Media and advertising
The TX Group – a market leader in the Swiss media industry
The TX Group is a leading media company in Switzerland that consolidates around 50 brands, mainly in the media and ad sales sectors (such as Tamedia, Goldbach, JobCloud and SMG). With over 3,000 employees at various sites in Switzerland and other European countries like Serbia, business travel is an important part of the company’s everyday activities.
As the TX Group has to manage a significant business travel budget, in mid-2021 it decided to modernize and professionalize its business travel management with the help of TravelPerk.
Bringing teams together
The majority of the TX Group’s business trips are between Zurich and Belgrade. Many of the company’s departments and teams have employees both at the Swiss headquarters and the Serbian office of the subsidiary TX Services. Trips are therefore organized mostly to bring teams together.
For Markus Hochholdinger, the company’s Head of Cloud ERP, the main value added by such trips is that, despite the level of online collaboration, he and his team members can also exchange ideas in person, either during important project work or in team events.
The collaboration online could simply be done online, but then an important cultural aspect would be lost. The feeling of belongingness and cohesion in a team is greatly enhanced by the fact that the team can always come together in person.Markus Hochholdinger
More freedom thanks to simplified trip booking
Before TravelPerk, the TX Group used to book its business trips through a small travel agency. Whilst they valued being in close contact with the travel agency’s employees, many travelers found the booking process too laborious due to two different and rather outdated platforms. There was also another problem:
“The adoption and awareness level of the travel agency was relatively low,” says Stefan Thurnheer, Senior Procurement Manager at the TX Group. “We had an excessively high proportion of people booking independently outside of the agency. So people booked via their preferred channels and billed it as expenses for reimbursement.”
For these reasons, the company decided to search for a more unified, user-friendly platform, which would not only make it easier for employees to book their trips but would also offer the company an opportunity to manage and optimize its travel budget professionally.
With TravelPerk, the TX Group has found a suitable solution for its needs that makes travel booking and travel management easier thanks to detailed reporting functions. With this modern travel platform, the media company’s employees can now book trips themselves at their convenience, without needing to devote time to lengthy correspondence.
People really seem to value the freedom of booking. [...] From my viewpoint, it’s much harder to have someone else organize a trip for you than doing it yourself. You know your own schedule best. [...] This is really easy with TravelPerk, and booking is extremely user-friendly.Markus Hochholdinger
Modern travel management is a game changer
But let’s take a step back:
When Stefan Thurnheer joined the TX Group in 2020, the company was already negotiating with various business travel providers. As the Corporate Procurement department is also responsible for the company’s travel management, Stefan Thurnheer was now responsible for continuing the negotiations and finding a productive solution for the TX Group.
Together with Markus Hochholdinger taking care of the technical assessment, Stefan Thurnheer compared the various business travel providers and their services and ultimately selected TravelPerk for its user-friendliness and for commercial and technical reasons.
“The look and feel as well as the integration options of TravelPerk were just more modern and advanced,” says Thurnheer. “TravelPerk was the most promising solution, even looking forward five to ten years, because we saw there were always new integrations, new possibilities, and new features.”
Thurnheer explained that employees first had to get used to the change, but after familiarizing themselves with the platform, they now value their autonomy and flexibility in the travel booking process.
According to Thurnheer, as much as 95% of business trips are organized and booked by employees themselves – and thanks to TravelPerk, all trips now comply with the company’s travel guidelines.
Simplified administration for HR and finance
However, the simplified booking process was only one of the reasons why the TX Group chose TravelPerk. Thurnheer and Hochholdinger were also impressed by the platform’s many integrations, which now simplify work, especially for the company’s HR and finance departments.
For example, under Hochholdinger’s leadership, TravelPerk was integrated directly into the HR department’s IT system. As a result, the TravelPerk platform is automatically synchronized with Workday, the TX Group’s HR system, which significantly simplifies administration in the HR department.
We’re now integrating it with our single sign-on, meaning that: Employees who are logged in with us can access TravelPerk immediately, they are also recognized as the respective users and their payments are assigned automatically to the correct cost center.Markus Hochholdinger
However, the new technical features that TravelPerk offers aren’t just beneficial to the HR department. The company’s finance department and cost center managers can also take advantage of the travel platform’s integrations:
When the company’s business trips were still booked through a travel agency, accounting was very difficult for the company, as not all employees also used the travel agency. “Selfbooking” via various channels not only lost a possible price advantage for the company, but expense accounts were also confusing and difficult to balance. The finance department had to review each invoice individually, and the responsible cost center managers had to approve each request manually.
But this now is a thing of the past thanks to TravelPerk’s finance API. All invoices are imported from the travel platform into the TX Group’s financial system automatically. All relevant data and cost centers are already named, and invoices are assigned directly to the responsible cost center managers who then simply have to approve the invoices. Recording of travel expenses and payment then occur fully automatically after authorization. Hochholdinger loves the high level of automation that TravelPerk offers the company:
“The overall [travel management] process has become much more modern. You get the feeling that booking trips is easy! […] Now it’s just as easy as booking private trips – or even easier, as you can do it all in one platform,” enthuses Hochholdinger. “It’s really become much easier for end users and for us […] as a company, it’s a huge saving thanks to the strong integration on the administration side.”
With TravelPerk, the TX Group saves valuable time in booking business trips and managing travel expenses – a big plus for everyone concerned, who can now use their time for more productive tasks.