Faced with unprecedented growth, Branch was caught managing travel across 12 offices in various time zones and on different continents, while their “clunky” and “unintuitive” travel management partner struggled to keep up.
Kevin Hong, Senior Financial Analyst for Branch, sums it up succinctly, “Simply put, our old corporate travel system was a hassle for everyone to use, and we in Finance could not, in good conscience, ask people to use it.”
In addition to discouraging traveler adoption, Branch’s previous solution did not have the flexibility, nor the customer-first mentality the company required. For instance, as a road warrior, Tae Kim, Head of East Coast Sales at Branch, has to travel regularly, and often last-minute. In such a fast-paced environment, the simple planning of a trip shouldn’t be a hassle, especially when the organization’s business model relies on these in-person connections.
Challenges Before Navan
Results with Navan
“At Branch, our biggest value is ‘customers first.’ We’re willing to — on the drop of a dime — hop on a plane and visit a customer if need be,” said Tae. “Trying to book on the fly was pretty difficult, simply because the overall experience wasn’t great. I dreaded taking trips not because of the customer but because our corporate travel booking tool was so difficult to use.”
“It took us two days to get up and running with Navan, which was really fast!” said Kevin. “I’ve done a lot of implementations and nothing takes 48 hours. I was able to take an employee list from HR, upload it, and our employee side was covered. It was equally fast and easy to get our policy set up in the system as well.”
While getting started was easy, Branch also saved a lot of time on the back-end. The Navan reconciliation tool saves hours during month-end close. Before, Kevin had to export the Branch credit card statement, CTRL+F into their employee list, and locate them manually. He said, “It would take me hours to find everyone’s department, location, and type it in. I tried to do everything I could think of to automate it, including writing my own scripts. The Navan reconciliation tool just does it so much faster.”
While people are sometimes needed to resolve complex problems from a service perspective, a travel program that requires human involvement at every step is antiquated and unscalable. For the overwhelming majority of simple bookings and processes, Navan enables employees at Branch to focus on items that truly require their attention.
As a result of the Navan incentive program and the intuitive user experience, our travel process is much friendlier and finally allows our people to truly enjoy traveling for Branch.
Head of East Coast Sales
“I think it’s obvious that whoever designed the foundation of the Navan platform really understood what business travel is like and what the major pain points are,” Kevin said. “It’s hard to make this kind of product without taking a step back and thinking through everything before you get started. Hats off for making a cohesive product and not leaving anything undone. It’s really polished. Just the fact that you don’t need to train anybody to use it speaks volumes.”
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