We’re about two months into 2022 which means it’s the perfect time to tell you what we’re doing this year (right?)!
At a company meeting late last year, our CEO Jeff listed three themes for this year that he wanted us to consider as we planned our product roadmap: upgrading the traveler (and booker) experience; automating more tasks; and integrating new payment and expense technology.
Upgrading the traveler experience means continuously making it better, faster, and simpler to interact with AmTrav, whether through our online tools, or by contacting our advisor team. Automation means taking tasks that are cumbersome and time consuming and making them as close to one-click automatic as possible. And integrating new payment and expense technology focuses not just narrowly on how you can pay for your travel, but more broadly on the associated approval, reconciliation, accounting, and reimbursement parts which often can be serious pain points.
Keeping these themes in mind, here’s what we’re doing to deliver even more value for your travel programs in 2022:
First, Gather, the easy and fast way to plan guest & meeting travel which we just launched. No more forms, emails or calls, instead you can invite your guests to book themselves within policies and parameters that you tailor for each trip. Take a little automation, a little user experience and voila – you’ll save a lot of time and hassle when planning travel for candidates, temporary employees and meeting attendees.
The second big development is behind the scenes: a big upgrade to the software that AmTrav’s Travel Advisors use to book and update customers’ travel plans. We build, maintain and upgrade this tool ourselves as a key part of our one connected platform, and the next generation will be a lot faster and more capable, enabling Travel Advisors to deliver expert 24x7 help even faster. More automation for AmTrav’s all-employee Travel Advisor team means better traveler experiences for you.
Giving bookers and travelers new ways to update their travel plans themselves is our third big project for 2022. Today travelers can cancel trips themselves and apply their unused airline ticket credits with one click, but they need to contact AmTrav Travel Advisors if, for example, they need to extend a trip they’re already on. AmTrav’s automated self-service changes will enable customers to make almost all air, hotel and car changes themselves, with Travel Advisors ready to help if customers want that extra helping hand. Automation plus traveler experience means you can do more, faster!
The fourth and final development is this thing called “spend management”. It hits on our new payment and expense technology theme. 20 years ago expense software tools like Concur Expense, Certify and others replaced spreadsheets, photocopies and staples – a huge improvement that has saved loads of time and eliminated errors. But spend management takes it a step further with credit cards that automatically collect and record expense data in real-time as your travelers make credit card purchases (G2 has a decent definition of spend management software). When you upgrade to a spend management platform like Brex, Divvy, Ramp, AirBase or Emburse (and many, many others), nobody on your team has to prepare an expense report or reconcile charges with expenses – saving even more time and errors! We haven’t figured out all the details yet, but look for AmTrav to integrate tightly with multiple spend management providers for those of you who already use spend management technology, and possibly offer an AmTrav-branded solution, too.
So, is that it? No, of course not. We’re always working on smaller enhancements and incorporating your feedback. In recent weeks, we’ve added a Quick Search bar so you can quickly navigate within a2b; and a chat notification to let you know your place in the chat line (in all channels: on the web, in the app, in Slack and Microsoft Teams!).
Being radically honest: we’re aiming high; there’s a chance that we won’t go four-for-four on our big project list, but we’ll report back at the end of the year on our progress. But at a high level, this is how AmTrav will drive your productivity in 2022: helping you get the full value of your business travel by reducing the obstacles, complexity and cost to get you where you need to go.
How are you improving your travel and expense programs in 2022? Reach out to your AmTrav Relationship Manager – they’re ready to help, whether that means helping adapt your AmTrav account to a new card or expense program, or helping you negotiate money-saving supplier discounts.