Our background with Infineon Technologies AG
Infineon Technologies AG provides solutions for enhancing energy efficiency, mobility and security. Globally the company employs more than 25,000 employees. Infineon develops semiconductors and system solutions for the automotive industry, industrial electronics as well as chip card and security applications. A global company, Infineon operates through its subsidiaries, which are based in Milpitas, Singapore and Japan.
FCm Travel Solutions has been managing Infineon Technologies' travel program in Germany for more than 10 years. FCm was awarded the contract for Infineon Technologies' global travel program in November 2009.
FCm Travel Solutions' global capabilities and flexible service enabled Infineon Technologies AG to achieve worldwide consolidation of its travel management services, policies and procedures.
Here's how we made it possible.
Infineon was previously part of the Siemens business and was leveraging off the larger buying power of its mother company. Under this arrangement, Infineon did not have a globally-preferred travel management provider in place and maintained a fragmented travel program comprising different travel agencies around the world.
Infineon's key objective was to partner with a travel management company that could consolidate its travel program globally to create greater visibility of its spend through centralised systems. The company sought a change management plan that outlined a one-best-way approach for global consolidation of its technology, data control, payment procedures and policy.
"When you have multiple suppliers for air, hotel and car, numerous forms of payment procedures and various travel agencies worldwide it is questionable as to whether you have true visibility of your global spend," Infineon's global travel manager Jörg Gerhardt said. "With these doubts how can you develop and manage an effective travel program?"
Throughout the first year of the consolidation process Infineon faced a number of cultural and operational challenges that were overcome through effective change management strategies and traveller education. While Mr Gerhardt had company support and sponsorship to make travel policy changes in Europe and USA, Asia was more of a challenge due to the complexity of Infineon's travel program in that region. The move to a one-best-way for Asia meant traditional methods of travel buying were replaced with new practices as the company streamlined procedures and introduced a single global travel management team.
Many of Asia's travel agents still operate on the perceived 'no service fee' basis. Therefore Infineon's shift from 'hidden commissions' to FCm's strategy of transparent pricing required FCm and Infineon to conduct thorough traveller education throughout the implementation process to achieve company wide understanding of the long-term benefits of consolidation.
Global account manager for FCm Germany, Yvonne Braun worked closely with Mr Gerhardt and Infineon's leadership team to review the company's existing programs and procedures. Following a comprehensive review of the company's global travel activities and procedures, areas for improvement were identified and the Infineon travel committee then worked to drive the consolidation process by implementing a new uniform travel program. Driving change during the first year of implementation was largely focused on positioning and implementing FCm as the central provider for travel management.
Infineon's corporate governance team with support from FCm, has implemented a uniform platform for payment procedures. The consolidation strategy, which was largely driven by Infineon, involved introducing credit card solutions in all markets that Infineon operates in.
Online booking technology
Working with FCm, Infineon analysed online booking tools by assessing best-in-class technology used by FCm in the mature travel markets. New online booking technology has now been implemented in five countries including Austria, United States, France, Switzerland and Romania. An online solution was already in place for Infineon in Germany. Infineon is currently working with FCm to implement a self booking tool in Singapore and the UK. Infineon's ultimate goal is to achieve online adoption rates of more than 80 per cent to drive compliance and reduce travel spend.
Infineon now has increased visibility of its travel spend following the implementation of FCm's world-class reporting solution ClientBank. ClientBank has provided Infineon with a central web-based platform that gathers and stores reservation and financial data for a multi-dimensional view of its travel expenditure. This data warehouse and reporting tool provides Infineon management with the intelligence to drive policy management and supplier negotiations and enables business leaders to develop more effective strategies for future travel budgets.
FCm and Infineon's strong partnership made it possible to effectively consolidate travel management services and procedures across 22 countries. FCm successfully implemented 11 markets within three months and the other countries followed.
Infineon Technologies' response
We awarded the contract to FCm as they could competently deliver on all aspects of our proposal. FCm's competitive pricing model, experience in travel program consolidation and innovative yet flexible approach to implementation were all viewed favorably by our company.
What really set FCm apart from the other TMCs however was the exceptional operational and cultural 'fit' of both organisations. FCm and Infineon's positive discussions in the early stages of the process on how to harmoniously unify the travel program globally, created a sense of mutual trust between both parties. In addition, Infineon appreciated that FCm was more flexible than other TMCs in that they listened to our requirements without trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
We were impressed with the efforts FCm put into this global consolidation and honestly did not think that such a smooth transition was possible in the short amount of time. We look forward to the second phase of the consolidation process where both organisations will be focusing on driving measured change and cost savings through more strategic travel.
Global Travel Manager,
Infineon Technologies AG