‘We slashed our travel costs by 30%’

‘We slashed our travel costs by 30%’

Sometimes it can be hard to identify opportunities to reduce expenditure – but as one business explains, huge savings can be made by upgrading outdated systems and processes.

Credit Union Australia runs a busy operation. The Brisbane-headquartered financial services firm operates a network of branches and mobile bankers, particularly on the eastern seaboard. Its travel costs are a significant burden on its operations – in excess of $1 million annually.

As such, staff travel was a key focus for the organisation to cut costs without cutting service.

“Previously at CUA, we were using a very old method of approvals, if any, and there were a number of different ways to book [travel]: phone, email, and through a slow, clunky system,” Kathryn Crooks, a contract specialist at CUA, tells My Business.Capital squeeze - $20 notes pressed in a clamp

CUA decided to centralise and streamline this process, giving all employees a simple and efficient means of booking travel. By doing so, the organisation could then track its travel spend much more efficiently, enabling it to identify opportunities to reduce wastage.

CUA opted to implement the digital travel management system Travelport Locomote.

“Within the first month we saw a huge drop in spend. This was to be expected, but then month two and three also saw considerable decreases,” says Kathryn.

“We estimate to save at least $300,000 this year.”

My Business was curious to find out what impacts this changeover had on the business, given some transitions can prove expensive to implement. However, Kathryn says the impact on CUA’s operations has been minimal.

“The transition was great,” she says.

“We conducted some training sessions with key users of travel, as well as one-on-one training. Phone training was also taken up by branch staff who were not in hub office locations.

“Overall it took about three months to get everyone on board.”

Such have been the benefits of the new management platform that CUA is now exploring other areas where similar efficiencies could be made.

“At this stage, CUA are looking at a number of digital solutions, organisation-wide,” says Kathryn.

‘We slashed our travel costs by 30%’
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