Communication During A System Migration

» Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

A high level of communication is needed for a smooth transition from a traditional Travel Management Center (TMC) environment to an Electronic Travel System (ETS) environment.  People can be very reluctant to change, especially when they’ve used certain processes to complete travel over several years.  There’s usually a bit of anxiety, especially on the part of the traveler.  ETS systems put more of the process in the traveler’s (or travel preparer’s) hands.  While it is a faster process with so many things automated, I’ve seen many travelers who were more comfortable with a manual process of writing up their travel authorization, getting written approval from their manager, and then having their TMC issue the tickets.  Using an ETS system can seem complicated at first.  It’s really not as user friendly as the Orbitz or Travelocities of the world.  However, I’ve noticed that once people use the systems on a more regular basis they become more aware of just how much easier it makes the process of processing both travel authorizations and vouchers.  All of a sudden, what seemed so complicated before now seems easy.

I’ve personally led quite a few training sessions on an ETS system and I’ve noticed that making travelers and travel preparers aware of the training resources available to them is one of the best methods in preventing problems before they happen.  Going to a new system/process can put a lot of strain on the team managing that system also.  Early on there is usually a high call volume from travelers seeking assistance on how to use the system, and it can sometimes take up to a year for things to calm down to reduced levels.  Agency web sites should be as up to date as possible with FAQs, training manuals, and contact information.  It can be hard for agencies to devote their time to making their web site as helpful as possible, but the more information that is available the better.  It will help travelers and travel preparers immensely.

By Kelvin Dawson

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