Putting employee needs first drives 6% savings on annual air spend

After five years of low use, OBT adoption jumps to 60% in six months, about thirty times its original rate

Challenge

An Indian customer sourced
its low-cost carrier content
in Concur through a service
provider that doesn’t support
central company cards. This
was a major drawback for
travelers who were reluctant to
use the tool and pay with their
individual credit cards.

Approach

BCD Travel recommended
sourcing low-cost carrier
content through another
provider that allows
transactions to be charged
directly to a central company
card, eliminating the need to
use individual credit cards.

Results

Within six months, the online
adoption rate in India increased
from 2% to 60%. This resulted
in lower transaction fees
and cheaper airfares booked
through Concur, totaling up to
6% projected savings on the
annual air spend.

A global IT & Technology company aimed to increase adoption of their online booking tool (OBT) Concur among their employees in India. They wanted to improve the booking experience for travelers and save costs. While other Asia-Pacific Japan (APJ) markets showed high online adoption rates, India’s adoption was still very low five years after the OBT was introduced.

Challenge

The Indian client’s air travel is 80% domestic point to point travel, with 70% booked on low-cost carriers. Although travelers were able to use Concur to book flights, they were reluctant to use the OBT for low-cost travel. BCD’s APJ Program Manager Nandini Pal conducted a root-cause analysis. Nandini discovered that the connected airline content provider for low-cost carriers didn’t support central company cards and fulfillment through a TMC. Travelers had to use their individual credit cards to book low-cost carriers online and manage
after-sales services, such as ticket reissuance and cancellations, directly with the airlines. Instead of using the OBT, travelers preferred to book offline with the BCD India team to charge costs directly to the central company card and access after-sales support from BCD.

Approach

Based on her knowledge of the travel ecosystem in India, the program manager  recommended sourcing low-cost carrier content through another service provider that allows direct charges to central company cards, eliminating the need for individual credit cards. With this provider, tickets are issued instantly through the airlines’ site and BCD provides all after-sales support.

Just when post-pandemic travel was picking up, a soft launch was conducted in November 2022 through a companywide employee communication to reintroduce the online booking tool. When travel arrangers or travelers called BCD to make a reservation, the team reminded them of their company’s goal to improve online adoption and encouraged them to use the Concur OBT instead.

Results

The program manager’s in-depth market knowledge of India’s airline distribution landscape helped identify and remove the obstacles for travelers to use the online booking tool. Between November 2022 and March 2023, the online adoption rate increased from 2% to 45%. In April 2023, online adoption further climbed to 60%, thirty times its original rate. The increase in online adoption resulted in lower transaction fees. But the real savings were in the cheaper airfares booked through Concur. Having access to a self-service tool and being able to immediately book the flight of their choice, encouraged more travelers to use Concur to book online and choose the lowest airfare – totaling up to 6% projected savings on the annual air spend.

Highlights

Better spend visibility and control
60% online adoption
Reduced risk of credit card fraud
Lower transaction fees
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Cheaper airfares
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Up to 6% annual savings projected

Thanks to BCD’s in-depth market knowledge of India’s distribution landscape and the program management skills of Nandini Pal, we increased the online booking tool adoption and achieved our dual goals to deliver seamless booking experiences for our travelers and save costs for the organization.”

Regional Travel Manager APJ

Global IT & Technology company

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