Business travel is making a comeback: interview with Susanna Peretti from BTM

Business travel is making a comeback: interview with Susanna Peretti from BTM

Market knowledge is the basis of Business Travel Management – Btm, Tmc founded in 2006 by the will of a group of partners from the Verona area. The travel management company it was established at a time when technologies related to business travel were in their infancy. Especially when it comes to bookings and autonomous management.

“The apps didn’t exist. Just as there were no smartphones and many of the portable tools that changed the way we connect. And to manage the business trips».

So he explains Susanna Peretti, general manager of Btm with a previous experience in the world of travel “when airline tickets were still paper”. It seems like a century has passed since 2006. Yet it is “only” 15 years. Period in which Business travel Management was awarded for its policy “alongside customers, not suppliers and that’s it”.

Also for this reason, for 2 years it has been awarded at the Italian mission Awards, the event organized by this publishing house that every year recognizes the best companies in business travel and travel managers.

Read more about Ima 2021, scheduled for 20 September in Milan

On the Busienss Travel Management – Btm home page it says that you are different. what does this peculiarity consist of?

«Btm is a travel agency driven by technology coupled with a service tailored in the business travel segment.

The present structure is the result of the development plan that in the last 15 years it has led us to exponential growth beyond all expectations ».

What is your average annual turnover?

“I would say that the annual sales / transaction traffic is around 20 million euros”.

He talked to me about the exponential growth and the peculiarity of Btm: can you learn more?

«When a company relies on us we want to establish a partnership relationship based on mutual knowledge, with a personalized serviceintegrating all processes with the travel policy.

For Btm, the relationship that is created with customers is fundamental. This is both to respond quickly to their needs and to carry out a constant analysis of business travel plans. The goal is to identify initiatives of cost savings and streamline processes.

After all, when a company chooses Btm it puts the safety of its collaborators and its business first. Our approach to business travel management is personal, without call center outsourced to third parties. And with a team, made up of travel managers and travel consultant with a many years of experience in the sector

These give added value by guaranteeing the quality of the service and its maintenance over time, especially in times of emergency ».

Covid-19 has accelerated the digitization process: c How is Btm “changing its skin” in this sense?

“We are pursuing a path of digitalization and agile work presented in May 2019 at Confcommercio in Verona. The projects that had already started in the first months of 2020 suffered a drastic interruption during the lockdown, only to be resumed, despite the limitations due to the health crisis.

We have carried out the “customization” and distribution of ours self booking tool at some client companies. Added to this was the implementation of “travel request and authorization” processes.

The lockdown allowed us to reflect on how to improve internal operating procedures and make them more streamlined in the booking stage. But also in the administrative field.

Thanks to agreements with our technology suppliers we have more than halved the operating time. Finally we have structured a new one reporting service with customized reports closer to recent customer needs.

Communication was kept constant with online presence on the main social platforms, website, weekly newsletter with travel alert and the organization of webinar direct with customers “.

What signs of business travel are you seeing?

“The signs are strong, above all in the medical field. Our client companies produce and are leaders in their sector. Consequently, they need to go to their interlocutors, install machinery and control production in foreign offices. There is a need to travel, but then there are many limitations: the provisions that change constantly, the shortage of flights and other factors that stifle these requests.

In Italia right now we have the problem of handover between Alitalia and Ita. The rest of the Italian market is, alas, in the hands of low cost companies.

With the summer season closing – with all the difficulties encountered between changes, cancellations and refunds – it is clear that many north-south routes they will be closed or limited to a few frequencies. How will it be possible dialogue with “low-cost” carriers? Will train travel increase? Will people drive in their cars for their safety? “

What about business trips abroad?

«In Europa traditional carriers do not have all the frequencies as before and also in this case the low cost ones are good and bad times. In addition, we still suffer from the inability to have a common view on air transport.

In short: we did not grow at the levels of the US and Chinese markets. For months we have seen each nation decide and modify the type of documentation and provisions to be adopted despite the vaccination campaigns having reached a good diffusion.

The introduction of the green pass does not avoid filling in forms and Plf and the results of swabs to be presented at departure and return. All this “uncertainty” discourages people from traveling.

For business trips intercontinental we see great interest. In short: the demand is there, because there are companies that have very strong commercial relationships, have decentralized some factories or sold machinery that they have to assemble.

However, the closure of the borders of some countries and the lengthy procedures for obtaining an entry permit or a visa are sometimes exhausting. And not just for agencies like us ».

Read more about the compulsory Green pass from 1st September on some means of transport

How does your new self booking tool work?

«The booking tool is called Siba (Self integrated booking agent) edm is a tool online booking for companies. It allows you to independently check, in 3 languages, the information necessary for the business trip of individual travelers and travelers travel arranger.

The proposals are customized on the basis of the provisions of the corporate travel policy. It is multifunctional, starting with planning of the trip. From solutions on flights, even compared to trainson hotels and cars.

It allows you to request offline services such as visas and tickets on ferries. Also note that the search results are based on personal preferences of travelerswith tariffs corporate possibly agreed in advance by the company.

At an administrative level, it allows data control and ticketing in the background with booking confirmation. All with centralization of payments up to expense report with the possibility of inserting multiple bookings in a single trip.

Then there are report with statistical analysis to facilitate reporting on travel data. For receive assistancecustomers who use Siba have a direct line with our operators specialized in business travel ».


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