Delivering an agile global travel programme at NTT Singapore
Established in 1997, NTT Singapore Pte Ltd (NTTS) has more than 20 years of expertise in providing information and communications technology (ICT) solutions.
As a global ICT provider, NTT Ltd employs around 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace that spans 57 countries, trading in 73 countries and delivering services in over 200 countries.
NTTS is a cutting-edge technology company with a next-gen workforce that expects agility and personalisation in the way their corporate travel is managed. NTTS’ previous travel management company (TMC) had been a traditional legacy player and Tricia Lim, executive VP of the corporate planning division, and Raymond Thor, procurement manager, said they were eager to partner with a TMC that was more in line with their values.
‘Before Egencia, employees had to make a request to a central admin team to book all flights and hotels,’ Lim said. ‘It took a lot of time, we didn’t have freedom of preference, and it cost a lot of money as people made fee-incurring changes last minute.’
Finding a culture fit
‘We chose Egencia because we felt they shared a similar vision as NTTS, leveraging technology and innovation to provide our people, our clients and greater communities with a connected future,’ Lim explained. They saw that Egencia would enable them to go beyond building a solid travel programme, and empower them to create a strong travel culture that would genuinely reflect the company’s values.
‘NTTS isn’t a traditional corporate experience—every one of us books our own travel,’ Lim said. ‘Since we’ve moved to Egencia, we can put travel at our employees fingertips. Now they have ownership of their own planning.’
Each time a traveller booked a trip, it would take up to an hour of back and forth with price quotes and confirmations. With our platform, booking and approval time was reduced to 15 minutes.
Booking on the Egencia global business platform is simple. Travellers and travel managers access the same platform as our Egencia travel consultants, making booking and managing travel a consistent and predictable experience. Travellers and arrangers can access the platform from any device and even make bookings across them, initiating a booking on a laptop for example, and completing it on a smartphone.
‘One of our first priorities is ease of travel, and Egencia has helped a lot,’ Lim said. ‘Travellers can find hotels close to their destinations and even book flights and hotels last minute, all through the Egencia portal.’
Personalised options make travel easier with each trip. Our platform delivers search results based on the preferences and previous searches of a traveller, enhanced by machine learning with information from NTTS’ travel policy and large data sets culled from other travellers in the company and beyond.
A personal touch plays a major role too. Lim recalled the time the company’s CEO needed help whilst on a trip to the US. A last-minute itinerary change meant his flight and hotel bookings needed to be urgently amended. ‘Customer services were very efficient—they gave him instant support when he had to change his hotel and flight,’ she said.
NTTS has an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. Through platform technology from Egencia, NTTS’ travellers have the freedom to book and manage their travel. And with our stellar customer service, they can trust that we’ll be there for them when unexpected needs arise.
Cost savings and better booking
In the past, the centralised travel team were responsible for a lot of administration when it came to travel requests.
Remodelling the use of a central admin has also saved NTTS a surprising amount of money. Because of the intelligent use of technology, Egencia has a low booking fee compared to traditional agencies. Plus, the booking portal automatically recommends travel options based on the lowest cost and in accordance with NTTS policy.
‘The Egencia portal helps improve the experience for our travellers, while at the same time helping us to monitor cost,’ Raymond said. It also helps smooth the journey, which means travellers are able to focus on what they’re there to do.
Since partnering with Egencia, NTTS has calculated a 60 percent saving in service fees, and between 27 and 58 percent savings on airfares over the course of a year.
‘NTTS is a big company, and the Egencia platform has made it easy to find our global office locations with all location information pre-loaded,’ he said ‘Now our travellers can see which hotels are available within close proximity of where they’ll be visiting.’
Smart data, enhanced compliance and robust change management
Travel managers benefit from the fact that we centralise all of their travel data for them. This allows them to monitor travel spend, analyse travel by individuals or business groups and report back to executives with visual reports on any aspect of their programme. ‘The metrics help us see travel spend, negotiate with carriers and get better corporate rates,’ Raymond said.
Using the Egencia portal has also increased compliance.
Integrating their travel policy into the platform also makes it easier on travellers. In the past, ‘there were a lot of policies practiced within the company, so no one could hope to know them by heart,’ Lim said. ‘But with Egencia, you don’t need to memorise anything. The policy is right there in the platform’. This allows the general administration team to keep their employees up to date with policy, without missing a beat when it comes to managing their travel programme.
‘In the past, we relied on human governance,’ Lim said. ‘Now our travel policy and approval processes are woven into the platform. It’s helped minimise non-compliance and we’ve seen improvements in our audits.’
We provide comprehensive onboarding and change management support, to help travel managers and procurement professionals prepare employees for new ways to travel for work. This process also involves communicating the benefits to travellers, including making the company’s travel policy easily accessible, providing a booking platform that mirrors the way they’d book for other types of travel, and the fact they have access to professional support in seconds.
Helping prepare for crisis
Beyond increased compliance and significant savings in travel costs and time, our platform also gives NTTS critical information in case of an emergency. ‘In the past, we felt the pain of not being able to keep track of our people,’ Lim said.
The gravity of this information gap hit home in a devastating way during the 2011 tsunami in Japan. ‘We had a lot of people there, but no information on where they were. Now, thanks to Egencia, we know where people are scheduled to be. And because everyone has to book through the platform, we have their location with Traveller Tracker, which really helps us plan for any crisis management.’
The perfect fit
Our global business travel platform has helped NTTS liberate its travellers with our easy-to-use booking tool. Whilst compliance has improved thanks to both a great user experience and an integrated travel policy.
The collection of data and reporting has also helped travel managers find significant cost savings through analysis, negotiate for better rates and track travellers anywhere in the world.
Lim sees all of this as an advantage that has helped the organisation manage its global travel programme, empower travellers and create a positive travel culture. ‘Egencia helped us improve our efficiency and empower our next-gen workforce’ she said.