Businesses are being urged to look closely at their travel management plans to save time and money to offset havoc and disruption caused by adverse winter weather.
Equilibrium Travel Management (EQ), which specialises in corporate travel, believes this week’s gale-force storms and the fact that last year’s snow misery is still fresh in the minds of many businesses, should act as a timely reminder of the need for travel contingency plans if employees find themselves stranded, with no option of returning home or to the office.
The cost of finding solutions to these situations can often be crippling and costly to a business, both in terms of valuable staff time wasted and the difficulty in finding the time or the resources to source viable, inexpensive travel alternatives.
Franc Jeffery, CEO of EQ who has helped several companies to avert weather chaos disruption, said: “As part of our daily routine we monitor global events and activity so we can respond quickly when major disruptions to travel occur. This ensures our travellers make it to their destination or can be evacuated as quickly and safely as possible.
“During this week’s severe weather that caused the cancellation of many flights in the UK, we were quick to act. By running a real time report we were able to pinpoint all our affected travellers and begin rebooking or transferring them onto alternative forms of transport.
“That meant that staff who potentially could have been stranded in various locations were able to complete their trips to return home or continue their journey – ensuring no lost time and no unhappy staff.”
EQ’s success in this area was amply demonstrated in a recent incident where bad weather had forced the cancellation of flights from London to Scotland, leaving an executive from one if its clients facing a lengthy delay or being struck overnight.
EQ received an automatic flight update and were able to immediately rebook the executive onto a flight scheduled for later that evening. However due to the unpredictability of the weather conditions there was a good chance the later flight could also be cancelled, so EQ also investigated ground transportation options.
EQ’s staff recommended travelling by rail back to Scotland – by the time the executive had removed himself from the queuing hoards at Heathrow he had received his train reservation via his mobile phone. The executive was making his way back to Edinburgh when word came through that the later flight had indeed been cancelled.
Franc said: “Our client was left satisfied as their executive had managed to make it home that evening and be back to work the following morning.
“They also didn’t have the worry of trying to organise alternative transport that may not have been available to them if they had tried to make a booking later in the day.
“Employing a travel management company to handle your corporate travel does not ensure that your business will succumb to major disruptions, but it will ensure that you save valuable time and money – travel disruptions no longer need have such a big impact on the day to day running of your business.”
Franc also highlighted how the safety and well-being of employees in these situations is a worry for businesses. He added: “During severe weather situations it is important for companies to know where their staff are and that they are safe.
“Using real time travel management reports, we can help companies to track employees and are able to assure businesses that they are safe in these locations. Additionally, this ensures companies remain compliant with European Duty of Care legislation.”
EQ can work with your organisation to ensure your travel reflects your business goals by building an effective travel management programme which evolves and reacts to market demands and changes.