Loading

Dash Portal An Allstate and Travel and Transport Success Story

Mandating the usage of a travel portal comes with many considerations within a mature travel program. After two years with a mandate in place, Allstate is proving the success of a powerful travel tool. Below is an interview with Duane Goucher, Director, Transportation & Travel Expense, Sourcing and Procurement Solutions, who is the driving force behind the partnership between Allstate and Travel and Transport.

You have an impressive story to tell regarding your use of Dash Portal. Explain your journey with Dash Portal.

I joined Allstate in 2012. At that time, Allstate travelers were required to access travel information and resources via a static SharePoint site. The ability to access expense and the online booking tool was located on the SharePoint site, but the ability to access other travel related tools and information was a cumbersome experience.

At this same time, Travel and Transport was launching their new Dash Portal. After thorough evaluation of the tool, I saw the value it could bring to our travelers. I determined we could create a travel hub on the main employee log-in page of our company intranet site to lead travelers directly to Travel and Transport’s Dash Portal using single sign on. Gone were the frustrations of broken links and fragmentation that were prevalent in using multiple landing pages on a SharePoint site. We determined all travel resources would be housed within Dash Portal. This would be the only way to complete travel related functions.

Gone were the frustrations of broken links and fragmentation that were prevalent in using multiple landing pages on a SharePoint site.

The users easily found themselves in a visually appealing gathering spot for all of their travel needs. Travel news, itineraries, online booking tool access, upcoming hotel stays, car bookings, etc. were now at the travelers’ fingertips in one secure location delivering a consistent user experience. Messaging to travelers could also be done in real time.

Explain ways that you educated your employees to increase adoption.

Early education about the new portal was imperative as it was designed to be the only place our travelers could go for all travel-related needs.

To help educate travelers on the new portal and its capabilities, we started an internal campaign called, Travel the Allstate Way. We began hitting the road to conduct roadshows in person with travelers, taking them on the portal journey from policy to expense. We created pop-up screens in the expense tool, offering helpful portal training videos and travel hints to engage the reader. By showing visuals of the tool it provided a better understanding of the functionality for each individual traveler.

WE BEGAN HITTING THE ROAD TO CONDUCT ROADSHOWS IN PERSON WITH TRAVELERS, TAKING THEM ON THE PORTAL JOURNEY FROM POLICY TO EXPENSE.

What challenges did you face when mandating Dash Portal with your travelers?

There were a few learning curves over the last two years. Dash Portal became Allstate’s enterprise application, meaning proactive communication about the portal’s upgrades and maintenance was and continues to be crucial to avoid down time for our travelers.

Every one of our employees became dependent on the stability of the portal to ensure they had access to the business-related tools built into the portal. Open communication from Travel and Transport is something we work together on to ensure we are keeping our travelers updated.

OPEN COMMUNICATION FROM TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT IS SOMETHING WE WORK TOGETHER ON TO ENSURE WE ARE KEEPING OUR TRAVELERS UPDATED.

For companies that do not have robust communication tactics or resources, what are your recommendations to help with adoption?

Every travel manager’s situation is different when finding the most effective ways to provide travelers with valuable tools. If your online booking tool has the capability to add custom text, this is one of the easiest ways to send out information quickly. Communicating travel information via a company intranet site is a best practice that many companies should also consider.

If your online booking tool has the capability to add custom text, this is one of the easiest ways to send out information quickly.

It’s important to remember it’s not just about where you share your messages to help boost adoption, it’s about how the message is crafted. I use a casual writing approach to the communications we send. Corporate-speak will not keep a traveler engaged for long.

What benefits/value/successes have you seen with the portal mandate?

I do not view the success of Dash Portal as only monitoring total click throughs, but rather providing travelers with one gathering spot for relevant, real-time info they find useful. People are like butterflies. When they land on a stale-looking or difficult-to-maneuver website, off they go.

This leads to a credibility and relevancy issue. Today our travelers have a consistent and reliable experience, which has increased overall program compliance.

Will you mandate Dash Mobile with your travelers as you did with Dash Portal?

We cannot mandate the use of Dash Mobile as employees use their personal devices for work. To engage our travelers to download the app, we continue working with Travel and Transport to enhance the personalized experience. We currently purchase the subscription version of Dash Mobile that provides us with customized branding on the app as well as the most recent addition, configurable push notifications. This enhancement allows me to deliver the highest valued information as soon as our travelers need it.

THIS ENHANCEMENT ALLOWS ME TO DELIVER THE HIGHEST VALUED INFORMATION AS SOON AS OUR TRAVELERS NEED IT.

For example, we have many new employees landing in one of two airports in Chicago and attending training at our Northbrook office. Thirty minutes before scheduled arrival, a push notification from Dash Mobile welcomes the traveler to Chicago while they are still in the air. The notification also tells them, if traveling to Northbrook, they should use a car service versus city cab to avoid a surcharge that is 50% of the rate. I am personally able to change these messages on the fly to accommodate our travelers. It’s top of mind info at their fingertips.

Another example of configurable push notifications includes sending messages to travelers reminding them about amenities we have negotiated. Nine hours before hotel check-in, the traveler receives a notification reminding them if the hotel includes Wi-Fi or breakfast and to ask for their voucher upon check-in.

What does the future hold for Allstate and your technology usage?

Allstate is moving to a mobile-first platform, meaning we try to start everything on mobile first; device agnostic. I love to color outside the lines. In a perfect world, I would love to see a universal app where travelers can navigate to all needed tools on the road from one location. If the industry as a whole could make the sharing of content a little easier, the traveler experience would be more seamless, which means nirvana for me.

Travel and Transport’s Allstate Account Manager, Angie Reetz, answers the question, “What impact do you feel Dash Portal will continue to make for Allstate managers and travelers?”

As Dash Portal evolves, Allstate will already be well-positioned to benefit considering their travelers have default access to the portal. It will really be a plug-n-play situation for them. Duane works to make the traveler experience productive and positive for the end user. He truly understands that by giving travelers the tools they need, they are helping to build a stronger program where compliance is easily achieved.

Download our guide to the top 8 MUST HAVE features in a corporate travel portal.

© 2019 Travel and Transport, Inc.

Credits:

Created with images by MichaelGaida - "architecture skyscraper glass facades" • NeONBRAND - "notes...." • rawpixel - "untitled image" • rawpixel - "untitled image" • rawpixel - "untitled image"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.