American Express Global Business Travel announces a new traveler information enhancement to its leading compliance tool Pre-Trip Auditor (PTA). The PTA solution offers companies various options of enforcing traveler compliance through methods such as automatically sending notifications to travelers when they've booked out of policy, to having itineraries sent to a traveler's manager for approval before the trip is ticketed. Now, for travelers, it will also send relevant trip notifications by pushing information related, but not limited to, visa/passport information for international travel, company incentives or programs, industry advisories on high-risk destinations, recommendations for virtual meeting options, and how to utilize enterprise mobile applications while on trip.
As the economy continues to emerge from a recessionary environment, companies have a laser-focus on methods to best regulate travel compliance to protect against absorbing fees and other rising costs unnecessarily, especially as business travel prices are expected to continue to rise across all travel categories and geographic regions. With PTA, companies can control their costs and keep an eye on the bottom line. The added messaging capabilities give companies an opportunity to stay connected with their travelers by sending relevant trip information as well as fostering enhanced compliance with company policy.
Global companies have been the early adopters of PTA, the majority of American Express Global Business Travel's global accounts have deployed the solution. Mid-sized companies are increasing their implementation of PTA although they do lag behind larger companies in this area. Evaluation of PTA data from last year also indicates that even though there was increased usage of PTA, many bookings were still out of policy. In 2010, a year where compliance was top of mind for businesses, the percentage of out of policy transactions grew from 26% to 33% year over year, with 97% of those booked out of policy being approved by managers. Companies are still leaving the door open for continued savings opportunities. Savings can be significant but a company's goals and culture need to drive this change. One mid-sized client saved more than a half-million dollars on air travel in 2010 using the PTA tool.
"Compliance and control around travel bookings present a leading opportunity for companies to drive meaningful savings to their managed program," said Michael Qualantone, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Supplier Relations, Partner Network and Marketing for American Express Global Business Travel. "Having a tool such as Pre-Trip Auditor in place can contribute to savings that otherwise would have been lost if travelers default to personal preferences rather than adhering to corporate policy. With this new PTA enhancement, we are increasing the value for travelers by offering a way for companies to provide a deeper level of information regarding their upcoming travel."
PTA will continue to deliver standard out-of-policy messages by email to travelers, but with the new additional customization referred to as 'parallel messaging,' it is now able to provide travelers with customized notifications that share additional information relating to their upcoming travel.
PTA's core functionality not only enforces travel policy but also has exceptional depth in its audit capabilities. Integrated across online and offline platforms, PTA provides reporting capabilities on all aspects of travel bookings, alerting companies with how many travel bookings are made out of policy, the top ten travelers making bookings out of policy, and the top ten reasons for booking out of policy. With PTA, clients can also receive consulting services and customized reporting capabilities. Parallel messaging is currently available to all Pre-Trip Auditor American Express Global Business Travel clients.
"Business travel is a demonstrated driver of business growth and to be competitive, companies need to budget appropriately for the travel they need to meet growth objectives," said Qualantone. "In this budget constrained environment, it is more important to maximize every dollar spent on travel, but you can't expect what you don't inspect. PTA is an important tool for helping companies to optimize their return on investment, especially within a fluid and dynamic supplier pricing environment and when company policies at times are at odds with a traveling employee's personal preferences."
About American Express Business Travel
American Express Business Travel (americanexpress.com/businesstravel), a division of American Express Company, is committed to helping its clients maximize the return on their travel investment through increased cost savings, world-class customer service and greater spending control. With clients ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations, American Express Business Travel provides a combination of industry-leading technology, travel management consulting, strategic sourcing and supplier negotiation support, alongside global customer service available online and offline. The Company also provides a dynamic online community (businesstravelconneXion.com) harnessing the collective intelligence of those in the business travel industry offering a variety of perspectives, best practices, current research and industry news.
American Express operates one of the world's largest travel agency networks with locations in over 140 countries worldwide. Total travel sales volume in 2009 was $21.5 billion, including proprietary volume, volume processed through joint ventures, and American Express branded volume processed through its partner network.
American Express Company is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights, and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.