for travelers. Rather than seeing all available content, travelers get only the most relevant air, hotel and car rental offers based on their historical behavior, corporate policy, corporate supplier strategy and preferences.

“Sometimes, giving people too many options is a bad thing, because it complicates and slows down the process,” Burkhardt said. “With this simple three-click process, business travelers are able to focus on the jobs they’re paid to do rather than on trip administration. This game-changing approach leads to a whole new travel experience.”

Once travelers select travel dates and trip components, the FiveStar Model uses virtual account numbers to take care of payments. Invoices are automatically reconciled throughout the trip. Employees across the globe use a single, standardized, streamlined travel process—available around the clock.

Kathy Jackson, Executive Vice President, Global Client Management, BCD Travel

Although the individual components of the FiveStar model already largely existed, the holistic and multi-supplier approach is new. As Daimler’s travel management company, BCD provides oversight to ensure each component seamlessly supports the overall process. Amadeus delivers the search, booking engine and user interface. AirPlus manages fully integrated payment through to the expense provider.

“It’s gratifying to serve as the TMC for a client that’s constantly working to improve travel management,” said Kathy Jackson, BCD’s executive vice president of Global Client Management. “The FiveStar model shows how collaboration drives innovation to make travel easier.”



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