Stora Enso employees travel around Finland by train A business involving a lot of travel has discovered the benefits of rail travel in cooperation with VR and SMT. Pick the best tips for your own business too.
Posing in the picture are train travel professionals: from the left Marika Asunta from VR, Paula Kivilompolo from Stora Enso, Minna Möttönen from SMT and Minna Korhonen from VR.
Train travel is taken into account already in the travel guidelines of Stora Enso. - The train is an environmentally friendly and safe way to travel, and it also enables you to work during the trip, says Travel Manager Paula Kivilompolo. - It is also a cost-efficient alternative.
Here are tips to a business seeking to make its train travel more efficient?
- Analyse your travel and its total costs. Find out the routes where the train is a reasonable alternative.
- Communicate the opportunities of working in train efficiently and actively.
- Update your train travel policyevery now and then, and don't forget to inform travellers on changes.
- Make use of the benefits of concentrated reservations. It pays to book train trips from the travel agency.
- Offer enough support for travel arrangers. The travel agency can also help here.
- Cooperate actively with VR. The local opportunities for influencing VR can be surprisingly great.
- Find out and make use of the benefits for corporate customers. Among other things, VR offers tailor-made products, analyses and communications. It listens to customers’ feedback and wishes.
On the train, the time is yours
The good opportunities for working are what attracts business travellers to trains. VR too has noticed this, as it intends to renew the compartments for business travellers, making them less liable to disturbances.
- Currently, the Extra class tickets already give you access to the Duetto Plus upper deck compartments, which have good opportunities for working. If you have a larger group, you can reserve the entire compartment and start your meeting already on the train, says Marika Asunta of VR. - In addition, the trains have working compartments of different sizes and the seats can be reserved with no extra charge.
How does the travel agency support customers with train travel?
- The train trips can be reserved through the travel agency, just as with VR’s other sales channels, reminds Minna Möttönen, SMT’s contact person for Stora Enso. - We always conform to the company’s travel guidelines and invoice train trips costs in the same centralised process with other travel costa.
At the same time, we ensure that the traveller is identified with the right company to enjoy contractual discount and other advantages. In this way, the travellers have access to the business’s benefits, and the business is able to monitor the number of travellers and the reservation practices.
In cooperation with SMT and VR, Paula follows the development of Stora Enso’s train travel regularly. In addition to the total number of purchases, she monitors things such as the growth of route pairs, the channel of purchase and changes in reservation and travel trends.
What does the future look like for train travel, then?
- VR is a pioneering company in travel chains. Door-to-door services are the future, and this is something we are also investing in, emphasises Minna Korhonen of VR. - Our dream is to cooperate with different partners and to make it as easy as possible for our customers to purchase all services in one go. Travel agencies will also remain an important partner for us here.
Both Paul and VR have great expectations for northern traffic too. For instance, if the maximum speed could be used between Helsinki and Oulu, the travel time would be only three and a half hours. This would attract the interest of even business travellers.