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A new T&E analytics platform for corporate travel procurement departments & Travel and Meetings Managers

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Despite the slowdown in worldwide business travel and meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the responsibilities of the typical corporate travel manager have dramatically increased and grown in complexity.

DALLAS and EVANSTON, IL - Traxo, Inc. announced an expanded commercial relationship with ZS, a large professional services company with more than 25 offices in 14 countries.

ZS, whose corporate travel department has been a Traxo customer since 2017, is now launching "ZS Connections," a new travel and expense analytics solution for the corporate travel industry. The new solution brings together all the data associated with meetings and travel programs to allow travel and meetings managers to more efficiently organize and leverage company travel data rather than spending time managing multiple spreadsheets.

Despite the slowdown in worldwide business travel and meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the responsibilities of the typical corporate travel manager have dramatically increased and grown in complexity. According to a recent Global Business Travel Association survey, 66 percent of travel managers reported an increase in job responsibilities, while 48 percent reported their companies now have more people and departments involved in decisions regarding travel policy.

“To manage the increase in responsibilities and increased reporting points within their organizations, travel buyers need a solution that can not only track all of their travel, regardless of how or where it was booked, but also the related expense and meetings data, which often originate in disparate systems with no standardization,” said Steve Marley, ZS meetings and events practice area lead. “ZS Connections is a ‘data accelerator’ that consolidates and standardizes the various data elements, providing travel and meetings managers with the opportunity to drive program performance.”

As a result of the Traxo and ZS Connections alliance, corporate travel managers can now:

  • aggregate total spend by travel supplier for better rate negotiations and rebates;
  • identify travel program leakage pre-trip, in order to develop processes that drive increased adherence to their corporate travel policy;
  • analyze costs by department or cost center;
  • and communicate overall performance to corporate leadership while providing the flexibility to dive deep for data insights.

“For most companies, an average of 30 percent of all their business travel is booked outside of approved corporate booking tools, which leaves a huge blind spot for those companies that require timely and accurate financial reporting and forecasting,” said Andres Fabris, Traxo founder and CEO.

“Therefore, any sophisticated business intelligence tool is significantly impaired unless it can evaluate and track essentially all travel purchasing,” Fabris continued. “As a result of this new partnership with ZS, this unique travel and meetings solution can accomplish this goal and more, empowering travel managers, accounting and financial analysts, and procurement teams to optimize their travel programs and capture incremental savings opportunities.”

As a consulting firm, ZS touts that it “likes solving problems - taking things apart, seeing how they work and putting them back together better.” That is precisely what the company did, and ZS Connections was the result. The system was originally created internally at ZS to help manage the worldwide corporate travel program for its 9,000 traveling employees.

Suzanne Boyan, ZS meetings and travel manager and 2019 Business Travel News “Travel Manager of the Year,” noted, “My corporate travel program would not be possible without ZS Connections. Prior to ZS Connections, I would need to cobble together innumerable spreadsheets and work through inconsistent data formats. The new tool automatically imports and streamlines our company’s expense, corporate credit card, Traxo, TMC, and HR data so I can get real-time cost figures on the health of my program. This includes knowing immediately who has booked outside of our corporate travel policy and being able to rectify it pre-trip.”

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