Hearing technology company Cochlear was looking to consolidate and streamline its travel programme by reducing the number of travel management companies it works with. The multinational company, which innovates and brings to market hearing loss treatments such as implants and aids, wanted to drive its travel booking online to benefit from savings, MI reporting and improved traveller experience.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) was appointed to look after Cochlear’s travel requirements multinationally and it was decided that the UK should be implemented first with other markets to follow later.
A smooth and seamless implementation was paramount to ensure the change to CWT was successful, setting a benchmark for rollout across EMEA. To improve efficiencies, Cochlear wanted its travellers to use the new online booking tool (OBT) as much as possible, limiting offline booking to multiple person and multiple destination travel only.
A further challenge was Cochlear’s complex requirements around travel approval, which feature three different policies depending on a traveller’s role within the business, relating to the cost and class of travel, and a further line of approval regarding destination risk factors.
The project team was lead on CWT’s side by Simon Owen, manager UK implementation team, and on Cochlear’s by Benny Gers, procurement project lead EMEA for Cochlear Europe. They worked collaboratively to agree strategy, ensuring that good communication kept everyone informed and the changes were explained to key stakeholders to secure internal buy-in.
Next phase: France and Switzerland
In the UK, Cochlear’s migration to CWT went to plan, all challenges were met and overcome, and the services and tools are working well. As a result, implementation is now going ahead in France and Switzerland, where Cochlear is based.