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ENSURING A FUTURE TMC PARTNER HAD THE CONTENT, TECHNOLOGY & MINDSET NEEDED FOR TOMORROW’S SUCCESS

THE BASF GLOBAL TRAVEL PROGRAMME

Case Study

HEAR HOW BASF SHONE THE SPOTLIGHT ON MODERN CONTENT AND DISTRIBUTION CAPABILITIES AS PART OF THEIR TMC SOURCING EXERCISE

The mission

About BASF: BASF creates chemistry for a sustainable future. They combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of their customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world.

Their portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of 78.6 billion in 2021, with shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com

As the company entered a global TMC sourcing exercise in 2021 it recognised the importance of ensuring external expertise to review the TMC proposals to highlight the “pitch vs reality” in being able to deliver the right content to BASF today and in the future.

“BASF has a strong business travel management strategy in place and the team are well versed in the New Distribution Capability (NDC) and modern travel content distribution dynamics. Our focus at all times is to ensure all travellers stay within the BASF travel eco- system, to provide enhanced traveller experience, meet our duty of care and manage costs, with the priority in making it simple for the travellers meet their business needs. We understand the importance of our chosen TMC partner’s IT infrastructure and the need for an innovative ways of sourcing content to achieve our objectives.”

PATRICK KUZIW
GLOBAL TRAVEL MANAGER AT BASF

ENSURING A FUTURE TMC PARTNER HAD THE CONTENT, TECHNOLOGY & MINDSET NEEDED FOR TOMORROW’S SUCCESS

THE IMPORTANCE OF AN INDEPENDENT, EXTERNAL VIEW TO VALIDATE

The Issue: BASF had begun undertaking a sophisticated and robust sourcing exercise to select their travel management company (TMC) partner for the future. As part of the deep analysis phase, they had held extensive workshops with the TMCs’ distribution and content teams to explore the capabilities and roadmaps for modern content and distribution in all relevant travel categories such as air, accommodation, and ground transportation. However, it was important for BASF to have the insights they were provided with validated by an independent expert.

The Solution: The initial phase of the review saw FESTIVE ROAD evaluating the “pitch” of the shortlisted TMCs by observing the workshops, using publicly available knowledge, and gaining insights on the perspectives of existing, peer customers of the TMCs on the “reality” of the claims around NDC, API and modern distribution capabilities. The evaluation was undertaken across three key areas: Culture, Capabilities and Commercials, or “the 3Cs”.

The Result: The use of FESTIVE ROAD’s TMC sourcing approach, using the 3Cs to frame the insights, and the real-experiences of other travel buyers to date ensured that BASF gained a holistic view of the TMCs real capabilities and the re-assurance from peer-buyers who were living with the reality of the new distribution landscape.

DIGGING DEEPER AND ASSESSING LIVE ENVIRONMENTS

The Issue: The BASF travel team were progressive in their approach with airline suppliers, contracting negotiated NDC bundles and beginning to explore continuous and dynamic pricing. They had a clear vision of the type of products and services they would like their travellers to receive at the point of sale. They were aware that TMC technology stack choices had implications for the downstream effects of booking NDC content – from servicing to data to payment. How could they test this?

The Solution: FESTIVE ROAD established a series of booking scenarios to test real-life content based on the actual needs of travellers and content contracted with airline partners. Test calls were established with TMC reservations teams, with sufficient insight to prepare teams but also protected data to make the test scenarios as real, and unpreparable, as possible. With each booking scenario the content retrieved, the distribution method (GDS or other channel) was recorded, and any potential warning flags and negative downstream effects were noted.

The Result: This robust, independent, and live environment created an exact, auditable report of the real capabilities of the TMC to deliver to the specifications of BASF as it stands today. This acted as an additional tool to evaluate against “TMC pitch v reality”. It also provided somewhat of a reality check on the ability of TMCs across the board to deliver an enhanced experience for travellers and the challenges a value chain experiences, even an aligned and co-ordinated one, as the eco-system adapts to modern distribution methods.

PATRICK’S THOUGHTS…

“The report showed the current state of TMCs maturity, approach and strategy towards content management which provided us with the ability to evaluate how they could assist BASF with achieving our content goals.”

USING THE INSIGHTS TO CONTRACT A PARTNER FOR THE FUTURE

The Issue: With a clear understanding of both the capabilities and limitations on the ability for the TMCs to presently provide what was required by BASF, plus the insights into culture and any commercial considerations, the company was seeking to create a common set of terms which would build an environment for mutual success as distribution methods evolve.

The Solution: FESTIVE ROAD applied its own knowledge, the insights gained, and perspectives on key considerations to drive success in recommended language for a Statement of Work (SOW) which BASF could present to their preferred TMC choice as a basis for contractual negotiation. Recommendations were made under three distinct headings; must have, should have, could have. This provided the right insights for the BASF team to decide what their approach would be.

The Result: With a common set of terms and individual “watch-outs” from the contracts of the specific TMCs, the BASF team were armed with everything they needed to move forward with their preferred provider. Key considerations were grouped under operational, commercial aspects and governance related issues.

PATRICK’S THOUGHTS…

“The whole exercise showed us that the market is not yet where we would like it to be in the content space, but it’s getting there. The project has focused us on not what is available now, but how we can obtain what our travellers require in the future.”

Mission success

BASF applied the many insights in content and distribution capability to the final stages of their TMC sourcing exercise. The final, selected TMC partner undoubtedly had many facets which made it the right selection for BASF, but one of them was that they were the most advanced of the shortlisted candidates in their provision of NDC content and their roadmap for future developments. This demonstrates the importance of the insights provided in the sourcing exercise.

BASF are now on a partnership pathway with their chosen TMC to develop content and a booking experience which will drive their overall travel management objectives “…to ensure customer experience, duty of care and cost management…in that order”.

PATRICK’S THOUGHTS…

“We knew that we had asked FESTIVE ROAD to help us with a progressive but challenging project. We selected them because of their experience and profile on the subject of NDC. They were professional, informative and friendly throughout, but most importantly of all, they helped us make the best decision for BASF we could in a very complex area.”

LEARN MORE

To speak to Patrick about his experience with FESTIVE ROAD and the support BASF received to assess the NDC capabilities of TMCs as part of their sourcing process, or to talk to one of the FESTIVE ROAD team contact hello@festive-road.com.

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