GETTING RAIL ON A SMOOTHER BOOKING TRACK How Gowling WLG simplified rail bookings

When law firm Gowling WLG decided to upgrade its rail ticketing experience for travellers, Travel and Transport's UK team utilised its partnership with online rail booking company Evolvi Rail Systems to help streamline processes.

The programme

  • Team: Phil Youster, head of operations and Martine Palfrey, business travel team leader. Gowling WLG has six in-house travel experts who offer a high touch service and handle all of the firm’s bookings, using Travel and Transport’s booking systems.
  • Annual travel spend: Approximately £2.8 million with a large number of rail bookings.
  • Locations: UK offices in Birmingham, and London, with a total of 18 offices around the world.
  • Travellers: More than 1,400 legal professionals.
  • Client since: February 2013 after a tender process. Introduced in-house team in July 2014 - find out more about our partnership here.

A rail focus

“Our UK rail travel desk offers many challenges as we have a high focus on making sure travel bookers book the right ticket at the right cost,” says Phil. “We are constantly reviewing how we improve our rail ticketing process, which can be time consuming at times.”

The UK rail industry is moving over to mobile tickets and e-tickets. Phil spotted this development as an opportunity to improve the booking and traveller experience for Gowling WLG’s employees, while also introducing other new technology such as Dash Portal for bookers and the Dash Mobile app for travellers.

“By the end of the year it will be compulsory for our travellers to use e-tickets for rail travel, following an ongoing roll-out,” explains Phil. "The introduction of e-tickets helps to streamline the whole rail process."

The team wanted to maintain control and ensure the right tickets are issued, so Travel and Transport enabled an approval process, which has just two steps:

  1. An email notification is sent to the Gowling WLG travel team when a booking is made.
  2. They log into their Evolvi team account to approve or decline.
"We have a great relationship with Travel and Transport and work well together. We find that their friendly yet business-like approach suits our own culture." - Phil Youster

Gowling WLG is using Travel and Transport’s partnership with Evolvi to undertake the project. In 2018 Travel and Transport was the first business travel management company to work with Evolvi and data management company Trondent to sync profiles between the systems, meaning profiles and data such as department, cost center and employee numbers are kept up to date in both platforms. Read more here on this enhancement.

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