APCO Worldwide

7 reasons why APCO Worldwide switched to Navan


  • 19%

    savings on travel

  • 4.9/5

    average chat support rating

  • +80

    net promoter score (top percentile)

APCO Worldwide is an advisory and advocacy communications consultancy with 30 global locations. The company works with some of the largest organisations and governments in the world, and as such has an extensive corporate travel programme. After experiencing frustrations with its former travel provider, APCO sought a more intuitive, efficient, and comprehensive alternative. We sat down with Philip Fraser, chief information officer, to understand the seven key factors that led APCO to make the switch and why Navan emerged as the superior solution.

1. Modern user experience

Question: What was your previous TMC?

Fraser: We formerly used Egencia. We found the whole process a little bit clunky. I think one of the things our staff was looking for is a tool that felt modern and familiar to some of the tools that they were using for booking personal travel. 

Navan has helped us modernise business travel for our employees, and our employees are telling us they’re having a really good experience. They’re really enjoying using the Navan platform. It’s turned something that was previously regarded as painful and onerous into something that’s now regarded as efficient and forward-thinking.

2. Better inventory

Question: What was one of the biggest challenges with your former solution?

Fraser: One of the major issues we struggled with was inventory. It was very common to hear from our employees who were comparing the inventory that was available on Egencia to the inventory they could find through their own searching online. 

Staff would ask why they could find content on airline websites, Booking.com, or other distribution platforms that weren’t available on Egencia.

"It was very hard to tell a traveller they need to book everything within Egencia because the underlying inventory wasn’t in place."

Philip Fraser

CIO, APCO Worldwide

3. Quick implementation

Question: How long did it take APCO to get up and running with Navan?

Fraser: When we talked to Navan and they told us they could get this done in several weeks, I said, “That’s not possible. We’ve had experiences where this has dragged on for months and months and months leading to a year or so.”

But the Navan team went through the process and was happy to share insights from other large companies who had gone through a similar process. And so we took their word for it and lo and behold, we were able to get through the implementation in a matter of weeks!

Speedy booking: a full booking — flight, hotel, and car — takes APCO travellers an average of only 7 minutes on Navan.

4. Exceptional reporting

Question: What is an element about the Navan platform that stuck out to you?

Fraser: The reporting. I thought it was exceptional. With many systems we’ve used before, the reporting felt very finance-based. I’m not an accountant, but I want to see how APCO’s money is being spent on travel. 

What we found in the Navan reporting modules is that it could satisfy the needs of our accounting staff but also satisfy the needs of the business. 

5. Dynamic policy

Question: What are your thoughts on Navan’s dynamic policy controls?

Fraser: One of the things that has been particularly useful with Navan versus our previous system is we were manually trying to adjust the policy or adjust thresholds in various cities for how much a hotel night would be, how much should a flight be, etc. 

With the Navan system, it’s dynamically determining the median price, for example, of hotels in a given location. Instead of focusing on manually updating spreadsheets of hotels, we can actually focus on the service that we’re providing to our travellers.

6. Sustainability features

Question: Do you have any thoughts on the CO2 reporting feature on Navan?

Fraser: APCO takes decarbonisation seriously. We have a strategy in place to try and do everything we can to play our part in minimising carbon emissions. So for us at APCO, a platform that could provide us the necessary insights into our carbon emissions was significant. 

We all need to make or play a part in trying to reduce our overall carbon emissions footprint. One of the other things that was quite significant was, at the point of booking, providing the metrics to our employees. That way each time a booking was made, they themselves could understand the impact of taking a flight versus a train or another form of transport.

Rewarding smart choices: 8% of APCO’s travel savings are generated from Navan Rewards, which incentivise employees to make cost-conscious bookings.

7. Cost-saving incentives

Question: How has Navan been received at APCO?

Fraser: One of the things I often hear people talk about is how Navan Rewards incentivised them to choose better options. There have been many occasions where people have been pleasantly surprised that they can benefit from choosing one hotel over another to get personal travel rewards.

Overall, everyone’s been left with a really good feeling. Employees have a platform that’s easy to use and incentivises them to make smart, cost-conscious decisions — which also benefits APCO.


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