The Roomex Blog

Tips for managing travel for a mobile workforce

Tips for managing travel for a mobile workforce

If you’re in charge of organising travel for your mobile workforce, your goal is simple. You need to book safe, clean, comfortable rooms for employees...

Read More
Why prepaid debit cards are the safer alternative to business credit cards

Why prepaid debit cards are the safer alternative to business credit cards

Business credit cards cut out the time and stress of reconciling your employee's cash expenses. They make it easy for teams to travel and pay for their...

Read More
McGettigan Hotel Group launches new 'Address' brand and releases Covid-19 Safety Program

McGettigan Hotel Group launches new 'Address' brand and releases Covid-19 Safety Program

The McGettigan Hotel Group have recently announced the rebranding of four of their hotels. The Address Collective is the new name, new look and new...

Read More
10 Expense Policy Best Practices [+ Free Template]

10 Expense Policy Best Practices [+ Free Template]

Having a well-thought expense policy leads to a higher compliance rate, increased employee happiness, fraud reduction and overall time and money savings.

Read More
Data consolidation across best in class suppliers lead CFO’s to most optimised spend management strategy

Data consolidation across best in class suppliers lead CFO’s to most optimised spend management strategy

As many organisations attempt to cut costs to offset flat revenues, it is imperative that they understand, and have a consolidated view, of all...

Read More
Project based travelling made easier with new RoomexStay mobile app

Project based travelling made easier with new RoomexStay mobile app

We're all on the go these days (even if you haven't left home in days!) Whether you're working from home and running between Zoom meetings and helping...

Read More
Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels introduce a Stay Safe, Stay Healthy plan in response to COVID-19

Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels introduce a Stay Safe, Stay Healthy plan in response to COVID-19

Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels have implemented new cleaning protocols to keep both guests, staff, and the community safe amid the pandemic. The company...

Read More
How finance teams will get control over all travel expenses from parking to meals as companies resume business travel

How finance teams will get control over all travel expenses from parking to meals as companies resume business travel

Travel's starting to pick up again - but the same issues for finance teams remain - gaining visibility and control over the complete spend. 

Read More
Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Workforce travel is an evolving landscape at the moment, to help companies get back on the road, we sat down (virtually) with Keith Watson our Global VP...

Read More

Millennium Hotels promise safety in hotels through and post the COVID-19 pandemic

We spoke to Richard Adler, Vice President Sales - UK & Europe and Strategic Accounts for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, a London-based global hotel...

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If you’re in charge of organising travel for your mobile workforce, your goal is simple. You need to book safe, clean, comfortable rooms for employees scattered around the country while keeping in mind budgets, meals, parking, and late check-ins. Easy... right? 

Managing travel for the mobile workforce is not for the faint of heart - its' a difficult juggling act that moves fast, and changes often. We've been working with mobile workforce's that carry out project based work for years - and we developed Roomex to best suit their needs. 

Roomex offers one centralised platform to help you manage mobile workforce travel

1. Relevant properties at discounted prices to keep you within budget

We know what kind of properties you're looking for when managing mobile workforce travel. We have the largest selection of 2-3 star properties, aparthotels, hundreds of Exclusive Roomex Rates, plus 2,500 additional UK discounted rates with Saver+ to keep our prices as low as possible. Plus, you're assigned an account manager who can source locations or specific hotels that you don't see on your platform. 

We've also added a new feature called RoomexClean that informs users of individual hotel safety measures at a glance. We have a specific icon that appears in accommodation results indicating that we have personally confirmed that the hotel they are booking meets or exceeds the cleaning stands as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

RoomexClean-1

2. Detailed analytics software to assist decision making

Roomex Analytics brings full visibility and control into the often disorganised world of managing travel for the mobile workforce. It gives you an easy way to break down spend, find savings, and pull reports. At a glance you're able to find out:

  • Total hotel spend
  • Total savings
  • Total number of room nights
  • Policy compliance rate
  • Top hotels, bookers, and travelers

Our goal is to create an easy way to look into costs, while identifying new ways to save. 

banner1

3. Live duty of care map to ensure everyone is safe and looked after

Its common for businesses to book mobile workforce travel with multiple bookers through various leisure sites. But- this makes it difficult to keep track of past, present, and future trips. Now, more than ever, keeping track of where your employees have traveled to is important, should another outbreak occur. 

Our centralised system makes it easy to book and subsequently manage bookings and guest information, so its fast and easy to look up historical and future reservations should you need to reach your employees.

duty of care map

4. Group booking service from our experienced team

Business travel has changed a lot this year- and managing project bookings and long term stays have as well. Our hotel experts have been reacting to the changes that the travel industry has undergone over the last few months - and have been making project bookings on behalf of front line staff and key workers.

They will help you source, negotiate, and book both bedrooms and meeting rooms that best suit your needs - saving you time and money.

  • We promise a one-hour response time to your inquiry
  • Our Group Booking Manager will ensure all details of your group booking are met and the hotel is ready for your arrival
  • We also facilitate special requests such as meeting rooms, project bookings, meal services and meeting supplies such as projectors and computers.

5. Hotel confirmations and late check ins

Whether your staff are working roads, sites or in plants, many projects take place out-of-hours. Your employees mightn’t check in until the early hours of the morning. Through Roomex, you can secure off-peak check-ins. Our hotel support experts will also confirm this during their reservation checks, meaning you’ll never have to deal with late-night troubleshooting again. 

6. Meal allowances and prepaid credit cards to keep in trip expenses organised 

Securing accommodation isn't the only focus of those managing mobile workforce travel. Accounting for the payment of parking, food and general expenses can be difficult and involve multiple departments. We have a few solutions for managing these expenses and our team can recommend and guide you to the one that best works for your company's needs. 

We offer meal allowances for food at the hotel booked that can be added and paid for with your accommodation. This is a good option for those managing contractors.

RoomexPay is our complete expense management system. It offers a suite of prepaid debit cards, a mobile app, and a web console to provide the complete, end to end, spend management solution. Learn more about RoomexPay and this option here. 

Group 1448

Get in touch with us to learn more about how Roomex can help you manage travel for your mobile workforce

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Tips for managing travel for a mobile workforce

Tips for managing travel for a mobile workforce

If you’re in charge of organising travel for your mobile workforce, your goal is simple. You need to book safe, clean, comfortable rooms for employees...

Read More
{post_body={body={html=

Business credit cards cut out the time and stress of reconciling your employee's cash expenses. They make it easy for teams to travel and pay for their expenses without paying out of their own pockets. 

Companies often use business credit cards to reduce the need for petty cash, cut the amount of individual reimbursements, and allocate spend faster with a monthly statement. 

But, business credit cards don't give companies full control and visibility over employee spend

Sure they give more visibility into spend than cash, but they open the gateway for employees to exceed  budgets, exceed card limits, or in some cases, commit expense fraud. It's difficult to maintain full control on spend, and achieve real time visibility into who is spending what when it's not done in real time. Reconciliation also can create issues when matching expense reports to credit card statements. 

But, now there is a new kid on the block that sits in between cash and corporate credit cards, the prepaid debit card.

Whether you call them prepaid debit cards, prepaid company cards, or company spending cards - they essentially all refer to the same thing. They are an alternative to business credit cards that act similar to a rechargeable gift card. 

How do prepaid debit cards work?

Simply put, you give a card to an employee or department, load it up with however much money they require, and set limitations to control their spending. Employees then use cards to make purchases. Cards are then be topped up daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, and frozen and cancelled within seconds. From the back office end, you're able to get real time visibility into all transactions and make better cost saving decisions. 

The main difference in how they work? It's not a credit line you're receiving with a prepaid debit card, instead its direct money paid via bank account.

What are the benefits of prepaid debit cards for businesses?

  • Real time visibility into each transaction
  • Personalisation when you can set individual, team, or department spending limits 
  • Analytics as spend happens
  • Integrated app and web console to monitor and track each transaction  
  • Simple to categorise each purchase within the app, saving time on reconciliation later 
  • Seamless reconciliation 
  • Safer than credit cards because they are closely monitored and only have limited funds allocated 

Prepaid company cards work for both Enterprise businesses and SME's to provide control, safety, freedom, and visibility into their expenses. 

Control

Not only can you control the exact amount on each card at any time, you can control how often they are topped up and freeze them off and on if needed. With a company credit card your only way of creating control is through the limit. 

Safety 

No paperwork, false claims, or manual errors when you control the entire expense process. Reduce risk by eliminating the possibility of bogus claims and corporate card overspend. After every purchase, use the app to take a picture and categorise the purchase, leaving less room for error or fraud.

Freedom

Employees no longer have to worry if they are spending withing their expense policy or daily limits. Nor do they have to pay out of pocket and await a sometimes lengthy reimbursement process. With instant notifications to the main office, they have the ability to request top-ups while on the road or cancel or freeze a card should a problem arise.

Visibility 

Prepaid debit cards offer real time transaction updates -  within seconds you have complete oversight to what was purchased, by who and what category it falls into. This makes it easier to prepare budgets, forecast, and reallocate funds.

RoomexPay offers a suite of prepaid debit cards, a mobile app, and a web console to provide the complete, end to end, spend management solution

Get in touch with our sales team today to learn more about the benefits of prepaid debit cards for companies and RoomexPay 

 

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Why prepaid debit cards are the safer alternative to business credit cards

Why prepaid debit cards are the safer alternative to business credit cards

Business credit cards cut out the time and stress of reconciling your employee's cash expenses. They make it easy for teams to travel and pay for their...

Read More
{post_body={body={html=

The McGettigan Hotel Group have recently announced the rebranding of four of their hotels. The Address Collective is the new name, new look and new standard for The North Star Hotel, The Address at Dublin 1, KingsWood Hotel and the Ambassador Hotel Cork. They have all gone through significant enhancements to their hotel facilities and the guest experience. (Click here for more information.) 

As well as the announcement of their new branding, The Address Collective have implemented a new COVID-19 Safety Program which involves a wide range of protocols and systems that will ensure as much as possible, that their guests will have an enjoyable and safe visit at their hotel. They are actively monitoring COVID-19 updates from the World Health Organisation and will continue to respond on the best advice of the H.S.E, Irish governments, public health authorities, and medical professionals. All of their hotels have been awarded the Failte Ireland Safety Charter. 

At the end of June we brought you our newest feature, RoomexClean, signaling we've confirmed that hotels has met or exceeded the standards as set out by the World Health Organisation and The Address Collective are the latest chain to have their hotels tagged in the Roomex platform. 

The Address Collective

Check out their safety measures that will give you confidence and reassurance as you start travelling again 

Hygiene

  • We have increased our vigilance in public areas and our accommodation team are sanitising all public areas once an hour, every hour.
  • We use disinfectant products that are proven to be effective against Covid-19.
  • Sanitising stations at key touch throughout the hotel, with alcohol-based hand sanitiser provided.
  • Additional cleaning of frequent touch-points. We have introduced thorough systems of sanitisation to ensure, as much as possible, that these areas are safe.
  • Sanitized key card.
  • Guests can request a face mask if desired.
  • Our spacious public areas will be thoroughly cleaned continuously throughout each day.
  • After each room is cleaned thoroughly and key touchpoints are sanitised, we will fog the room with a special device that deals very effectively with viruses and other air and surface contaminants.
  • We have taken steps to improve air circulation processes to increase air quality.
  • We wash all linens at a high temperature for optimal disinfection.
  • Full procedure for sanitising all hotel bedrooms after guest departure has been put in place (for example: all touch points such as handles, doors, remote controls, telephones etc).

Social Distancing

  • We have introduced minimum contact check-in and check-out.
  • Please observe 2m floor markings provided.
  • Protective screens are provided at reception desks
  • You will have the option of using the lift or staircase to access your bedroom. Strict protocols on lift usage will be displayed on each floor.
  • Your card will be charged at check in for the cost of your stay.

Food and Beverage

  • Breakfast available daily and a continental option can be delivered to your room.
  • Contactless room service is available daily.
  • All serving staff to be issued with facemasks.
  • Redesign dining area seating arrangements to ensure 2 meter distancing between tables.
  • Service of all food and beverages respecting strict food safety procedures.
  • In room dining options are available.

Training 

  • All employees have received a comprehensive hygiene and prevention training program.
  • We administer temperature checks for team members at the start of their shift.
  • We have provided team members with personal protective equipment.

Learn more about what The Address Collective are doing to keep you safe and about our new RoomexClean feature by reaching out to your Account Manager or talking to our sales team.

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McGettigan Hotel Group launches new 'Address' brand and releases Covid-19 Safety Program

McGettigan Hotel Group launches new 'Address' brand and releases Covid-19 Safety Program

The McGettigan Hotel Group have recently announced the rebranding of four of their hotels. The Address Collective is the new name, new look and new...

Read More
{post_body={body={html=

Having a well-thought expense policy leads to a higher compliance rate, increased employee happiness, fraud reduction and overall time and money savings.

Expense policies are just one part of businesses expense management practices. 

What is an expense policy?

Put simply, it’s a set of rules and guidelines that specify how your employees can spend company money. 

Why are they important?

Thoughtfully written expense policies keep everyone on the same page when it comes to spending, reducing the chance of fraud saves the company money, while increasing productivity.

Expense policies should be simple, transparent, and trust evoking. They should be documents of empowerment, not restriction. It’s not a list of things you can’t do but a guide for employee decision making around spend. 

10 best practices to consider when writing your expense policy:

1. Be fair and transparent

If your employees see your policy as fair, they will be less likely to break it. At the end of the day, these employees are travelling on behalf of the company and should be able to claim reasonable expenses. An employee shouldn’t spend hours finding a hotel within limits for a last-minute trip or go hungry if they fear they don’t have enough for a cup of tea and dinner later. 

2. The same rules apply to all

If managers can behave in a different way than their employees it creates tension on teams. Research shows that managers are more likely to go out of policy yet are half as likely to get rejected for that out of policy claim. A policy is only fair when everyone plays by the same rules. 

3. Be flexible

The goal isn’t just to cut costs - it’s to ensure employees are well looked after and productive while travelling. Sometimes employees are forced to go out of policy, and it’s not always a bad thing. If you’re too strict it can drive resentment and employees can look to bend the rules. 

4. Go with a localised approach 

It’s recommended to have different policies in place depending on the location. It costs more in London than in Birmingham and your expense policy should reflect that. 

5. Get feedback from your employees

They are the ones travelling right? See what their pain points are, what they like about the current picture, and how you can improve. Not only does this create a better policy, but it creates ownership. Getting buy-in from managers also helps to ease implementation and adoption. 

6. It should be simple yet specific

No. More. Jargon. The goal is to show the employee how they can spend company money, not educate them in law. The policy should be specific in what they can and cannot spend on to eliminate any confusion. For example, ‘Laundry services are not included’ or ‘Dinner should not exceed £X.’ The easier the rules are to remember and read, the more likely they will be followed.

7. It should be easy to find 

Sounds basic, but make sure employees know where to reference the policy while on the go. It’s best practice to offer expense policy training while employees are onboarding. 

8. Documentation is required

If you’re using traditional expense management methods this is very important. Let your employees know what type of receipt and the date it’s accepted until they need to attach to their expense report. For an automated system, it’s much easier, however, it still needs to be addressed. For example, if a picture is required of the receipt or if the employee must select the category of the purchase. 

9. Reimbursement is clear

There should be very specific language for those that do not use prepaid company cards with employees paying out of pocket. Let your employees know when they will be paid back and how. 

10. It should integrate with your current systems 

As we’ve mentioned, it’s best to have a real-time modern expense management platform. The perfect opportunity to put its bells and whistles to work is to include your expense policy right within the platform. Then the direction outlined in your expense policy document shows up throughout the steps of making a purchase, approving, and recording receipts. 

We’ve created a sample expense policy to guide you as you draft yours. Note, this policy assumes you’re already using or are switching to a modern expense management platform such as RoomexPay. It should be used as a guide. 

Expense Policy Template

Our sample expense policy is extremely detailed, use only what is relevant to your business. We also reference our accommodation management platform RoomexStay. If you do not use this product to book accommodation, be sure to add in your travel booking policy. 

Click here to download your expense policy template 

 

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10 Expense Policy Best Practices [+ Free Template]

10 Expense Policy Best Practices [+ Free Template]

Having a well-thought expense policy leads to a higher compliance rate, increased employee happiness, fraud reduction and overall time and money savings.

Read More
{post_body={body={html=

As many organisations attempt to cut costs to offset flat revenues, it is imperative that they understand, and have a consolidated view, of all corporate-level spending.  A consolidated view of spend data allows an organization to better negotiate with key suppliers by comparing their spend to industry benchmarks. 

Finance teams carry the responsibility of understanding all aspects of the business. During downturns, they must be able to identify and forecast what costs, if cut, would be the least likely to negatively impact revenue generation in the future.  The challenge for many CFOs is gaining visibility, followed by the control over many hidden costs.  

Data is often fragmented, making it hard to gain full visibility and make cost-saving decisions

Typically, executives can view only a fraction of spend with their suppliers. An accurate and complete view of data would deliver the agility and actionable insight that could enable businesses to create successful cost reduction strategies while gaining competitive advantages.

Accurate visibility of spend management data is the key to unlocking the cost cutting questions.  Nearly 90% of companies still use basic spreadsheet applications as their primary analysis tools, limiting the breadth and sophistication of analyses that can be executed. These issues lead Aberdeen Research to estimate that inadequate spend data management capabilities are costing businesses $260 billion dollars in missed savings opportunities annually.

 A refined spend management strategy can unlock trends and highlight costs

Spend management is a process of collecting, collating, maintaining, categorising, and evaluating spend data to reduce procurement costs, improve efficiency, monitor and control workflows, and regulate compliance.

Spend management affects and manages various activities across the procurement cycle. It includes requisition processing, budgeting, planning, supplier management, contract management, inventory management, sourcing, and product development. Every organisation, regardless of their size and type, needs to have an efficient spend management process that gives them visibility and control over all costs.

Business and Travel expenses are a good example of a category that many organisations often fail to intelligently manage because of a lack of a clear spend strategy and suitable tools (technology) that will provide the necessary data.  And, it is often the category where significant savings can be easily found if a consolidated view of data can be achieved.

"CFOs are concerned about consistently managing spending across the enterprise, which includes visibility across diverse ERP and best-of-breed solutions and all spending categories (eg, travel).” according to META Group analyst John Van Decker.  

Reduce costs and increase your organisation’s competitive position with a closed-loop lifecycle process

Developing a closed-loop lifecycle process brings data from all stages of the lifecycle to be consolidated, optimised and ultimately reduced.

Take the example of travel and expenses (see graph below), this lifecycle process would facilitate working with best in class suppliers for each element of a trip, developing a consolidated view of the spend data which would in turn allow you to drive incremental improvements in supplier relationship management (cost reductions) and ensure cross-discipline alignment (company or department focused spend policies).  It is only when you have this visibility of spend that you can get control of it and in turn, reduce it.

future of trave;

If we look closer at travel in the context of a closed-loop lifecycle; corporates have tended to turn towards one single provider to manage all aspects of travel in recent years.  Flights, hotels – national and international in addition to the other component parts. But how relevant is this when flights are not being booked, leaving domestic hotel spend attracting blanket fees where the service requirement is lower. 

As companies drill down on costs they are looking beyond legacy TMCs, and breaking out each stage of the journey e.g. train, taxi, petrol, accommodation, meals as unique components that can be optimized from a financial and operational point. The solution still needs to jigsaw together for user experience and simplicity, it’s not the same puzzle any more. 

The value of traditional TMC’s is becoming less clear as international travel struggles.  Annual sourcing programmes (that often attract service costs), are being reviewed. What’s the ROI on sourcing now and how to maximise that.  With a global recession looming, the demand pattern of the specific company in question is much more relevant.

Blending a more efficient sourcing programme with tailored consortia rates and a wide base of supply makes more sense given the evolution of BAR over the last 4 months. There are significant savings to be made by obtaining a per trip cost rather than getting locked into an annual rate.

By working with the best-in-class provider for each stage of the trip, unique savings can be negotiated directly with each supplier, fees can be eliminated and with consistent spend policies followed by staff, immense savings and operational efficiencies can be found.  Without these direct relationships with suppliers how do you really know you are getting the best rate.  

Rather than handing over control of spend management to one single provider, companies can gain control and greater visibility of cost through focused trip management. Smarter technology will save a company hours of time by using best of breed for search, book and pricing, and centralizing payment, reporting and analytics which is what is most needed.

To drive down costs in the months ahead accurate analytics and real visibility will allow control of spend, and result in an intelligent and optimized spend management strategy.

Learn about how Roomex brings together fragmented data creating visibility into total travel spend. 

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Data consolidation across best in class suppliers lead CFO’s to most optimised spend management strategy

Data consolidation across best in class suppliers lead CFO’s to most optimised spend management strategy

As many organisations attempt to cut costs to offset flat revenues, it is imperative that they understand, and have a consolidated view, of all...

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We're all on the go these days (even if you haven't left home in days!) Whether you're working from home and running between Zoom meetings and helping your kids with their homework, or between cities working on job sites - sometimes, work needs to get done during these short intervals. 

We want to better accommodate Roomex to your on the go lifestyle, so we're bringing it to your mobile phone.

Get a seamless experience when making a booking or looking for support from the road, while walking the dogs, sitting in the park, working at the construction site, sitting on the beach - or anywhere life may lead you. 

app pic

Benefits of using the RoomexStay mobile app

  • Make last minute bookings whilst on the road from your phone
  • More streamlined ability to search and book accommodation on mobile
  • Check up on upcoming bookings 
  • Find bookings for travellers you're responsible for
  • Amend bookings 
  • Add an extra night to your stay while you're already on site
  • Easily reach out to our support team through mobile chat
  • Quickly make a booking if you've received a request out of hours, like on the weekend

Downloading the app is fast and easy.

For Android Users:

  1. Login to your Roomex platform on your mobile phone or by going to Roomex.com in a mobile browser and click the three lines in the top right of the homepage and select ‘Login.

    You can also scan this QR code with your phone camera if you're on the computer, just make sure you’ve turned on the lens setting for QR codes. Then type in your login credentials.
    QR code roomex login
  2. Add Roomex to your 'Home Screen' When you reach the login page (not roomex.com homepage) and fill in your information, you'll see the prompt 'Add Roomex to your Home screen' at the bottom. Once clicked, you'll be prompted to confirm you want to 'Add' the app. If your phone does not automatically prompt the download, click the arrow bar in your URL to do so. 
    roomex app set up android-1
  3. Success! You'll now find the app on your mobile device. Once you click it, you'll see the usual Roomex booking flow you're used to, just optimised for your device. 

For iPhone users:

  1.  Login to your Roomex platform on your mobile phone by going to Roomex.com in the Safari browser and clicking the 'Login' link in the top right of the homepage. Or, take a picture of this QR code with your phone camera if you're on the computer. Then type in your login credentials.
    QR code roomex login
  2. Add RoomexStay to your home page, When you reach the login page and fill in your information, click the icon at the bottom of the screen that looks like a square and an arrow to add Roomex to your home screen. Once clicked, select ‘Add to Home Screen’ in the list below, and confirm by selecting ‘Add’ as outlined below.

    Download the App iPhone
  3. You'll now find the app on your mobile device. Once you click it, you'll see the usual Roomex booking flow you're used to, just optimised for your device. If you have any trouble downloading the app or using it, please reach out to your account manager.

Not a Roomex customer yet? Well, get in touch with our accommodation experts today by reaching out here. 

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Project based travelling made easier with new RoomexStay mobile app

Project based travelling made easier with new RoomexStay mobile app

We're all on the go these days (even if you haven't left home in days!) Whether you're working from home and running between Zoom meetings and helping...

Read More
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Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels have implemented new cleaning protocols to keep both guests, staff, and the community safe amid the pandemic. The company has worked with the Environmental Health Organisation and took advice from the WHO when creating their most recent cleaning plan. They are also working in partnership with Ecolab on recommended cleaning products and protocols to enhance their cleanliness standards within all areas of their hotels. 

Find Jurys Inn and Leonardo hotels tagged with our new feature, RoomexClean, signaling we've confirmed that hotel has met or exceeded the standards as set out by the World Health Organisation. 

jurys inn clean

Check out their safety measures that will give you confidence and reassurance as you start travelling again 

Hygiene

Hygiene has always been rigorous at their hotels and they are taking additional steps so you can be confident of your safety.

  • They have worked alongside the Environmental Health Organisation (EHO) to develop best protocols & standards which will be implemented across all hotels
  • Their hotels use Ecolab Pro anti-viral cleaning products which are proven to kill coronavirus
  • They have Sanitising Stations in key areas such as lobbies, receptions, lifts and back of house. They advise that guests make use of these stations when moving around the hotel
  • Increased the cleaning of frequently touched items and surfaces in bedrooms & meeting rooms
  • Increased bedroom & meeting room checks by Senior Management
  • Our food menus can now be viewed online whilst providing a limited 24hr room service (tray collection service)

Social Distancing

Keep everyone safe by continuing to Social Distance. Please allow 2m (6ft) distance between yourself and other people. In their hotels they are practicing social distancing by:

  • Operating a minimum touch check-in and check-out to limit the amount of close contact within the hotel

  • 2m floor markings in reception - hotels have spacious ground floor footprints, on average 700sqm to easily facilitate social distancing

  • They have protective screens at all reception desks in order to protect staff and guests

  • They are encouraging guests to use stairwells as an alternative to the lifts to access bedroom & meeting rooms Lift protocol in place, tailored by hotel and its configuration

Cashless Operation

All hotels will be operating as a Cashless operation, this will include food and beverage departments.

  • They accept all major credit and debit cards

  • They will charge your card on check-in for the cost of your stay

  • Any additional costs during your stay will be charged as consumed

Food and Beverage

They are operating a reduced Food and Beverage offering. A welcome letter in each bedroom will include the full details.

  • All menus are now available to view online
  • Breakfast is available daily as a continental option delivered to your room
  • Contactless room service is available daily
  • We have appropriate & hygienic delivery methods in place for our food & beverage offering

Training 

Training is always ongoing & an upmost priority for our teams.

  • They have worked alongside the Environmental Health Organisation (EHO) to develop the best protocols & standards for housekeeping and employee training
  • All employees have received additional training on how to keep you and themselves safe. This will be reflected in how they interact with you during your stay

Learn more about what Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels are doing to keep you safe and about our new RoomexClean feature by reaching out to your Account Manager or talking to our sales team.

 

 

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Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels introduce a Stay Safe, Stay Healthy plan in response to COVID-19

Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels introduce a Stay Safe, Stay Healthy plan in response to COVID-19

Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels have implemented new cleaning protocols to keep both guests, staff, and the community safe amid the pandemic. The company...

Read More
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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Travel's starting to pick up again - but the same issues for finance teams remain - gaining visibility and control over the complete spend. 

As we complete our fourth month of lockdown - we've begun to adjust to our new 'normal.' Every team at most companies shifted their focus seemingly overnight, but those in finance in particular have risen to the occasion. You've rewritten budgets and maintained effective internal controls to stabilize your company, all while learning how to work with your team remotely. Now, as travel resumes, many are taking a tabula rasa or blank slate approach to managing travel. 

The majority of CFO’s and finance teams don’t place controls around business travel- yet it can account for up to 10% of their total operating expenditure.

We're all looking to run leaner businesses during and post pandemic, while looking after our staff in the best way possible. Here at Roomex, we've been listening to your concerns as you get back on the road through recent surveys and conversations with customers. Many worries from the travel perspective were around cost, safety and hygiene in hotels and while travelling. From the finance perspective its all about gaining visibility and control over all spend - so you can make cost saving decisions that are backed by data. 

As your team begins to travel again, let's look into how they can stay safe while making payments, while you gain visibility and control over spend. 

When people are travelling for work amid the pandemic, it's all about getting from Point A to Point B safely, and that often includes the need to pay for petrol, parking, food, or airport transfers. We introduced RoomexPay as a safe way to pay and manage these expenses

RoomexPay suite (1)
With RoomexPay, your employees on the road each have a card and virtual card on their mobile phones with a set amount in their 'wallets' to spend according to their needs. This amount is controlled by the finance or procurement team back at the office. Those travelling don’t need to access the main account and don’t have to involve your finance department in the process.

img_laptop_dashboardOur goal with this product is to create a seamless user experience for both the back office and the traveller - and we promise to roll out everything to your team remotely and easily, without any complicated procedures. 

roomexpay_anim


Using RoomexPay to pay for meals 

As some restaurants have had to close the kitchens or reduce operations to take away only, many workforce travellers have found difficulties finding a safe place to eat. 

RoomexPay cards not only work in all hotels, but can be used with Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat as well as in physical restaurants. The cards ensure you never leave your employees out of pocket and give them peace of mind by not using cash and paying without contact.

Safely pay for parking, petrol, and airport transfers with RoomexPay

The majority of companies don't project or account for the correct amount spent on business travel. Things like parking and airport transfers typically add to this grey area. RoomexPay keeps track of all in trip expenses for the back office, and keeps travellers safe with contactless payment and never leaves them
out of pocket. Users simply tap at the pump or parking console to complete payment, and can later select a category and snap a picture of the receipt. 

Get in touch with one of our travel experts to learn more about RoomexPay here and ways it will give you control and visibility of all travel expenses

 

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How finance teams will get control over all travel expenses from parking to meals as companies resume business travel

How finance teams will get control over all travel expenses from parking to meals as companies resume business travel

Travel's starting to pick up again - but the same issues for finance teams remain - gaining visibility and control over the complete spend. 

Read More
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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Workforce travel is an evolving landscape at the moment, to help companies get back on the road, we sat down (virtually) with Keith Watson our Global VP of Supply to get his insight on the accommodation industry and share some tips that will help companies prepare to travel again. This is the first in our "Getting Back on the Road" Series that aims to answer the questions travel managers and business travellers have.

1. How should companies prepare to introduce business travel again for their employees?

Keith Watson: After the industry got over from the immediate onslaught of cancellations, it became a case of how to manage and prepare for travelling again.  Now that hotels are almost ready to re-open their doors, the question of availability is soon to be resolved.

We see that business travellers are moving their focus towards each element of the trip from search and book, pre-arrival, in-trip and post trip processes. Business travellers’ requirements and expectations have changed. With these challenges travel companies, be it booking platforms or accommodation providers have been forced to optimise the experience for their customers.

Roomex recently carried out a survey of travellers.  When asked ‘What is your primary concern when staying at paid accommodation now?’  35% said ‘Social distancing’, whilst 29% said ‘Cleanliness of the hotel’.  The remaining  were split across ‘Contactless payment’, ‘Room comfort’, ‘Hotel facilities’ and ‘Quality food’.

Price is not the primary concern currently. Travellers need up to date information from hotels on cleanliness and new social distancing procedures.  Hotels have completely overhauled their processes and procedures providing extensive new collateral to make their customers feel confident and above all, safe.  At Roomex we have introduced RoomexClean, a new feature that brings this collateral into the search and book experience.

In order to prepare your staff for travelling again it is all about pre-trip organisation, make sure each traveller has the relevant information from the hotel that they are staying in so they know what to expect on arrival. Pre-check in confirmation calls are a great service that gives travellers a lot of confidence as processes and procedures are changing so fast. Overnight this service became the most critical component of Roomex’s customer service offering, as we could confirm if the hotel was open and inform the traveller on latest meal options and hygiene measures.

2. How will pricing of accommodation change and how should travel managers devise a strategy for this?

KW: The seasonal RFP is important, but it is quite literally half of the story that corporate needs to take a close look at savings. Essentially with so little occupancy in the market demand is not driving pricing. But the high degree of uncertainty means it is hard to forecast what has happened to the pre-COVID demand patterns. Are events in the future going to happen, how will segments of demand return?

The week of 15th June in the UK, weekday occupancy amongst open hotels was at 27%. However, when you consider supply that will be quickly coming back on stream from July 4th (ie whole-market occupancy) in the UK, this drops to around 6-7%.  Supply will return far faster than demand is likely to.

A fixed rate historically irons out the peaks in pricing for a company. The discount reflects their volume, but also gives assurance against paying a high demand-fueled price (blackout periods aside).  If a hotel isn’t actually reaching capacity, there won’t be any peaks – nothing to yield against. But there may well be troughs to take advantage of. 

Typically, any client will book a few hotels, a lot – close to their offices and client offices or projects their fulfilling. But 80-90% of all the hotels they book will be at far lower volume. This means that most of the possible savings will be in the middle and long tail of the curve. We have addressed this through Roomex Rates - fixed and dynamic rates we negotiate for all our clients to take advantage of. This help clients primarily with mid curve demand and then Roomex Saver+ for the long tail.

In the long tail, neither the clients nor Roomex have sufficient volume to negotiate a rate, so we open a broad bank of supply discounts from many sources.  Potentially 45-55% of the savings are in the long tail but it’s harder to deliver than simply negotiating a rate. It involves significant API development and yielding supply sources to ensure the client always gets the best rate.

3. What will business travellers look for when selecting a hotel?

KW: It’s all about ‘Clean’, nothing else matters, for now.  For travellers this is the new user-based star rating. What is more relevant the 10,000 pre COVID-19 reviews or the last 10 since March 23rd?

Social distancing measures, changes to housekeeping procedures and check-in process. This is probably the most fundamental change that will not be reversed.  What 9/11 did to drive change of security procedures within global travel, COVID-19 will do to hygiene processes within domestic and global travel.  The hotel stay will feel very different from that perspective, and travellers should feel reassured that hotels have stepped up to the challenge to make this enhanced level of safety their top priority.

4. Will travellers still be able to avail of Food & Beverage within the hotel?

KW: Hotels have had to find a way to make some provision within their own constraints that meets government guidelines. If the hotel can offer F&B it will be either at a reduced level of room service or a very basic ‘knock and drop’ or ‘breakfast in a bag’ option.  

As we approach July there are also hotels offering spaced dining facilities as a step to getting back to greater normality. This works reasonably well, but the key is that the booker and traveller know what to expect so part of the challenge has been to present that information accurately at time of booking.

Some chains such as Travelodge have teamed up with Deliveroo and Just Eat to make takeaway options easier.  We foresee that these partnerships will be a key driver for success within the travel sector going forward.

Avoiding out of pocket expenses for travellers such as meals, but also fuel and parking, is now a key concern for employers, especially as food options within the hotel may be reduced for a time. We have seen an uptick in interest of our pre-paid RoomexPay expense card as a result of this. The most important advice is to check all details with the hotel (or your Roomex Account Manager) before your trip. 

Learn more about Roomex and their initiatives with their hotel partners to keep those travelling during COVID-19 safe by getting in touch with them here

 

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Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Workforce travel is an evolving landscape at the moment, to help companies get back on the road, we sat down (virtually) with Keith Watson our Global VP...

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We spoke to Richard Adler, Vice President Sales - UK & Europe and Strategic Accounts for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, a London-based global hotel company, which owns, manages and operates over 135 hotels across some 80 locations worldwide about the measures they have in place to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Millennium operates 19 hotels in the UK with 5 currently open for key workers (Copthorne Hotel Merry Hill Dudley, Copthorne Hotel Plymouth, Copthorne Hotel London Gatwick, Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington, Millennium Gloucester Hotel London)

Hygiene and preventing the spread of COVID-19 have become so important. How are you ensuring both staff and guest safety?

We always adopt a risk-based approach to any initiatives therefore the hierarchy of hazard control is always adopted and control measures implemented. Whilst we can’t eliminate COVID-19, we can use operational management controls to reduce exposure such as undertaking comprehensive and detailed risk assessments for the management of suspected cases, contaminated rooms and implementing methods to secure social distancing, as well as, specifically located and readily available sanitisation gel, the encouragement and promotion of regular and thorough hand washing and drying. PPE is the means of last resort so our management controls are regularly reviewed to avoid too heavy reliance on PPE.   

How is Millennium ensuring safe and clean rooms for guests?

Enhanced precautionary measures have been introduced to ensure a safe and comfortable stay for our guests and team members. Heightened cleaning programmes are underway in our hotels and a number of additional measures are in place to keep guests and team members alike safe. 

Managing all public areas to ensure social l distancing is adhered to in the lobby, restaurants, dining and conference rooms. In areas where handwashing is not immediately available, you will find hand sanitiser readily available in our hotels’ public areas. The risk assessment process, as well as precautionary measures, are ever-changing in light of information that is being released by the UK Government and we have and continue to adhere to all Government advice, especially where control measures can be adopted by our Company, even when the control measures are not hospitality centric.

How has COVID-19 impacted the way in which you work day-to-day?

Safety and the welfare of our employees and guests remain as always the heart of what we do and therefore all of our work practices. The way we interact with each other and our guests have been under close scrutiny to ensure that all control measures have been identified and implemented to reduce the transmission and exposure to the virus.

Has your check-in process changed to avoid contact?

Where possible we have limited contact and respected the social distancing measures as endorsed and advised by the UK Government, we are currently reviewing the installation of screens and more contactless payment methods.  Foodservice has been changed with the provision and method of delivery and currently preventing the use of bars and restaurants. 

What if guests begin to show symptoms?

A Health Declaration questionnaire has been prepared and implemented for all hotel guests, visitors and contractors.  Where an employee becomes unwell, these cases are fed through the HR system at hotel level and recorded as incidents on our SSHE e-portal.  The purpose of the escalation is to take care of our employees’ welfare and to ensure our guests are aware that we take care of our employees, in order to safeguard our guests during their stay with us. 

If an employee/guest or visitor attends the hotel and is presenting symptoms of the coronavirus, then attending employees must initially notify the Duty Manager, who will then assess the situation on the merits of each case. Our team members have been trained and will continually receive further training on how to handle such situations and the various ranges of advises being shared, from advising the guest to remain in their own room and self-isolate to providing them with the necessary contact details as communicated by the local authorities.   

What is the business doing to stay up to date with updated recommendations from the government and the World Health Organization? 

Our SSHE and HR teams received daily updates directly from the UK Government to ensure that all in the information is from a considered and trusted source.  Whilst we are aware of the media coverage, we are very much secure in the processing and communicating of governmental advice and direction.  We then use the information to provide our employees and guests with considered information, with  subjectivity; we are the guiding force during this difficult time so we undertake our duty of care to our employees and guests with extreme seriousness and it is the main priority in our endeavours. 

Are you still offering food at this time? What are the options?

In accordance with the social distancing guidance we are operating a Grab n Go breakfast and room food delivery service throughout the UK estate, whilst securing social distancing.  However timing will vary from one location to another to ensure that all the control measures to prevent transmission and exposure remain effective.

Are your amenities closed due to the outbreak?

Again we are guided by the UK Government’s restrictions and ensure that only those permitted facilities and services are carried out.  As a consequence, amenities such as pools, health & beauty centres as well as business lounges are temporarily closed.

Learn more about Millennium Hotels and what they are doing to ensure guest safety here. 

Roomex is assisting companies with their project needs worldwide, whether it is supporting key workers with their long term stays in hotels or apartments, please reach out to us and see how we can help you.

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Millennium Hotels promise safety in hotels through and post the COVID-19 pandemic

We spoke to Richard Adler, Vice President Sales - UK & Europe and Strategic Accounts for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, a London-based global hotel...

Read More