Absolut’s success story


Savings through standardisation


Market leaders in premium vodka, Absolut, can raise a glass to celebrate after successfully consolidating its travel programme.


The company, owned by French group Pernod Ricard, wanted all of its travellers around the world to book through one channel, reducing costs and allowing management information reporting.


Absolut became a client of travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) in the UK in June 2013. Its 45 travellers had never used an online travel booking tool (OBT) and it was agreed that adopting online booking would be crucial in improving policy compliance and consolidating data.


The right tools


"We held a travel policy workshop with the client, exploring different options to create a bespoke tool suited perfectly to the needs of Absolut," said CWT national account manager Christian Ryan.


CWT Portrait was used to set up a profile on every traveller, sourced direct from Absolut’s HR feed, so that information such as passport details and seating requirements were saved to make the booking process more efficientThe tool also captures booking data to provide accurate reporting for the client..


Programme Messenger – an easy to use communication tool designed by CWT to deliver targeted, customised policy compliance and travel-related information by email or text – was used to remind travellers to book online whenever possible.


Meanwhile CWT worked with a third party to support Absolut’s in-house expense reconciliation system. This saw payment card information stored and a data feed set up to Absolut’s partner.


A fantastic start


After just six months of operation, online adoption was at 35%, exceeding Absolut’s initial target of 19% - a saving of more than £2,200.


Excellent outcome


Marie Forsstrom, Absolut’s global travel manager, said: “For me, it’s really important that the set-up is exactly the same in all countries. Consolidating all data has been really important, and we now have access to timely, relevant and accurate data at a global, regional and country level."


"The Programme Messenger tool has been really helpful in sending out automated emails informing staff about the travel policy etc. CWT Programme Management Centre is a tool that is user friendly and very helpful in the follow-up work."


Marie concluded: “As our national account manager, Christian has been crucial in taking care of us and working with us to achieve our objectives. Overall we are very pleased and happy with the service CWT provides!”