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Daimler reveals new approach to corporate travel process

Suppliers of manufacturer Daimler have helped it “completely rethink and simplify” its entire corporate travel process.

The partners, which included Amadeus, Airplus and BCD Travel, developed Daimler’s Global Travel Management “Fivestar Model”.

“When travellers spend too much time on travel administrative tasks like booking, paying and completing expense reports, a company the size of Daimler loses an equivalent of €25 million in productive working time each year,” said Daimler’s head of global travel management, Bernd Burkhardt.

The Fivestar process starts with simplifying search by using algorithms to identify the best trip package. Daimler said that rejecting the popular assumption that greater choice is always best, allowed its technology partners to focus on the underlying goal: simplifying the process for travellers.

Instead of displaying all available content, travellers get only the most relevant air, hotel and car rental offers based on a traveller’s historical behaviour, corporate policy, corporate supplier strategy and preferences. 

Once travellers select travel dates and trip components, the Fivestar Model uses virtual account numbers to take care of payment throughout the whole process. Daimler said this removes all hassle from the travel experience.

Automated invoice reconciliation throughout the trip and via mobile further simplifies the trip for travellers and reduces the time needed to process travel expenses to almost zero.

“All Daimler employees worldwide use a single, standardised, streamlined travel process—available to everyone around the clock using a global shared service model,” the company said. “Although the individual components of the Fivestar model already largely existed, the holistic and multi-supplier approach is completely new and innovative. Providing a search functionality capable of delivering the “one best fit” option for any given traveller was one of the biggest challenges,” it added.

Burkhardt said: “Sometimes, giving people too many options is a bad thing, because it complicates and slows down the process.

“With this simple three-click process, business travellers are able to focus on the jobs they’re paid to do rather than on trip administration. This game-changing approach leads to a whole new travel experience when it comes to business travel. All Daimler travellers will use this process as a global standard rooted in digitalization, mobility and user friendliness," he added.

With the program successfully piloted, Daimler will begin rolling out the model globally throughout 2017.

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