Christal Bemont was formerly Chief Revenue Officer for SAP Concur
I am on the road – a lot. I put 1,000 miles on my car and 200,000 miles on a plane each year. With the amount of time I spend traveling for business, sometimes things just don’t go as planned.
Case in point: A recent business trip to the SAP Concur headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. My flight was delayed and when it came time to check into my hotel, my room had been given away. It wasn’t a big deal because I just hopped into the Concur mobile app and booked a hotel room nearby. Although this was just a hiccup in my travel schedule, if I hadn’t updated my information and a dangerous situation had occurred, my company wouldn’t have known where to find me or where to send help.
Plus, having the ability to update my travel information quickly and easily is not only a failsafe for potentially dangerous situations, but a way to give myself and others peace of mind. As a leader of a team of 800, these solutions put me in a position where I can quickly recalibrate to help an employee – whether they’re involved in a terrible situation or just facing a minor travel delay.
Sometimes the stakes are higher than just booking a new hotel room. Unfortunately, we faced something much larger during a business trip to London last year. As my leadership team and I were en route from different cities, we all received Concur Locate updates about the knife attacks that were happening in the city. Three of the seven members of our team didn’t feel safe traveling anymore, so I encouraged them to fly home. If Concur Locate hadn’t updated us of the attacks, I may have inadvertently put my team in a potentially dangerous or uncomfortable position – and my goal is always to make sure they feel safe.
SMBs may have more blind spots than larger companies when it comes to knowing employee travel plans. A fully-managed travel program may be more than some SMBs need right now, but tools like TripLink eliminates the blind spots created when employees use a self-booking tool. Plus, SMBs receive all the benefits of supplier integrations, metasearch, itinerary management via Tripit Pro, and expense integration.
Conventional wisdom says when travel booking is less structured and centralised, keeping track of employees becomes nearly impossible to manage. While we all would love things to go as planned, especially when it comes to safety, I know I feel more comfortable having these tools in my pocket for backup.