Navigating the World of Travel Management Booking: A Procurement Manager’s Journey

Published: Jun 07, 2024

As a procurement manager for a large corporation, managing travel bookings is a crucial part of my job. Ensuring that our employees can travel efficiently and cost-effectively is a significant responsibility. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to work with various travel management booking platforms, but my recent experience with Navan has truly been a game-changer.

Ready for travel

The search for the Best Travel Management Booking Tool

The Early Days: Juggling Multiple Platforms

In the early days, managing travel bookings felt like juggling flaming torches. Our company, SKS Solutions used a mix of different travel management systems like Concur, Egencia, and BCD Travel. Each platform had its strengths, but the fragmentation was a nightmare. Concur offered robust expense tracking, but its user interface was clunky. Egencia had great deals on flights, but hotel options were limited. BCD Travel provided excellent customer support, but its mobile app was lacking. Coordinating travel for hundreds of employees was time-consuming and error-prone.

The Search for a Better Solution

The need for a more unified, user-friendly travel management booking system became evident. We required a platform that could streamline processes, offer competitive rates, and enhance the overall travel experience for our employees. That’s when we discovered Navan.

Why Navan Stood Out

1. User-Friendly Interface

One of the first things that caught my attention about Navan was its intuitive and user-friendly interface. Unlike other platforms, Navan’s dashboard is clean and easy to navigate. Employees can book flights, hotels, and rental cars with just a few clicks. This simplicity has significantly reduced the time spent on booking travel arrangements.

navan's booking UI

2. Comprehensive Travel Options

Navan offers an extensive range of travel options. Whether it’s a last-minute flight or a well-planned business trip, Navan has it all. The platform aggregates deals from multiple sources, ensuring that we always get the best rates. This comprehensive approach beats the fragmented experience I had with previous platforms.

One feature that our employees love is the “Trip Proposal“. This alone sets it apart from other solutions. You can set this as a required option for your oganization.

Navan's trip proposal

3. Seamless Integration

Integration with our existing systems was another key factor. Navan integrates seamlessly with our expense management software, making it easier to track and reconcile travel expenses. This feature was a major upgrade from Concur, which often required manual entry and reconciliation.

4. Superior Customer Support

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While BCD Travel had set a high bar for customer support, Navan managed to surpass it. Their 24/7 customer service ensures that any issues are resolved quickly. During a recent trip, an employee’s flight was canceled. Navan’s support team handled the situation promptly, rebooking the flight and arranging overnight accommodation without any hassle.

5. Mobile Accessibility

Navan’s mobile app is another standout feature. It’s fully functional, allowing employees to manage their travel on the go. This was a significant improvement over Egencia’s limited mobile capabilities. The app provides real-time updates, itinerary management, and even expense tracking, making it an indispensable tool for our frequent travelers.

Navan's mobile view

Comparing Navan with Industry Giants

Concur: While Concur is renowned for its expense management capabilities, its travel booking interface lacks the simplicity and ease-of-use that Navan offers. Employees often found Concur’s system cumbersome and time-consuming.

Egencia: Egencia provides great flight deals but falls short on hotel options and mobile functionality. Navan, on the other hand, excels in offering a wide range of choices and a robust mobile app, making it a more versatile solution.

BCD Travel: BCD Travel’s customer support is excellent, but its technology, particularly the mobile app, feels outdated compared to Navan. Navan’s modern, tech-savvy approach ensures a smoother experience for our tech-dependent workforce.

The Impact on Our Company

Switching to Navan has had a profound impact on our company’s travel management process. The platform’s efficiency and ease of use have saved us countless hours. Employees are happier with the streamlined booking process and the quality of customer support they receive. Moreover, the cost savings from better travel deals and reduced administrative overhead have been substantial.

Conclusion: A Personal Recommendation

As a procurement manager who has navigated the complexities of travel management booking for years, I can confidently say that Navan is a superior choice. It combines the best aspects of other platforms while addressing their shortcomings. If you’re looking for a travel management solution that simplifies booking, offers competitive rates, and delivers exceptional customer support, Navan should be at the top of your list.

Switching to Navan was one of the best decisions we made, and I highly recommend it to any company looking to enhance their travel management processes.

This post was written by Sevan Kestarian, Procurement Manager for SKS Solutions specializing in B2B commerce. On good days, you will find Sevan hiking and preparing for marathons.