Travel Initiative Begins Implementing Solutions

In order to help SMU realize the maximum amount of savings and efficiency possible in the travel booking process, the OE2C Travel Initiative has recommended that Christopherson Business Travel serve as the University’s new travel management company (TMC). The new travel software solution, Concur, requires integration with a TMC and the committee felt Christopherson was the best provider to issue airline tickets, book hotels and rental cars, and provide live assistance for travel booking and itinerary changes. The company has more than 60 years of experience in the travel business, has been recognized as a top corporate travel agency by Business Travel News and Travel Weekly and is one of 23 Concur Preferred Partners.

After submitting a Request For Information (RFI) to a range of TMCs, committee members examined responses and invited faculty and staff to attend presentations by finalists in the first week of December. Feedback from those in attendance at the campus TMC presentations was critical in the final recommendation.

Travel in Athletics was also examined to see if efficiencies could be gained in this area. The committee’s careful assessment determined that Athletics should fulfill their existing contract with Anthony Travel Inc., a firm originally selected for their team travel expertise, and begin exploring opportunities to book travel through Christopherson. All Athletics travel will be managed through Concur.

Christopherson will be the point of contact for individual travel when the Concur implementation is complete, tentatively scheduled around June 1, 2015. Updates and changes to the installation schedule will be posted on the OE2C website.

The travel administration process will be overseen by Millicent Grant in her new role as Travel Category and Credit Card Manager. In this position, Millicent will be responsible for maintaining travel policy, providing training, managing key vendor relationships and recommending best practices in travel spending for the University.

By Nick Rallo