Going online - MeritBiz

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Going online

Panasonic Canada’s journey to move online with us resulted in time and costs savings for their company and travellers

Challenge

Panasonic Canada was working with a business travel management company where their needs were not being met. They discovered that travellers were going online to find flight schedules, and then calling their corporate travel agents for execution – a waste of the employees’ time and not a good use of the travel agent. Panasonic Canada wanted to migrate to a leading online booking tool to save money, increase efficiencies, and to give their travellers the ability to book through this channel.

Solution

Panasonic piloted several tools with a group of seasoned travellers, and MeritBiz WebRes came out on top. MeritBiz introduced the tool through a customized Panasonic-specific Travel Microsite where travellers had direct access to update their profiles and to make reservations on online.

A series of training sessions supported the launch, the bulk of which were hosted as webinars with key traveller arrangers being trained by our bilingual online manager onsite at their office. These were separated by executives, travel arrangers, and travellers, catering each session to the appropriate audience. These sessions led to buy-in from key travellers and senior management, illustrated the usability of the tool, and conveyed a strong sense of trust that MeritBiz was there to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Working directly with Panasonic, MeritBiz implemented a soft mandate of the tool, refining their travel policy to strongly encourage all domestic and trans-border business travel get booked online. By consistently monitoring traveller behaviour to understand why bookings weren’t being made online, MeritBiz was able to quickly action on altering booking behaviours as they happened.

“At our previous travel management company, we were a small fish in a big pond – a safe decision, though one that did not provide the support we needed to effectively manage travel. We opted to work with MeritBiz, where employee adoption of the online booking tool has exceeded our expectations and increased our overall travel program savings. I am fully confident that we made the right choice and haven’t looked back since!”

– Director, Administration & Finance, Panasonic Canada

Results

The choice to move to WebRes, and the comprehensive communication and training program that followed, led to Panasonic achieving 70% adoption in the first year, and 75% after three years. To date, Panasonic Canada has also realized direct savings of 69% on their transaction fees.

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