Our background with OSRL
Following a competitive tender in 2014, OSRL appointed FCM as the travel management partner and started trading in the UK in November, with their operations in Norway, Singapore, USA, Bahrain and South Africa following suit by January 1st, 2015.
Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) is an industry-owned cooperative which exists to respond effectively to oil spills wherever in the world they may occur. Their membership consists of over 160 environmentally responsible corporations. Besides oil majors, national / independent oil companies, they also have energy-related companies operating elsewhere in the oil supply chain joining as Members.
Backed by a distinguished track record of attending more than 350 spill incidents in the past 25 years, OSRL has both the experience and expertise to deliver a wide range of preparedness services from their strategic bases in the UK, Singapore and Bahrain. OSRL services include technical advisory, provision of specialist personnel, equipment hire and maintenance, and training. To get closer to Members and customers, OSRL have set up regional offices and representatives in Aberdeen (UK), Houston (USA), Jakarta (Indonesia), North Africa and West and Central Africa.
OSRL personnel are professionals in their respective fields, highly experienced and qualified in key disciplines required for advising and supporting clients in oil spill prevention, response and mitigating the consequences of spills.
OSRL are a UK-based, multinational organization and had previously been using six different travel management companies (TMC) around the world. This fragmented approach to travel management resulted in a lack of visibility of consolidated travel spend, and more importantly, the traveler tracking didn’t link up. In the main market of the UK, OSRL had reservations in moving away from someone they had held a relationship with for nine years. However, the company had experienced substantial growth in travel since 2009 (272%) due to company expansion and the previous incumbent couldn’t keep up with demand.
In going out to RFP, OSRL’s aim was to appoint a single TMC who could manage all aspects of their travel globally and support continued growth and expansion. They also had very clear objectives with regard to particular aspects of their program.
Driving strategy through data
Without a consolidated view of travel spend, it was virtually impossible for OSRL to drive policy management or effectively negotiate with suppliers. They had only received quarterly reports from the incumbent, who would provide the data but without recommending strategy.
FCM implemented ClientBank, our proprietary reporting tool which provided OSRL a national, regional or global view of their travel spend and significant insight into their purchasing behavior and travel patterns across different countries and regions. The tool is flexible and allows OSRL to extract data in accordance with selected criteria and parameters. OSRL are able to access this information 24/7 via a secure, central portal.
OSRL’s dedicated account manager, is now able to work with Alice Linley Munro, OSRL’s global travel analyst to identify opportunities to drive cost reduction through supplier negotiation and policy compliance.
In addition, none of the previous incumbents had ever talked to OSRL about using marine fares, which given the nature of their travel, will result in them achieving substantial savings almost immediately.
Travel Policy compliance
During the implementation process, OSRL’s dedicated account manager identified opportunities to refine the OSRL travel policy to drive greater compliance at the same time as taking into account the traveler experience. An effective policy should follow the seven Cs: Culture; Care; Content; Comprehensiveness; Control and Compliance.
Currently, the OSRL travel policy is lengthy, complicated and in places contradictory. FCM will work with OSRL to produce a clear, concise policy which will be easy to understand and easy to adhere to.
Finance and payment terms
OSRL categories their travel in two ways ‘War-time’ and ‘Every day’. FCM therefore set up summary invoicing on a monthly basis separated into ‘Fixed & Direct’ for the ‘Recoverable’ to enable easy differentiation of cost and facilitate on charging where required.
Previously payment had been made using individual credit cards, so setting up summary invoicing created a much easier process for everyone. In addition, OSRL travelers had encountered problems trying to pay for hotels in Angola with their Amex credit cards. FCM were able to provide a billback solution for Angola with our FCM visa card to facilitate this process.
Different countries required different credit terms and payment methods. Some also had specific requirements, eg. Bahrain receives locally issued invoices in local currency, which are also sent to the UK, converted and billed to Oil Spill in the UK.
Traveler tracking, safety and Emergency Assist
OSRL have to be able to respond to an oil spill instantly. When they need to mobilize a team they require instant turnaround for travel as the OSRL team on call have to be ready to go within an hour.
Both OSRL’s dedicated day team and our in-house out of hours team, FCM Emergency Assist have been able to fulfill this requirement, “we get a really swift response and loads of choices from FCM”, says Alice.
It’s also important for OSRL to be able to track and locate all their travelers at any given time to support their duty of care and ensure the safety and security of their employees. Traveler tracking is available to OSRL through the FCM ClientBank technology.
In the original RFP, OSRL had included requirements for the implementation of an online booking tool (OBT). During the discovery process, FCM identified that the OSRL travel profile would derive greater benefit from offline service than an online tool. With the exception of Norway, It was mutually agreed to wait for a period of time and then review the requirements for an OBT. An OBT was implemented in Norway due to the type of travel and regional preferences.
To further assist OSRL with streamlining their processes, FCM implemented Portal, a single gateway through which OSRL can swiftly access all elements of their travel program. FCM Portal is a secure, web-based platform which allows OSRL to manage all their traveler profiles (previously very much a paper process). It also houses key information including contact details for their dedicated booking team, travel policy, a travel alerts feed and can be customized to provide links to a range of additional travel, weather and destination information.
FCM Secure is also accessed via Portal and should it ultimately be determined an OBT is required for OSRL, this will be connected via Portal as well.
As it was the first time OSRL had a global supplier, the challenge was to ‘sell’ FCM as the new provider after such a long period with the previous incumbent. OSRL had to strike the balance between the UK office leading the project yet not dominating the other regions so they didn’t seem as if the change was being ‘imposed’ on them.
From discovery phase through to go live, we operate to a proven blueprint which involves an initial meeting at the client’s premises, weekly meetings, a robust action plan and designated check points which ensures every process, policy, person or system is covered.
The strategy with OSRL was to go live in the UK first to ensure everything was up and running as smoothly as possible so any refinements could be made prior to rolling out OSRL operations in other countries.
FCM capped off the implementation process with road shows in both the UK and Singapore. This is an on site visit with the travel team to start building relationships, get to know the key bookers and travelers and answer any questions the extended OSRL team may have. FCM create tailored invitations and collateral for these road shows to promote the upcoming visit and assist in generating a feeling of positive anticipation for the change.
Alice Linley Munro said, “The road show was excellent and well received by my bookers. In addition, the travelers who popped in to say hello passed on feedback that it was great to put faces to names.”
The client’s response
“From our first conversations, I could tell that FCM had the right ethos for OSRL. All the way through the RFP process, FCM stood out as understanding Oil Spill and I really believe that together, we are going to make our travel better. There’s a true feeling of collaboration and the team from FCM are open, approachable and so far have made excellent recommendations.”
“There’s been great feedback from the travelers who like the way the quotes are laid out and are impressed with the FCM team’s fare knowledge. The FCM service allows OSRL to get the best value from our travel.”
“My job is so much easier since FCM came on board – we’ve had good feedback from the other countries and whereas I frequently heard from them in the past when there were issues, I now hardly hear from them at all.”