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Enter Allstar Travel Group, Inc. (ATG).
ATG is a travel and expense management company that caters specifically to businesses. Thanks to its innovative tools like robotic booking solutions, data management insights, centralized global quality control, a single global user platform, and newly-launched human resources products, the company is also widely known as a technology product powerhouse.
In an interaction with CIO Applications magazine, Tammy R. Krings, CEO and Leadership Coach, ATG talks about how her company is pivoting amidst the trying times of COVID-19 and is bringing value to market even when travels are being burdened with numerous restrictions.
Please walk us through the solutions that ATG provides to its clients.
Having a business strictly rooted in the business travel domain is more complex than one can imagine. We are required to gather information from airlines, hotels, tour operators, rail, ground transportation and other travel suppliers, and marry this to the policies and procedures of our corporate customers. To do this, we have developed very sophisticated tools and technologies that we offer to our clients, to achieve compliance and make their jobs easier. Our leadership workboard is one such comprehensive technology that keeps the full scope of business based on the information from leadership reports. For instance, leaders, travel managers, or VPs of procurement are given access to the leadership workboard to see what tools their travelers are using, what contracts and documentation are housed there, and how these tools actually function.
Having a consultative mindset enables our organization always to look and do things in a smarter and faster way, with fewer resources and expenses
What makes ATG stand apart from the rest of its competitors?
We are widely known for our proprietary and innovative suites of solutions. We have come to understand that our customers need customizable and configurable tools from us, and that’s exactly what we provide. There is indeed a plethora of solutions available in the market for business travelers, but most of these third-party innovations are set in stone, i.e., they have little to no flexibility for configuration modifications geared to accommodate the uniqueness of our clients.
In addition to that, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit us last March, we immediately set in motion a disaster recovery and business continuity plan to chalk out the ways to deal with the challenging situation. We anticipated that the pandemic was not a short-term guest, and therefore, we prepared ourselves accordingly. We initiated Project Phoenix that allowed us to take a deep dive and rediscover the potential of our own business. Our company also signaled a green light to those technological developments that had been sitting on the backburner all this while. So, we prioritized elevating our innovative side and came up with six new products for our customers and non-customers alike. Our AI and voice recognition-enabled technology is very dynamic and has been made specific to our clients’ needs and the current market trends. This technology anticipates a traveler’s needs based on historical behavior in her travel patterns, combines this with corporate compliance and preferred supplier relationships, including frequent flyer status, and makes the most likely accepted offer to our customer. There is nothing like it on the market today and we are excited to be the first to launch such an intuitive and incredible product.
What trends did you observe in the last 18 months, and how did ATG successfully pivot and cope with the pandemic?
ATG started as a consulting organization. We continue to define ourselves as a consulting company that happens to be in travel and expense management. Having a consultative mindset enables our organization always to look and do things in a smarter and faster way, with fewer resources and expenses. As a result, we’ve always been three to five years ahead of our competitors when it comes to technology and service platform. ATG’s primary objective is to implement technologies that help build long-term relationships with customers.
We interact with the human resources department of organizations regarding their travels for recruitment purposes to gather insights and data from them. By leveraging that data, we have put together a comprehensive Human Resources Suite of Products consisting of six innovative integrations. It helps our customers effectively recruit, seamlessly relocate their new hires and existing employees to new roles. Additionally, we offer solutions to people who are not yet our customers on the travel management side of the house.
"We are widely known for our proprietary and innovative suites of solutions. We have come to understand that our customers anticipate customizable and configurable tools from us, and that’s exactly what we provide"
To tackle the pandemic, we have collaborated with Copperline to become the official distributor of their patented copper nano-technology fabric face masks. Along with this, we’re ensuring to meet the travel management demands of our clients. Under ATG’s Global Health and Safety Services, which was in place prior to the pandemic, we have added a self-service tool as well as a COVID-19 hotline to provide up-to-date, meaningful information concerning travel rules, including quarantine and other requirements related to a particular destination. Clients can use any of these solutions to research the travel requirements that are in place, say, whether they’d be required to take an RT-PCR test before/after their travel or not. To elucidate, Germany has mandated its people and foreigners to wear only N-95 masks. But this rule is hard to find written anywhere, but still, we’re aware of that. Accordingly, we communicate these changes to the travelers who make travel reservations and monitor their journey throughout its duration. We monitor the trip until the traveler returns home as there are often travel requirement changes that could impact their travels enroute. We proactively reach out to travelers to advise them of any travel disruption that may experience as a result of the changes in Covid regulations.
How do you envision the next 18 months for your company?
We have a tremendous amount of data in our system that we are going to use in developing new competitive tools, powering it up with the latest, best-in-breed technologies. Apart from development, we are working on many other aspects as well. For example, ATG is revamping its accounting system and many of its internal tools. In addition to that, our company is also participating in an environmental sustainability initiative. We’re encouraging clients to have a Sustainable Program, embracing all levels of sustainability, by opting for a responsible, ethical and sustainable travel program in response to this initiative.