How to...

Increase online adoption

Transport operator FirstGroup was seeking to consolidate its travel man-agement partners and streamline its booking processes. Read on to find out how it achieved its goals.

knowledge-December 17

STEP 1: THE BACKGROUND. Its first move, in 2016, was to undertake a full market review with the objective of bringing all travel and meeting-related services and payments into a single supplier. As the incumbent provider of accommodation and meeting management services, Inntel were invited to participate in the tender and ultimately beat off the competition. FirstGroup awarded Innel with the whole travel and meetings contract.

“While we were very familiar with FirstGroup already, we took the opportunity to review and refresh our partnership,” says Inntel’s Jane Dibble, Director of Business Development. “We spent time with the organisation’s key stakeholders to understand all their requirements in detail.”One of FirstGroup’s requirements was to introduce a new policy around making bookings online and to improve their existing 21% online booking usage.

STEP 2: THE PROCESS. During the re-implementation of the partnership, Inntel examined FirstGroup’s full requirements across air, rail, venues and accommodation. A survey was carried out with all the company's travel bookers and Inntel’s recommendations were presented to key stakeholders at FirstGroup.

Inntel’s online booking tool, iCentral, was configured to FirstGroup's exact requirements and a target of 75% online adoption was agreed.

“We scheduled a series of training and education roadshows across all FirstGroup divisions – from Aberdeen to Plymouth – supported by regular communications to bookers outlining the new best practices and highlighting successes,” says Dibble.FirstGroup supported Inntel’s efforts with full buy-in from procurement and category managers in all divisions.

STEP 3: THE INCENTIVE. In addition to the savings on reduced transaction fees for online bookings and savings on air and hotel costs, Inntel also incentivised FirstGroup in the form of a financial rebate for achieving the 75% online target.

STEP 4: THE OUTCOME. In the eight months following the imple-mentation of new tools and processes, FirstGroup’s online bookings rocketed from 21% to exceed its 75% target, while simultaneously delivering financial savings and time-saving efficiencies.

“In 2016, I set a goal to consolidate FirstGroup travel under a single TMC,” says Glen Lovett, Head of Group Procurement, FirstGroup. “Inntel were the selected provider and following a strong and focussed implementation plan that has helped us achieve our online booking goals, I have every confidence that Inntel will continue to support us in all areas of our corporate travel needs.”