Change. It’s a word everyone dreads, especially in business. We’ve all heard that the only constant is change and that change is never easy. But there’s nothing wrong with change if it’s moving you in the right direction.

Managing change from a travel manager’s perspective

As the Senior Director of Global Travel for a finance and technology company, I was faced with a difficult decision sure to impact a lot of people and change the way they travel to conduct daily business. It was a major challenge because, to be honest, people tend to resist change. So how can you effectively manage change and bring people together?

For us, it started with identifying the right business travel solution. At the time, our online booking tool had a very low adoption rate, hovering around 17% companywide. Making matters worse, the tool had no customization and was difficult to use, especially when it came to understanding its policy filters.

Internal management wasn’t encouraging their teams to use the tool (no real surprise there), and since people were using different online booking tools, it was becoming impossible to effectively manage their diverse travel needs, keep company travel expenses in-policy, and control costs.

So we created a sourcing team that included our internal regional managers, VPs, and other key players to evaluate different online booking tools. We reviewed other major online booking tools before finding our solution in GetThere from Sabre. A lot of us had used GetThere before and enjoyed positive experiences with it. It was easy to use, worked cross-platform (tablet, smartphone, and desktop) and could be customized to meet our unique business needs.

This was the easy part.

To make our situation even more challenging, we were given a very aggressive four-month timeline in which to implement the new online booking tool globally and see a measurable increase in online adoption.

That’s why we needed to partner with a team that could provide the personal support, consultation, and collaboration we needed to successfully implement the change.

Accelerating success

Sabre was able to provide the resources we needed to increase adoption, with proven account management teams already in place worldwide to support and train our global locations. They were able to quickly develop communication plans and provide training that kept all our offices on the same page and working together.

Sabre was also able to build and maintain policies tailored to our company, along with other features like pre-trip approval and dynamic messaging, and with over 99% system uptime, we knew there’d never be a service disruption.

But the real proof of success was in our online adoption rate, which went from 17% to 70%.

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Had you suggested to members of the sourcing team at the beginning of our challenging timeline that this level of increase was a possibility, we never would have believed you!

Now we’re considering other parts of Sabre’s integrated travel platform to help us better manage itinerary, expense, payments and messaging for a total travel solution that’s in step with the needs of business travel.

I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned through this process is that, when you’re looking for a managed travel solution, the team is just as important as the technology. Sabre brought some great tools and technology to the table, but we would have never realized the level of adoption and success that we did without their amazing service and support.

Could your business benefit from improved online adoption? Download the full case study on how Visa and GetThere increased online adoption from 17% to 70% nearly overnight.