APAC Issue 1 2018

16 APAC / Issue 1 2018 , 1711AP08 Travelling to Success TravelEdge is Australia’s largest privately owned travel management company, offering a full suite of services that covers corporate travel, in-house travel management solutions, academic services, events and groups, holiday and leisure services and travel prizing and incentives. We caught up with TravelEdge CEO, KimWethmar to find out more about the firmand explore the secrets behind its phenomenal success. Since 2000, TravelEdge has been a comprehensive travel partner, assisting businesses with high-calibre solutions that take them to where they need to go. Former Qantas senior executives, Founders Sue Hollis and Grant Wilson saw the potential of a corporate travel management company with a strong service focus and the technology and buying power of a multinational. In 2015, under the leadership of CEO Kim Wethmar, the firm created its refreshingly innovative approach. As such, the firm is committed to continuous improvement and innovation in all areas of the business, and clients continually gain from its focus and initiatives. “Globally, TravelEdge is unique in the market because for us, our role is all about collaborating, sharing ideas, best practices and, above all, providing underlying benefits to our clients. Through our Radius Travel model, one which partners with over 70 markets worldwide and 121 best-in-market agencies, we provide a deliberate difference in the global travel industry and one which allows us to provide fully consolidated, customised and united travel management offerings with total compliance across all locations. This ultimately allows us to embrace the local differences all whilst maintaining global continuity. “Fundamentally, our vision is to make every journey an exceptional experience. Combining consummate service with pioneering technology for the local Australian market, and the buying power of a multinational makes us a genuinely unique service provider.” It is this collaborative focus that sets the firm apart from its competitors in this highly populated market. “What differentiates TravelEdge from its competitors are the embedded partnerships we have with our technology partners and suppliers. We value and cherish these relationships, actively seeking collaborations and investment opportunities to develop solutions for our clients’ needs and requirements. “An example of this partnership and its value, was reflected in a recent case where we were able to save one of our largest corporate client’s significant time in manual processing of travel invoices and minimise lost receipts. Our client had originally approached their TravelEdge Account Manager and expressed a concern regarding lost travel invoices. The Account Manager worked with our in-house development team and the client’s expense system company to build a link from our mid-office system, straight into the client’s expense system ready for a traveller to process their reconciliation against the charge. The end result being extensive cost savings for our client.” People are also a fundamental differentiator within this unique business; they are the fundamental assets and driving force of the company. TravelEdge is a highly-diversified organisation with people from all parts of society, and works hard to ensure that it offers equal opportunities for everyone, as Kim explains. “At TravelEdge, we are proud of our culture that is built on teamwork and collaboration. We have a very strong emphasis on ‘people’ and as a core business pillar, providing employees with the freedom to express, experiment and grow. This had led to personal growth and achievement of meaningful high-quality outcomes for customers. The core behaviours and competencies that contribute to forming, leading and managing teams, and teamwork is measured, reported and rewarded. We actively work with the leadership team in setting people related goals, invest in coaching and mentoring programs and training initiatives, with the intent of supporting the behavioural and technical capabilities of our people. “Being a predominate female based industry, TravelEdge employs 70% females and an active promotor of gender diversity, with the goal of further increasing cultural and gender diversity. We initiated a graduate internship program with interns from various cultural background that has resulted in increased cultural awareness, and improved outcome for the business, while enabling the interns to further develop professionally leading to more effective assimilation in Australian workplace. The success of this program has led to the adoption of diversity programs by Finance, Marketing and Customer Support”. Ultimately, innovation is at the heart of TravelEdge’s success, and will remain the firm’s ongoing focus as it looks towards a bright future, as Kim is proud to conclude. “Over the past few years, TravelEdge has seen the travel industry develop from purchasing fixed to custom built solutions based on client’s needs to integrate with existing internal