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Kedge Business School

Kedge Business School is based in Marseille, Bordeaux, Paris and Toulon and has 13,000 students across all its campuses. It is also setting up campuses abroad, notably in China and Senegal. To ensure the excellence of its teaching, the school employs 600 staff, including 200 permanent professors and a thousand part-time lecturers.

The implementation of an SBT to efficiently manage the growth in business travel.

Kedge Business School formed in 2013  following the merger between the Bordeaux Management School and Euromed Management. Its headquarters are in Bordeaux, however most of its administrative staff are based in Marseille, thus prompting the need to centralise travel management. “We launched a RFP for a new travel solution in 2014 following the merger and increased amount of business travel, to streamline and manage our business travel process” explains Sébastien Gamet, Travel Manager for the purchasing department. Kedge Business School’s main issue was how to improve its expense control process within the context of this merger and the implementation of an SBT (Self Booking Tool) was considered the best way to centralise all travel requests.

Ease of use was the number one criteria for choosing an SBT

The call to tender, written by Sébastien Gamet and the purchasing department highlighted the need to implement a simple, user- friendly tool, tailored to the profile of all potential users, from first-year students to experienced teachers. “The travel management company (TMC), Turquoise Voyages, won the tender with a proposal based on the Traveldoo platform. The solution covered all the requirements we had identified in the initial market research study and suited our initial needs. The biggest hurdle we had to overcome was the implementation and then adoption of the solution; the Traveldoo user friendly interface proved to be a great success with all of our travellers.” The permanent professors need to travel frequently from one campus to another, as do some students during promotional campaigns, as well as the many experts and casual professors that the school regularly calls upon.

Becoming automated and more agile

Another issue following the merger was the extended frame time required to get travel approved: “The merger of the Bordeaux and Marseille campuses has driven managers to move frequently between sites, thus lengthening the amount of time required to sign travel requests. We had to make the process automated to become more agile”. The introduction of Traveldoo has made the process more streamlined and easier to control with better adherence to the school’s travel policy. “While we feared the platform would push employees to book their trips at the last minute, we noticed that, on the contrary, they were doing it much earlier. Our average advanced booking rate for train travel went from 7 days to 21 days. This has enabled us to lower our costs. “

Fast implementation

We had just three months in which to implement Traveldoo at the Kedge Business School. The TMC was quickly set up with conclusive feedback validated during the test phase. “We had made some requests for changes during development and Traveldoo has shown itself capable of responding effectively,” says Sébastien Gamet.

A wide variety of user profiles

The unique requirements of a management school include the employment of many external professors on fixed-term contracts. “We have several types of user, each with different travel processing rules corresponding to different legal rules. These external lecturers are often those who travel the most. For the moment, we are manually creating their profiles, then they can order their tickets themselves. Other atypical profiles are students who promote the school at specialist exhibitions. This student pool makes their reservations with Traveldoo via a dedicated guest account, without having even been trained”.

Self-booking tool for more autonomy

When the project was launched, the Travel Manager chose not to communicate to employees, that administrative staff had control over the passenger profiles. “Our aim was to get everyone to book their travel directly on Traveldoo rather than engaging in the usual internal email exchange to choose the right flight or hotel. A long, drawn-out process”. Today, everyone manages their own reservations and there is no other way to book travel other than through Traveldoo.

Kedge Business School has chosen relatively simple workflows, with single validation by the budget manager. “When a workflow change was requested for professor profiles only, Traveldoo was able to respond very quickly. Much like the basic changes to hotel reservations, all of which were conducted smoothly by the travel agency and Traveldoo”.

Expense claim management: one of the project’s great advantages

In addition to travel management, Kedge Business School has chosen to enable Traveldoo’s expense management solution. Sébastien explains this choice:  “Our expense claim management was done completely by hand, using Excel spreadsheets. Although initially we had no intention of looking to improve this process, once we saw what Traveldoo was proposing, we chose to enable the module. This allowed us to group everything under one request and reconcile the expense reports with the corresponding trip”.

The consolidation of travel expenses has had a major impact on the purchasing department’s ability to budget for travel. “Employees are now responsible for their own reservations and therefore are more inclined to deal with the arrangements earlier, which allows us to buy cheaper tickets. Our average price on the Marseille/Bordeaux route, which is our main reference point, fell by 20% in the first year. Finally, Traveldoo has enabled us to reduce our agency costs thanks to the switch to 100% online” concludes the Travel Manager.

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