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5 ways Navan supports executive assistants

5 ways Navan supports executive assistants, the unsung heroes of the corporate world

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Ed Brooks

24 Apr 2024
5 minute read
Happy executive assistants share a joke at work

There was a time when Shellie Roanhaus, executive assistant (EA) to the CEO of Premier Talent Partners, would spend up to 10 hours a week managing executive travel. For many EAs out there, that won’t come as a surprise. EAs enhance the productivity and efficiency of the executives they work with — the International Association of Administrative Professionals found EAs save executives up to eight hours of work a week — and in today’s fast-paced business landscape, the role of EAs is more important than ever.

EAs, also known as executive secretaries, executive administrators, or office managers, play a critical role in carrying out strategic initiatives and administrative tasks. They are the right hands of senior executives, providing daily support in scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, and handling expenses. Ensuring they have the tools and technologies to perform their role effectively is pivotal — and the benefits of doing so can often be seen right across an organisation.

As we mark Administrative Professionals' Day, celebrated each year on the 24th of April, let’s take a look at the tools and product features Navan has built to help EAs manage business travel with ease.

1. Full inventory and trip drafting

Navan has all the inventory EAs could want in one easy-to-use platform. They can choose from extensive air options, including low-cost carriers, all the hotel content they’d expect, and book trains all the way from Edinburgh to Seville with stop-offs in Amsterdam and Zurich if ever needed. The booking platform assists with this selection by considering the profiles and booking preferences of each traveller and displaying the most relevant options.

It’s also easy to change or cancel bookings directly in the platform in just a few clicks, or over the phone using support agents if preferred.

Navan’s new Trip Planner feature now makes it even more convenient for EAs to organise business trips. They can easily save flights and hotel options to a draft trip in case they prefer to make a final decision later, helping them use their time more efficiently.

When booking a trip for someone else as a delegate, EAs can handpick a few travel options and save them to that person’s draft trip. This allows EAs to present different options to the traveller they are booking for directly within the platform, reducing planning time and removing the need to send screenshots of options via email to reach a decision.

Navan Trip Planner

2. Navan Rewards

Navan Rewards is a unique programme that proactively rewards employees whenever they save their company money while booking a business trip. Using a sophisticated algorithm, Navan calculates the fair market price of a hotel booking based on location, date, and demand at the time of search.

When travel bookers choose an option below that fair market price, they are rewarded with a portion of the savings in the form of personal travel credits — which are 100% funded by Navan. They can then use these travel credits to book their next holiday on Navan.

As delegates booking on behalf of someone, EAs earn 2% of the base price of eligible hotel bookings in Navan Rewards. So every time EAs book an in-policy hotel that is within the acceptable threshold, they earn the equivalent of 2% of the base price to spend on personal travel!

Navan user review

"I use the Navan Pro platform nearly every single day to book travel for my executives and also for myself and my experience has so far been 100% positive. The platform is easy to use and all of the trips I have booked have run smoothly." – Jenna Coulson, Executive Assistant at Paysafe.

3. Simplified expense management

When it comes to managing executive expenses, Navan is a handy ally for EAs. 

Navan automates the expense management process so EAs don't need to spend hours completing expense reports and adding details to each transaction. Navan captures every detail live with every transaction, from date and time of spend, to merchant name, and merchant type. And if scanning receipts, it works the same way. Navan automatically populates the information from each receipt so EAs can do in minutes what used to take days.

By providing total control over employee spending and automating policy enforcement at the point of transaction, EAs can focus on more strategic tasks, enhancing their value and impact within the executive team.

Navan user review

"I am really enjoying using Navan to book and manage executive travel. The system is easy to navigate and intuitive." – Amy, Executive Assistant at Paysafe.

4. 24/7 traveller support

Traditionally, an EA was one of the first people an executive would call in case of issues or emergencies while on a trip, whatever time of day or night. In other instances, executives need to change a trip’s itinerary or amend its length at short notice.

With Navan, travellers on the road get access to round-the-clock support for whatever urgent issue might crop up, and can self-serve trip changes and modify bookings within the app, making executives less dependent on EAs for on-trip assistance.

If an EA needs to contact support on behalf of an executive, Navan support agents know immediately whose EA they are and help them address the query in no time, with full context about the trip in question.

Navan user review

"As an EA, the ability to log in for my execs so seamlessly and take care of their travel all in one place is my favourite thing about the platform. It's user-friendly and intuitive. I've never had an issue reaching support quickly in chat when needed." – Anonymous user, via

5. Customisable notification preferences

EAs can select exactly when and how they get notifications about trips they book for themselves and others by adjusting their notification preferences within the Navan platform. Notifications can be toggled across email, push, and SMS, so if an EA wants to get an SMS whenever check-in opens for the CFO’s flights, and just an email whenever the Finance Manager makes a booking, that’s fine. EAs decide which information they want and how they want it.

When EAs book travel on behalf of someone else, they can also customise the notifications the traveller receives to ensure they only receive the notifications they need, in their preferred way.

Supporting EAs in their day-to-day

Given the invaluable role EAs play in supporting company executives and advancing their organisation’s success, it’s right that businesses invest in tools and technologies that empower these professionals.

Navan leads the way in equipping EAs with tools that save them time and stress, and even make booking and managing travel enjoyable. With Navan, EAs can focus on what they do best: driving strategic initiatives and supporting the executive team in achieving success.

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