Travel requests form




Scenario
  • Streamlined and paperless travel booking process
  • Clever itineraries built based on locations and common travel requirements
  • Integration with travel related services such as mobile phones to reduce costs.


Business Challenge

Implement a travel process to allow flights, car hire and hotels to be requested and approved online. The process is to replace a paper form which often required follow-ups to confirm travel requirements prior to bookings. The new process should incorporate preferred hotels, travel routes and  mobile data plans based on countries visited.

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Microsoft SharePoint 2013
  • Nintex workflows
  • Microsoft InfoPath
3 weeks
Mining


  • Intelligent itineraries
    based on common travel requirements

  • Integration with travel services
    such as mobile phone and data plans

  • Approvals and bookings coordinators
    based on locations and department


Approach
The goal was to develop an intelligent booking form that would guide the traveller through the request process, reducing the scope for errors and changes to travel bookings – which often incurred a premium price. The form would prefill information based on the travellers details already stored in SharePoint. By querying the User Profile Service the form could preselect the travellers point of origin, suggest frequently travelled routes and preapproved hotels all within a couple of clicks. The form was developed to be logically laid out in repeating sections each designed to capture a flight with follow on car hire and hotel information. Multiple travel sections could be added to the form to build up a travel itinerary. For international travel, data plans were added within the form and activated for the  duration of the trip. Countries not supported by data plans were flagged to prevent excessive roaming charges.

All preferred hotels and offices around the world were provided with driving directions and local information.

The travel request from was built using InfoPath and Nintex workflow. This provided a flexible online form with rich workflow capabilities. Each time a new travel request was submitted, the line manager had to approve the request before the nominated travel coordinator would receive an email notification. Escalation reminders were sent if the request was urgent or not actioned within a set amount of time.

If the travel was overseas, IT would be notified of the dates to enable roaming and data plans for mobiles. If travel requirements changed, managers were required to reapprove all additional spend.

The actual booking was managed with 3rd party travel agents. This part we are still looking to automate in the future.


Outcome

The new booking form provides visibility to travellers, managers and coordinators to expedite the travel booking process. Travel approvers are now notified of new requests immediately. All costs for travel are record with particular emphasis on last minute changes to itineraries.

The new online process was quickly adopted and universally accepted by all levels of staff. It has sped up the booking process and greatly reduced the number of booking errors.