Thursday 7 February 2019

GUEST BLOG: Companies embrace business travel and expense report management as part of their digital transformation

Goodbye Bureaucracy

In business travel, as in many other sectors, advances in technology have led to a shift in users’ habits, revolutionising the entire industry. Meeting the expectations of their employees in terms of technology is just as important to companies as implementing travel policies, keeping costs in check and guaranteeing the safety of their travellers. When they are at work, employees expect to find the same fast and intuitive tools that they use to organise their lives at home. Today, it is unthinkable to spend an hour looking for the perfect Paris-London flight that both complies with company policy and arrives on time for a meeting. The same goes for devoting hours to going through receipts, submitting an expense report and being reimbursed months later. We expect things to be easier with technology. Companies no longer have a choice: they must do away with bureaucratic red tape and usher their travel and expense report management into the digital era.

Conscious of this two-fold challenge – satisfying users while helping companies to achieve their objectives – KDS offers fast, simple solutions intended to play a key role in businesses’ digital transformation projects.

Automating business travel and expense report management offers users a simpler, faster and more consistent experience. With traditional tools, expenses generated during the trip are not integrated into the booking process, which is often limited only to transport and accommodations. With KDS Neo, you can book an entire trip (taxis, accommodation, transport, shuttle buses, additional baggage, upgraded seating, etc.) and at the same time, on the same platform, manage your expense reports via web or mobile. The unified platform offers usability on par with the best-loved mainstream websites. As for companies, they can expedite processes, automate certain tasks and get greater visibility and control over the actual costs of trips, allowing them to step up their management of assignments and contracts. And it's all totally paperless thanks to KDS Neo digital expense reports, which have the same legal value as the original documents.

For improved efficiency and a faster response to complex situations ... the only way is technology

Productivity is a key concern for senior management teams and deploying platforms to manage business trips and adaptable and user-friendly expense reports is now inevitable. Every company seems to have a strategy for this.

For a long time, the French engineering firm, TechnipFMC, managed its employees’ business travel (an average of 20,000 to 25,000 trips a year) using an internally developed tool which required many manual processes. For its international projects a wide range of personnel are required to travel at different phases of the projects (preliminary study, development, construction, transport to the oilfield, on-site installation), which led TechnipFMC, like many companies, to seek simplicity, responsiveness and control for its travel programme.

We have to be reactive, so we need travel booking tools that are a perfect fit for the very specific constraints of our industry, highlights Claude Lelièvre, who handles Regional Travel Management Development for TechnipFMC in the EMIA region. “To meet the expectations of our project assistants, who are often in charge of business trips, and to cater to the frequent changes and last-minute requests that they are faced with, we opted for a tool that is complete, flexible, agile, and highly user-friendly.” At TechnipFMC, bookings can now be made much more quickly, and the company has significantly reduced the length of a typical expense reimbursement cycle.

In addition to these operational factors, companies also need to forge ahead with the digital transformation for strategic reasons. This transformation and a company’s choice of tools can influence its image and culture. A company’s internal tools and processes should reflect its vision, its strategy, and the way it does business with clients and suppliers.

Thanks to a significant investment in R&D, KDS is able to keep innovating, pre-empting advances in technology and regulations and helping its clients to achieve their objectives. As an account manager, thanks to the implementation of KDS Neo, I’m fortunate enough to to witness this with my clients, especially at TechnipFMC.

If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me and to read the TechnipFMC case study: 

This post was written by Romain Fory, Key Account Manager, KDS, who are exhibiting at Business Travel Show on 20-21 February 2019. Register for your free ticket now at 


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