When exploring the realm of Travel Management Software, you may be overwhelmed by how many great tools are out there, but the key question to explore is whether any given tool is right for your program: a high-quality hammer, for instance, will still have value and may come in handy, but doesn’t address a problem requiring a wrench.
For new tools, how they work, and what they can be used for, may not seem immediately clear, and KesselRun has been receiving requests for guidance on many of the non-traditional corporate travel technologies available today.
If you’re trying to find a tool suited to your travel program, this information may help ground you:
Software for Startup Travel Programs
Are you a startup looking to create a program from scratch? TripActions or Lola might be the right fit.
Generally used in lieu of, instead of alongside, a traditional Travel Management Company (with one exception, in the case of Lola, for GBT), TripActions and Lola both offer booking options.
TripActions is a desktop/mobile platform for booking corporate travel, uses AI and Machine Learning to offer personalized options for travelers, incorporating a company’s travel policies, real-time fares/rates, and individual traveler preferences like loyalty program memberships. TripActions’ content comes from direct integrations, traditional sources such as Sabre, and third-party sites like Priceline and Expedia.
Lola was founded by the creator of Kayak, announced in November 2018 a partnership with AmEx GBT and, pending certain milestones being hit, may ultimately be acquired by GBT. However, you don’t have to be with GBT to use Lola – like TripActions, Lola uses AI; however, its focus is primarily mobile, serving as a personal assistant to travelers. Agent assistance is available via mobile chat, and user preferences are given priority.
Lola’s subscription service is based on the size of organization and number of travelers, so whether your travelers are desktop or mobile focused, your company size, may be key if you are considering TripActions v. Lola as a primary booking option for your company. AI applications are here to stay, perfectly suited to the corporate travel space, and likely, more AI-utilizing travel features will be seen in coming years.
Software for Existing Travel Programs
If you have a program in place, but are looking for hotel benchmarking and rebooking, TripBam might be the solution you’re looking for. Around since 2012 and able to integrate with Concur and most major TMCs in the US, TripBam works with TMCs and/or corporations in order to seek better prices on hotel bookings. It looks at alternative hotels within the area, a corporation’s preferred program, and amenities offered to travelers: if a lower, comparable rate is found, TripBam will automatically rebook at that rate. This rebooking can be limited, whether your company wants rebookings made at any comparable hotel in proximity for greater savings, or only to have your travelers rebooked at the same rate type at the same property, so the traveler does not experience the change TripBam is making, should prices drop.
Software to Update Your Existing Travel Programs
Do you have a problem with leakage and need to find a way to benchmark and audit that invisible spend? Check out CapTrav, which in coordination with any program type can capture any travel data being booked in another way using an email from your company. CapTrav gives you unprecedented insight into that leakage data, which you can then determine how to act upon.
Would your company rather use the carrot instead of the stick to urge your travelers to adopt your travel program and stay within policy? RocketTrip’s gamification platform may help. By offering a “budget to beat,” it incentivizes travelers to make better buying decisions on behalf of their company; it integrates with both Concur Travel & Expense and Invoice products, and as such RocketTrip is easy to integrate with a traditional TMC program.
All of these non-traditional corporate travel technologies are terrific tools, resulting in cost savings and pushing the industry forward; however, look to your company’s needs, culture, and existing program type, if any, in order to determine if any tool is right for your travel booking environment.