All travel management processes rolled into one

How Atlatos develops and delivers
business travel solutions


An end to the Stone Age and time wasting

Leaving the Stone Age of Excel spreadsheets behind for a digital end-to-end future? Not a problem for Daniela Brandt: Thanks to the comprehensive business travel solution from Atlatos, the travel manager from Ceyoniq Technology GmbH was able to get her travel systems ready for the future: simple, audit-proof and with massive time savings.

It was at some point in the summer of 2016 that Daniela Brandt had had enough. Having trained as a hotel manager, she now works at Ceyoniq Technology GmbH, a software manufacturer based in Bielefeld, where she is responsible for purchasing and travel management for the 160 employees working at the company. Her job involves dealing with travel expense claims and this is something she actually really enjoys. But not every week! And not for hours at a time!

„We were working with Excel spreadsheets, which some colleagues even filled out by hand and then attached to emails,” said Brandt, shuddering at the memory. It’s obvious, then, that mistakes had a habit of slipping in from time to time. However, the travel manager says it cost her “far too much of her time and energy” to correct most of the annoying mistakes. She could only do so once she had consulted the relevant colleagues, and this often involved chasing them up constantly. It was actually quite ironic in a way: “Our company flies the flag for digitalising business processes and yet we were managing our own accounting processes in Excel!” The travel manager laughs out loud. “I felt like the legendary cobbler who always wears the worst shoes.“

Wanted: a system to cover all business travel purposes

After consulting with her boss, however, the decision was made quickly: “We wanted to streamline our travel expense management. We were looking for a system that could manage our approval processes and our framework agreements with hotels, rail services and some car rental companies. We wanted to use a single software platform to cover all our needs, so that we didn’t have to keep referring separately to countless different systems.”
They soon found what they were looking for! Brandt came across Atlatos GmbH at an information event on “Business Travel Solutions for Companies” and arranged to meet Senior Key Account Manager Thielo Nickel-Barischew for a consultation in Bielefeld. She is still impressed with how much time he took for them. “His advice was just perfect and really inspiring,” says Brandt enthusiastically. To help Brandt and her colleagues develop their own impressions of Atlatos Profi Traveller, Nickel-Barischew ended the meeting by activating a test client, “which offered good enough quality for booking hotels and flights, for example.”

It soon became clear that “Atlatos was the right solution!” Although Brandt still looked around for alternatives as a matter of form. “But I could have saved myself the trouble. Most providers are just not interested in a company with ‘only’ 160 employees,” she says, shaking her head.

»Now we can take care of everything, exactly as we need to«

Atlatos Profi Traveller was set up in the new year, offering an audit-ready, end-to-end system for booking and paying for flights, hotels, rental cars and train tickets. “We then integrated a few special requirements into this system and also programmed some additional solutions,” explains Key Account Manager Nickel-Barischew. These extras were really important to Ceyoniq: “From business travel requests to travel expense management, suddenly we could take care of everything, exactly as we needed to,” says Brandt enthusiastically. “Atlatos has customised everything down to the last detail for us as the customer; even our logo in Ceyoniq green is in there.”

But first things first: Once the system had been installed, Brandt was easily able to create user profiles for her 60-70 regular travellers using a set-up file, including contact information, cost centres, staff numbers and credit card numbers. Individual project numbers can even be stored in the user profiles of colleagues from the consulting sector. This allows managers to track at any time the travel costs that have been incurred and when for each individual project.

Two-tiered approval process as part of the workflow

The next stage was to adapt Atlatos Profi Traveller to suit the approval procedure at Ceyoniq Technology GmbH. This stipulates that a business trip can only be booked if the person wishing to travel has the OK from their superior. However, the company distinguishes between colleagues who have permanent approval for business travel and those who must first address a travel request to their direct manager(s) before travelling.

There is also a two-tiered approval system for travel expense management. Before Brandt in her capacity as travel manager can check the individual cost items and finally approve/book them, the respective manager must first give their technical approval. Of course, this two-tiered process is also part of the end-to-end workflow that Atlatos has programmed especially for Ceyoniq.

Who books the trips? “In theory, each employee books their own trips,” Brandt grins. “But when it comes to hotel bookings, I like to take another look myself and then I’m the booking administrator.” Her training as a hotel manager certainly does not go to waste. “My colleagues then pick a hotel out and send me their suggestions via the workflow.” The great thing from Brandt’s point of view is that nobody has to leave Atlatos Profi Traveller for this either, since this step is also part of the system.

»Three times as many expenses approved in the time it used to take to approve one«

Is it all running as smoothly as you had imagined? Absolutely! “The entire project has gone through without any problems, and the employees were very quick to accept the change,” says Brandt. “Moreover, the interface is so simple and user-friendly that we hardly needed any training.” Of course, Atlatos Profi Traveller hasn’t just made her colleagues’ lives easier. According to Brandt, “Thanks to Atlatos, I now have more time to work on other things. I now manage to complete three times as many expense reports in the same amount of time as before.” In 2018 alone, there were more than 800 travel expense claims and around 1,600 bookings including approval processes to contend with.

But Daniela Brandt and her boss have long since moved on. They are currently considering whether Ceyoniq Technology GmbH should also start working with the Atlatos Profi Traveller app in future.

Give Atlatos Profi Traveller a go for free!

Are you ready to revolutionize the way you book business trips? Sign up for an online webinar with test access to see how Atlatos can optimise and streamline travel management for you.

Julia Schepukat
Account Manager