Serko Ltd. (SKO.NZ) With more than 81 million hours spent by small and medium businesses booking and managing company travel each year, Australasia’s leading online business travel booking company, Serko, says it’s high time for revolution.
Research undertaken by TNS Research confirmed that of the one million SMEs in NZ and Australia, 46% travel regularly for work. These businesses book an average of 30 trips per year, with approximately six hours being spent on booking and managing each trip.
The research highlights that there are two main booking methods used by SME’s today. Approximately 33% of SMES regularly book via a travel agent, which carries a premium charge, and 66% book directly on supplier or aggregator websites, which tends to be a time consuming and inefficient process, particularly when you consider that between 25% and 40% of business trips change at least once. With this in mind, it’s obvious why over a third of businesses believe that their booking processes need to be improved.
Darrin Grafton, Serko CEO said “Unlike corporates, small businesses don’t have access to purpose built travel management systems, so they have no option but to either pay a premium for travel agent bookings or internalise the time and administration associated with making bookings directly on supplier sites.”
“For a large portion of small and medium businesses travel is a flawed business process. SMEs can’t get access to the right technology due to the costs, or the types of deals that allow them to compete with their bigger counterparts on a level playing field. At Serko we think that is wrong, and we’re doing something about it.”
To be released later in July, the newest offering from Serko, serko.travel will give small businesses with up to 150 employees access to the same desktop and mobile technology utilised today by major corporates across Australia and New Zealand.
“Not only will serko.travel give small businesses the ability to compare prices on air fares and hotels from all of the major supply sources like Expedia and Booking.com, ensuring that not only does every booking deliver on value, but they also save hours of administration and make it easier for them to meet their legal duty of care obligations,” Darrin said.
The app will be free to use, offer mobile access to travellers, and a desktop portal for office managers who need to book and manage travel on behalf of other people. In the background serko.travel will offer travellers access expert email/telephone support from a number of leading travel agencies. serko.travel will also integrate directly with Xero, the leading online accounting software provider in order to improve travel spend reconciliation.
Businesses in New Zealand and Australia can register at www.serko.travel to become part of the beta program.