The top 10 must have travel management services for retail organizations

April 26, 2016 |

In the fast paced world of retail, it’s imperative that you are working with a travel organization that understands the demands of the industry.

Below are the top 10 travel services that all retail organizations should have to ensure a successful and healthy travel program.

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1. Store Opening Details: Detailed planning and perfectly executed launches of store openings are imperative to success. Travel and Transport understands the quick ramp up time that is required for these events and prepares our travel teams through training exercises to be agile and nimble to ensure the travel accommodations are handled in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.

2. Direct Billing Needs: Hiring and recruiting is an integral element for the retail industry. Employees that handle these responsibilities may not have access to corporate credit cards. Travel and Transport provides customers with Secure Pay, an exclusive hotel pre-payment option that generates a virtual credit card for hotel bookings. When an applicable hotel is booked using an approved credit card, we will assign a one-time use, unique card for each hotel stay. Secure Pay significantly cuts down on the risk of fraudulent activity that can occur with a ghost card by assigning a new card number for each hotel booking. It also allows travelers the convenience to book reservations online without incurring an agent-assistance fee.

3. Cost Savings Focus: With the increase in minimum wage that affects the retail industry, cost savings is a critical component to your travel program. Travel and Transport Account Managers constantly take a pro-active approach to offering and finding cost savings solutions that positively impact our clients. In 2015, our Account Management team was able to offer our clients on average over 22% in value added savings.

4. Hotel Negotiations: Additional cost savings can be obtained through Travel and Transport’s unique approach to designing and maximizing hotel programs for our retail clients. Access to multiple channels and platforms allows us to assemble a strategy by client vs. taking a one-size fits all approach.  Specifically for retail hub cities such as San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, London and Hong Kong we leverage the combination of volume and consistency in hotel use and stay patterns to support productive rate negotiations in these markets. As these markets also tend to be the most volatile for room rates – we leverage proprietary technology to check and re-check for lower rates between the time of reservation and check-in

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5. Unused Ticket Management: Tracking airline tickets that go unused for any number of reasons, including employee turnover is imperative in monitoring overall cost savings. Travel and Transport provides Banx, our proprietary nonrefundable ticket tracking technology, that reduces the spoilage of eligible nonrefundable tickets by proactively tracking unused tickets, notifying travelers and travel counselors of available unused tickets, and automatically reusing tickets. Our clients experience an average spoilage rate three times less than the industry average.

6. Special Service Funds: The ability to use waivers and favors with your airline contract is an added cost savings initiative. Tracking of these perks can often be a very time consuming process for travel managers. Travel and Transport has eliminated this burden by providing detailed tracking procedures that keep all waivers and favors managed and easily accessible.

7. Budgetary Evaluations: Retail organizations have many areas that have separate budgets and operating expenses. From business units to merchandizing centers, to store operations, we have created specific ways to separate these areas so that budgets can be appropriately monitored and allocated.

8. Driving Value: Regional meetings can become costly when planning meals for large groups of individuals. To add cost savings to your program, Travel and Transport partners with Dinova, a management and savings tool for corporate restaurant spend. Once an employee selects an approved restaurant and the bill is paid for by a company credit card, Dinova registers the transaction and sends a rebate check to the traveler’s employer.

Travel and Transport has also created technology solutions that provide personalized experiences for the travel manager and traveler. Dash Portal provides secure and direct access to the tools a traveler and travel manager need. By taking secure credentials from single sign-on, users will receive a unique and personalized experience when accessing specific travel tools including their online booking tool, trip sharing options, past trips invoices, etc. In addition, travel managers are empowered to configure areas within Dash Portal that are relevant to their travelers and their organization. Travel managers will also appreciate seamless integration into their reporting and analytics tools without duplicating sign-on efforts.

Travel and Transport’s mobile app, Dash Mobile, keeps travelers up-to-date with gate departure information as well as important travel and security alerts. Our innovative touch-to-call application connects travelers with an experienced Travel and Transport travel counselor who will have the traveler’s specific information and is ready to assist 24/7/365. Dash Mobile is available for iPhone, Windows and Android devices, as well as wearable devices.

9. Attention to No Fly Rules: In the retail sector, large movements of individuals are required to attend fashion shows and other industry events such as Fashion Week and Magic. Travel and Transport places special attention and sets many “no fly rules” within their booking system to accommodate the organization’s requirements.

10. Detailed Reporting: Reporting is a critical factor for all companies; however, we find that retail organizations are more apt to have specific groups that require a fresh approach to reporting.  As such, we have developed an approach that is configured as a part of the reservation.  Once a trigger is activated, we are able to confirm the travelers are part of the room block and provide a list of who has booked their travel for that specific show, meeting or event.  This detailed report provides an added benefit, allowing us to monitor the attrition rate to ensure hotel commitments are being met.

With a portfolio of over 75 retail and high-end fashion clients, Travel and Transport has dedicated resources to understanding the specific needs of our retail customer base and have developed the tools and solutions that are essential for retail focused travel management programs. Contact us today to find out more!