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Shep helps companies, travel managers, and TMCs understand, monitor and save on business travel bookings made on consumer sites.

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The bog of business travel

As a consultant, I can say with confidence that I’ve spent an abnormal amount of time dealing with business travel. Between booking airline tickets, hotels, cabs, rental cars, business travel is a tough task.

Just as difficult is companies trying to manage their employee’s business travel. Specifically, companies are constantly struggling to manage the cost of business travel. To manage these costs, companies start by creating corporate travel rules, which specify price, cabin, and more. Then, the company inputs the rules into a corporate booking tool such as Amex Global Business Travel. Next, an employee goes onto the booking tool, which shows which flights fall within the company’s policy, and books their flight. Lastly, the booking tool will then send an audit report to the company’s corporate travel department detailing the travel purchase.

Companies that can afford to pay for corporate booking tools pay large fees for the convenience, customer service, and auditing functions provided. For businesses that can’t afford to use a service like Amex, they often resort to the latter of the two methods, relying on employees to book their flights and then submit expense reports. An audit team will then go through, record the expense, and ensure the travel fell within company guidelines. This process creates a massive burden for all involved. Employees spend more time trying to interpret the company guidelines and companies spend more time auditing the booking process. In the end, corporate travel is difficult for everyone.

Shep’s new approach

Unlike business travel agencies today, Shep is taking an alternative approach to business travel bookings. Instead of a direct integration with an airline booking system, Shep uses a browser plugin to show which flights falls within the company’s corporate travel policy. Shep then records the flight booking, sends spend alerts to the proper departments, and helps the company track the flights.

Typically, becoming an OTA and plugging into an airline’s system is very expensive. However, as a plug-in, Shep does not need to integrate directly into the backend of booking systems. By bypassing the need for this and other expensive components, Shep provides a robust, modern corporate booking tools that is simple to use for businesses of all size.

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