Tracking executive movements

27 Feb 2009

The airport has been shut down by civil disturbance in Jakarta; an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale has struck San Francisco; terrorists have commandeered a luxury resort in Turkey. Do you know where your staff are?

Travel consultant Abacus International can help in this department, with its new service that allows companies to keep track of travelling employees when emergencies explode.

Targeted at the corporate end-users and corporate travel agencies, the web-based service called Abacus TravelIntelligence provides map graphics showing at a glance where all travelling staff are at any time.

As a risk management tool, the system stores a company’s detailed air, car, hotel, rail and cruise information. This data is uploaded before a trip and are kept in the system for up to three years.

“These corporate end-users are typically regional companies or multinational corporations with a sizable number of frequent travellers,” said Brett Henry, vice-president for agency marketing at Abacus International. “They place focus on employee welfare and are conscious about business risks. They see great business value in the ability to initiate extraction procedures immediately after a crisis occurs, such as the recent Mumbai attacks”

He said: “The common lesson learned from these incidents is that time is of the essence, and the faster the company is able to begin extracting its employees, the faster its people can be removed to safety. The solution has worked well for travellers who were able to leave Mumbai on the first flight after the airports re-opened.”

The service, which has over 200 corporate customers worldwide, was recently rolled out in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. It will be released in phases this year across all markets in the region.

Henry said Abacus TravelIntelligence is doing well in the Asia-Pacific, signing up more than 10 corporate users in less than a month after it launched.

Meanwhile, corporate travel agent Safe2Travel, which used Abacus TravelIntelligence to help customers stranded in Bangkok during the airport crisis last December, has also found the web-based service an effective operations tool.

“The system allows us to manage our corporate clients’ travel policies for the maximum number of employees permitted on the same flight. Once this threshold is reached, both our corporate clients and our team members are duly informed,” said JK Lim of Safe2Travel.

He added: “The web-based application also means that we are able to access travellers information anywhere and anytime even if it’s in the middle of the night. This allows us to provide a round-the-clock service that is in line with the mobile nature to the travel business.”

For more details, visit

Gigi Onag

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