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KDS Unveils The Next Generation Of Travel & Expense Management Systems

Aviation - 2nd February 2011

Paris, February 2, 2011 – The industry-leading innovators of KDS are today launching a set of products that will revolutionise travel and expense (T&E) management.

Speaking at the company’s ‘KDS Now! 2011’ conference in Paris, chief executive Yves Weisselberger said: “We’re unveiling technologies that will give companies unprecedented levels of flexibility, visibility, forecasting, ease and efficiency in their travel booking and expense processing.”

Through an on-screen ‘dashboard’, the ‘KDS Executive Suite’ provides companies with an instant graphic overview of their T&E performance. In a single glance, a financial director can see many key performance indicators (KPIs), monitoring concerns from whether company policies and processes are being correctly applied by staff to what would happen if those policies were to change. “Best of all,” says Weisselberger, “the Executive Suite’s revolutionary new ‘Foresight’ early warning system follows and predicts KPI trends to provide advance warning of forthcoming problems. If company targets are not going to be met by year-end, ‘Foresight’ can recommend practical, pre-emptive corrective measures. There has never been a technology-based solution to this problem before.

“Finance directors will love the ‘Executive Suite’,” continues Weisselberger. “You can customise the dashboard to show the KPIs that really matter to your business, from ‘Return on Investment from T&E’ through to ‘Compliance to Travel Policy’. Then you can immediately assess your company’s performance and solve any problems – or even potential problems – with just a few taps on the keyboard. Realising too late that you have a crisis – and introducing a panic travel ban, for example – is just not a sign of good management.”

The Executive Suite ‘Index’ function allows the user to see exactly how money is being spent, and by whom, even breaking figures down into spend on individual vendors if required.

“T&E spend normally represents 2-8% of a company’s turnover,” says Weisselberger. “The ‘Executive Suite’ brings the same level of visibility and cost discipline to T&E management as companies routinely demand in other areas of substantial spend.

“The ‘Executive Suite is a landmark in T&E management; a major step forward in helping companies maximise the return on their travel budgets.”

‘KDS Mobile’ brings the company’s T&E services to employees on the move anywhere in the world, through a mobile phone or similar hand-held device. Staff downtime is therefore minimised. Among the many advantages, expenses can be entered whilst, for example, staff are travelling between meetings in a taxi, and travel requests and approvals need never be delayed again simply because an employee or manager is off-site. “‘KDS Mobile’ is our first-generation mobile product,” says Weisselberger, “and we are very excited about the prospects. Further generations of KDS mobile products will follow soon.”

The new KDS ‘Receipt Scanning’ service removes the paper trail from expense processing. “The employee could, for example, scan his receipts on the office photocopier and then send that scan electronically when submitting the claim,” says Weisselberger. “Or he could even photograph the receipts with his mobile phone and attach the images to the claim.” Finance teams therefore no longer need to waste time matching a pile of physical receipts to the entries on a claim form. By improving the reconciliation of routine receipts and claims, the team can focus instead on missing or unusual receipts.

Finally, KDS is launching a ‘Partner Programme’ service that offers travel management companies (TMCs) the best package yet for communicating with corporate customers through a portal. “Our goal,” says Weisselberger, “is to allow our partners to serve their customers in the best way possible. We want to make our partners self-sufficient in a shorter timeframe than ever before. Our fully-hosted portals already allow TMCs to forget about infrastructure and focus on customers. Through the Partner Programme, TMCs can now look forward to software, services, training and tools designed to accelerate revenue and drive customer satisfaction.”

Over 380 people attended ‘KDS Now! 2011’, which was hosted by leading travel journalist and broadcaster Simon Calder.