Auckland, New Zealand. 7th July 2016 – Serko Ltd. (SKO.NZ) announced that its new small business travel management application, serko.travel, will launch on 25th July 2016, in conjunction with Xero, the leader in online accountancy software.
The application is targeted at businesses in New Zealand and Australia with less than 150 employees, will drive significant productivity gains and unlock meaningful cost savings for businesses by streamlining every aspect of business travel. The application, which is free to use, is a simplified version of the same well-established platform used by large corporations across Australia and New Zealand.
serko.travel will give businesses the ability to search, book and manage complete business trips involving multiple suppliers via mobile or desktop. The application allows travellers to manage their trips on-the-go, while the desktop application also provides a portal for office managers and decision makers to manage rules, approve trips or make bookings on behalf of other people in the organisation.
Importantly, by providing small business employers with end-to-end visibility of their employees travel plans, serko.travel also assists companies comply with the duty of care legislation in both New Zealand and Australia.
Unlike any other online travel booking system before, the online functionality of serko.travel will be complemented by expert offline support from Helloworld for business, Corporate Traveller and Flight Centre Business Travel. For the first time, they will offer Travel Expert services on an ‘on demand’ basis which means travellers only have to pay if and when they need their services.
Darrin Grafton, Serko CEO, understands the challenges that small to medium businesses face when it comes to booking and managing business travel, and not only wants to give them access to the same technology and travel deals, but also the same customer service as their larger counterparts.
“If you have a problem when you’re away on business you really need to be able to speak to someone that knows what they’re talking about, and the services of Helloworld for Business and Flight Centre will be an important asset in ensuring serko.travel customers can book and manage their travel in the most efficient way possible.
“The support from Flight Centre and Helloworld for Business will complement partnerships with some of the biggest travel brands in the region, including Expedia, Wotif, Booking.com, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and AVIS who provide all of the content” Darrin said.
Research undertaken by TNS Research in New Zealand confirmed that 46% of the one million+ SMEs in NZ and Australia travel regularly for work. These SMEs book an average of 30 trips per year, with approximately six hours of an owner operator or employee’s time being spent on booking and managing each travel itinerary.
The research highlights that there are two main booking methods used by SMEs today. Approximately 33% of SMEs regularly book via a travel agent and 66% book directly on supplier or aggregator websites, which tends to be a time consuming and inefficient process, considering that between 25% and 40% of business trips change at least once.