How to...

Rejuvenate your travel programme

The RSA insurance group changed TMCs in a bid to improve processes and ease the procurement department’s workload. Find out how they went about it.

STEP 1: THE BACKGROUND. RSA’s incumbent TMC had been in place for eight years but the company felt the service and technology it supplied was falling short of expectations. RSA launched a competitive tender for its UK, Ireland and Group Corporate Centre (GCC) travel management programme and ultimately appointed FCM in January 2018. RSA has around 12,600 employees and operates in over 100 countries.

STEP 2: THE GOALS. RSA wanted to improve its travel programme in several ways, including having a greater focus on personal service and more of a partnership approach with its TMC. It also wanted to deploy future-proof technology – including an online booking too – as well as introducing an approvals process, automated traveller tracking and, finally, to lighten the workload of its stretched procurement department. “We needed more support from our TMC in terms of taking over some of the business travel tasks and responsibilities that had been handled by procurement,” says Sarah Morrison, RSA's Procurement Category Manager.

STEP 3: THE SOLUTION. RSA was allocated six FCM consultants to look after its travel needs, plus a VIP consultant to work with a number of its executive assistants. The FCM team also handles any general queries from bookers or travellers, considerably lightening procurement’s workload.

RSA also implemented FCM’s Seeqa booking tool – for which PAs and EAs were invited to attend training roadshows – which incorporated a new approvals process based on rate caps for hotels and flights in accordance with RSA travel policy.

“The roadshows gave travellers and bookers the opportunity to flag up any changes they felt were needed within Seeqa and we were able to respond quickly and ask our IT people to make those changes,” says Hayley France, FCM Account Manager.

“There are always a few teething problems when implementing an OBT, but despite some initial challenges, Seeqa is proving to be a great online tool for RSA and adoption rates are excellent,” she adds.

France acted almost as ‘implant’ account manager, providing greater internal support and communication, assuming responsibility for RSA’s intranet travel pages and overseeing all internal travel communications. She has an RSA email address and travels the country visiting RSA’s offices.

“At the end of the day we are not travel experts, so having Hayley and the support of the offline FCM team – who have access to our systems – made a big difference,” says RSA’s Sarah Morrison.

STEP 4: THE RESULTS. By October last year online adoption had reached 82% for hotels and 61% for air while the approvals process resulted in a more stream-lined and efficient set up.

Traveller satisfaction has also risen following improved service levels and traveller tracking has been vastly improved with greater visibility.

“We are very happy with the level of engagement and service that FCM is providing,” says RSA’s Sarah Morrison.

“They did an excellent job of training our staff to use the online booking tool,” she continues, “and the introduction of FCM’s HUB portal as our own travel portal means that everything is integrated in one place include rail, car hire and other services.

“We can also make better business decisions as a result of the proactive provision of data and MI available to us via HUB.”