FirstGroup have been Inntel clients for over 15 years and during this time, a number of very successful cost saving initiatives have been implemented. The matter of online bookings has always been elusive though, due to outdated internal processes within the group and working with two separate travel management companies.

In 2016, FirstGroup undertook a full market review with the objective of bringing all travel and meeting related services and payment into a single supplier. As incumbent provider of accommodation and meeting management services, Inntel were invited to participate.

Inntel beat off the competition and were awarded FirstGroup’s whole travel and meetings contract.


Understanding requirements

Having appointed a single travel management company, FirstGroup wanted a slick travel programme with streamlined booking processes and tight budget controls.

Whilst we were very familiar with FirstGroup already, having worked together for a number of years, we took the opportunity to review, refresh and re-energise our partnership. We spent time with the organisation’s key stakeholders to understand all their requirements in detail.

One of their requirements was to introduce a new policy around making bookings online, to improve their existing 21% online booking usage.

Our solution

During the re-implementation of the FirstGroup account, we scoped their full requirements across air, rail, accommodation and venues. A survey was carried out with all travel bookers and our recommendations were presented to their key stakeholders. The new iCentral site was configured to their exact requirements and a target of 75% online adoption was agreed.

The Inntel Account Manager scheduled a series of training and education roadshows across all divisions from Aberdeen to Plymouth, supported by regular communications to bookers outlining the new ‘best practices’ and highlighting successes. These had full ‘buy-in’ by FirstGroup’s Procurement and Category Managers in every division.

Adding value

In addition to the savings on reduced transaction fees for online bookings and reduced savings on air and hotel costs, Inntel also incentivised FirstGroup in the form of a financial rebate for achieving the 75% online target.

Satisfying customers

The client has been delighted by the efficiency of their new booking method and the savings they have been able to make.