CWT and KDS Joint Investment Further Improves Traveler and Travel Manager Experience
30 OCTOBER, 2014
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) and KDS today revealed some of the new benefits available to clients following joint investment in CWT Online, powered by KDS, the popular door-to-door booking product that helps customers easily search for, book and manage travel and expenses in one easy-to-use tool.
The investment is being used in tandem with a joint innovation roadmap defined by CWT and KDS, which identifies where KDS can be integrated into CWT’s digital ecosystem and new, strategic markets for KDS to engage with. The companies are focusing developments on a number of unique features that will benefit customers across the globe, and will be used to cultivate and pilot new ideas in the future. New enhancements planned for CWT Online, powered by KDS in the coming months include:
Integration with CWT’s award-winning mobile app CWT To GoTM; bringing the door-to-door experience to CWT To Go to clients with its intuitive user experience.
A next level integration withCWT Portal, CWT’s main web-based traveler hub, which holds traveler profiles and booking details, which now ensures an even more user-friendly experience for those using the tool.
New virtual payment options, bringing more flexibility with hotel and low cost carrier payment methods, valuable for both travel buyers and travelers.
Expanded hotel content, ensuring CWT’s hotel content and services are accessed consistently and seamlessly through online, mobile and offline channels.
One of the first initiatives invested in is the integration of CWT Document Bank with CWT Online, powered by KDS. CWT Document Bank automatically compiles all air tickets that go unused by travelers which can be reused on appropriate journeys, which could result in major savings to clients. CWT is the first TMC to integrate unused ticket management technology into the popular KDS NEO door-to-door platform, making it unique to the industry.
Currently, CWT Document Bank has over 1,800 client subscribers worldwide, with subscribers reusing more than 95 percent of all unused tickets. One US-based consumer products and services client with 4,000 travelers and a travel volume of $11.9M using CWT Document Bank saw a jump in reused tickets, from 10 percent to 88 percent, representing a savings of $339K.
Commenting on the enhancements, Nick Vournakis, senior vice president, Global Marketing, CWT said, “CWT Online, powered by KDS, is integral to CWT’s digital vision and has been receiving incredibly positive feedback from clients across the world. Our focus is now on further developing the cost-saving mechanisms we know are important to our clients while fusing technology and customer service, so we can achieve our vision of being with our customers at every step of their journey.”
KDS CEO Dean Forbes added, “The relationship between CWT and KDS is much more than just a distribution partnership. By joining investments KDS and CWT are going even further in providing our clients with the best travel technology. KDS NEO has already changed the market by bringing simplicity to planning and booking. With CWT’s global reach, international organizations are guaranteed to have all the support and quality of services they need to benefit from our unique door-to-door solution where ever they are.”
CWT is a global leader specialized in managing business travel and meetings and events. CWT serves companies, government institutions and non-governmental organizations of all sizes in more than 150 countries and territories. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and leading-edge technology, CWT helps clients derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of savings, service, security and sustainability. The company is also committed to providing best-in-class service and assistance to travelers. In 2013, sales volume for wholly owned operations and joint ventures totaled US$26.9 billion. As part of its commitment to responsible business, CWT is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact Ten Principles. For more information about CWT, please visit our global website at www.carlsonwagonlit.com. Follow us on Twitter @CarlsonWagonlit.
KDS (www.kds.com) is a leading international provider of Travel & Expense (T&E) management systems for private and public sector organizations. The KDS unified Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based technology addresses the full range of T&E requirements, from travel policy definition and enforcement, and the online self-booking of travel, through to automated travel expense processing and invoice reconciliation. With each stage handled seamlessly by the KDS fully-integrated technology, clients achieve significant efficiencies and cost-savings. KDS offers the most extensive back-end connectivity to financial service and travel providers (airline, car, rail and hotel) in the industry, ensuring optimized pricing and up-to-the-minute inventory control.