In 2013, we were contacted by an international sales and marketing agency that wanted more help with organising their meetings, events and accommodation. Their current supplier was taking a rather passive role, and they wanted their new supplier to deliver a proactive and reliable ‘total account management’ service so they were free to focus on their core business.
Inntel started working with the company in March 2013, and took over the complete management of the account in January 2014.
Our new client wanted a slick meetings, events and accommodation programme with streamlined booking processes and tight budget controls.
We started, as always, by spending time with the company to understand all of their requirements in greater detail. This included meeting the key bookers and analysing how and where their budget has been spent in the past, and talking to the Finance Director and Account Manager at length so that we could create tailored Management Information Reports that provide all the information they need for their business.
The company in fact had many varied requirements. For example, they needed high volumes of small meeting room hires across the UK for recruiting local people to work on in-store campaigns. They needed support with the organisation of their calendar of events, which included an annual conference and regular training events. And they wanted a better deal from hotels including those near their company HQ – which was a challenge considering they are based in a small Oxfordshire town.
Inntel negotiated special rates for the client with hotels around the country – including the two in the home town – and worked closely with the company to establish and implement a new and comprehensive corporate travel policy.
The Inntel account manager was given a company badge and desk space at the company’s HQ so she can spend time on site, planning any upcoming projects with the organisers and making herself available to answer any questions.
Once the account was set up and running smoothly, we introduced the client to i-Central, our online booking tool. The i-Central system is preloaded with their preferred hotels and rates to enable them to make faster direct bookings. It also gives the bookers a choice of reimbursement codes to select (depending on the employee’s department and staff level) ranging from full cash back to an agreed allowance for dinner and drinks. This makes it easier for the employees to see what they can claim back and also ensures the figures contained in the monthly reports are given in a way that matches the company’s accounting preferences.
Each month Inntel provides them with a report showing the breakdown of expenses by department, including any cases where employees have asked to book hotels that are not on the preferred list, so they can be investigated internally. Inntel’s rigorous account management processes have enabled the client to consolidate their costs and see exactly where every penny they spend is going.
The client has been delighted by the efficiency of the Inntel account management service, and the savings they have been able to make since Inntel negotiated special rates at their preferred hotels. In 2014, Inntel saved the company more than 26% of their previous year’s spend on meetings and events alone.