London, 23 June 2009 – Companies looking to extract even greater savings from their Travel and Expense (T&E) budgets have a powerful new tool in these challenging times. KDS, Europe’s leading provider of integrated T&E systems, has expanded the functionality of its KDS Corporate online solution so that virtually all travel bookings can be managed and all travel expenses captured for efficient reconciliation. One hundred per cent user adoption and policy compliance are now achievable goals – a first for a T&E solution.
KDS is firmly established as a leading European provider of travel management technologies, with household name clients including EADS, JPMorganChase, PwC, Unilever and the UK’s Ministry of Defence.
Until now, online T&E solutions have offered only partial coverage of processes and spend. Travellers still regularly book with an agency by phone, bypassing the online system for up to 50% of their trips, typically the more complex ones. In such instances, booking tools are unable to enforce travel policies, apply “visual guilt” to ticket prices, run workflows or generate reports, as the trips are ‘not seen’ by the system.
At the other end of the process, many expense tools fail adequately to address important sources of cost information. For example, many companies pay part of their travel costs by direct invoice from suppliers, including hotel chains, travel agencies and lodge cards. This type of spending is typically not captured within reimbursement-oriented expense management systems, and can therefore be labour-intensive to reconcile and process. Without this visibility of spend made “on account”, total cost of trip reporting is impossible.
Now, the power of KDS as a ‘cost killer’ has been enhanced through two new modules:
KDS Total Travel is an online solution accommodating trips that benefit from travel agent assistance. All requests are made online. Simple bookings are completed in self-service mode. More complex requests are routed to an agent who proposes options back to the traveller, still within the online tool. By routing all bookings through KDS Corporate, policy is enforced, costs are monitored and data capture is complete.
KDS Invoice Reconciliation automates cost allocation and reconciliation for imported supplier invoices. Lodge card data, travel agency and other supplier invoiced costs can be viewed and matched against existing trip data. Accounts Payable teams can confidently pay invoices without manually cross checking every line item. With all travel related costs held in the same database, the much sought-after, total trip cost reporting now becomes a reality.
These new modules expand the capabilities of KDS, allowing a redefinition of what an end-to-end, purchase-to-pay process can achieve when applied to travel spending.
Yves Weisselberger, CEO of KDS, said, “Customers using our systems have always been able to achieve significant costs savings but these new modules represent a T&E industry first. Now, unless you are booking a private jet, there is virtually no opportunity to circumvent the system. Employers can reap the rewards of lower spending and improved cost analysis, while travellers can be sure that even their most complex travel bookings are handled quickly and efficiently.
“Achieving 100% user adoption has long been the Holy Grail for T&E systems, and now that is within reach,” he continued. “The comprehensiveness of KDS Corporate makes it far easier for organisations to mandate the use of the system for all bookings. This in turn opens the door to far greater savings, which is welcome news in the current economic climate.”
High resolution images of Yves Weisselberger and KDS screen grabs can be downloaded here.