Online booking tool
by Tracy Ramsden, HRG Business Manager
HRG was required to help a financial organisation embrace technological change both from a perception and a practical application point of view.
The client has found it challenging in the past to implement new technology with regards to the travel process and wanted to ensure travellers understood the full benefits and savings any change would deliver.
The client wanted a UK based self-service online suite of tools to show travellers and budget holders where money could be saved through simple processes and behavioural change.
HRG iSuite was presented to the client with the online booking solution, online profiles and online reporting functionality.
A key requirement was the provision of timely and accurate management information to promote behavioural change and realise further potential savings, as well as help in negotiations with suppliers.
Each business unit within the client was treated as a separate entity and worked with on an individual basis to understand their requirements and create a timetable of migration and training.
Individual training was provided to the business units who requested specialist training for the online reporting. The dashboards within the reporting tool were prepared to their own individual business requirements.
The use of the online tool is not mandated for any of the business units as it is not part of the company’s culture.
HRG have worked to reinforce the travel policy with the business unit which stands to benefit most from making reservations online, but this has been challenging as the message is not being reinforced by senior management. Other business units are using the system to their advantage.
We now have four business units using the tool with online adoption rates running between 31% and 64% for the first quarter of 2011.
Managing change, overcoming people’s reluctance to the new process and encouraging travellers to buy-in to the benefits of using the technology have all been part of the learning curve for this project.
Training was set up within a number of locations and employees invited based on previous travel or bookings experience but internal buy in from business unit management was challenging as people did not wish to take responsibility for their own travel programme and force their teams to use the online tool.
Going forward, internal buy-in is critical and prior to further changes, training or implementation, employees need to be informed of the process and why it is beneficial. Having a senior manager address those involved and explain the process and impact would also smooth the way.