online adoption generates cost savings for Premier League football club
An ATPI Sports Events case study
This Premier League football club has a long history, having played more top flight games than any other club. Prior to using ATPI Sports Events as their Travel Management Company (TMC), the club had a relatively unmanaged business travel programme. Their previous agent
worked with them on an offline basis and there was significant ‘leakage’ and a lack of spend visibility.
Our objective was to move all simple point to point business to an online platform. We discussed various options and found the best fit for their needs. In addition, we provided an offline team to support more complex bookings and team travel. The move to a new TMC also provided a good opportunity for the club to review their travel policy, and ATPI Sports Events were called upon to assist with benchmarking against peer groups.
Our initial challenge was to overcome the internal mind-set and traditional fragmented behaviour patterns. We had to change the attitude of travellers who had always done things another way, and had
their own long term established contacts for booking travel. We quickly addressed this by recommending buy-in at board level to communicate to all staff the reasons for the change, and the benefits it would bring to the business.
ATPI Sports Events jointly communicated this message at on-site training roadshows, introducing members of the servicing team to ensure relationships could be
established, both with the offline team and the e-commerce telephone helpdesk team. Those responsible for booking travel quickly became more confident and engaged with the technology that provided immediate availability and price comparisons. Our role was to inform the travellers and travel bookers that we are all working for the same goal of efficiency and cost savings. We positioned ourselves as an enabler, whilst still allowing them to maintain local personal relationships.
Our e-commerce team are available during office hours to guide individuals through using the online booking tool. Our client introduced a policy of all travellers having to hold a profile, ensuring mandatory collection of information such as phone numbers and passport details - this can prove essential at a time of crisis. We have now successfully built strong relationships across the business and introduced a variety of service options available ranging from VIP, ATPI Select™, to mobile apps.
ATPI 24/7™, our in-house office based out of hours service, has proved valuable both in tournament and business travel scenarios.
It gives an extra level of comfort that ATPI Sports Events is available day and night, something the club didn’t have in place.
Savings are recorded and this has provided us with a good insight into the behaviour of individual bookers. Opportunities to maximise savings are also highlighted – this is shared within the business with newsletters congratulating the best savers. We also identified the requirement to consider duty of care for which the football club had no provision in place at the time of implementation.
We successfully provided them with advice and assisted them to implement a policy and processes, as well as providing access to tools to manage this need more effectively.
Visibility of travellers is something often overlooked by the booker or traveller themselves when booking travel. However, the club have been able to utilise the ATPI Traveller Tracking™ tool showing them where their travellers are at any given time, which gives them peace of mind. . This robust approach has already proved its value within their business, particularly given the unfortunate rise in events specifically targeting the sports world during the past two years.
Following implementation of the online tool the football club immediately experienced cost savings and improved efficiency, although initially offline adoption rates were low across the board due to a lack of booker confidence.
By spending time with the key bookers and delivering training and building confidence, online adoption has increased steadily month on month from 22% in January to 62% in December 2016. Specifically, online adoption for rail has seen the biggest increase, up 21% in 2016 vs 2015. By educating travellers to book online, encouraging
advance purchase, and combining one-way tickets, the average cost of rail tickets has reduced by 9%.