Rapala is the number one name in fishing tackle, whose products are sold in 120 countries around the world. SMT has taken over Rapala Group's travel services. Group Travel Manager Katariina Kokko is happy with the smooth implementation.
Rapala VMC travels all over the world. The group has its own distribution companies in 35 countries, factories in Indonesia, for example, and a sourcing and design centre in Taiwan. The group flies most often to Singapore and Hong Kong in the Far East, Minneapolis in the United States and Brussels and France in Europe. From Europe, the group often travels especially to the Asian factories.
Rapala Group has some 50 employees who travel regularly. Some of them even travel approximately a hundred days per year. In Europe, it is typical to fly to the destination in the morning and return in the evening. Longer trips may take 2–4 days.
- We travel as economically as possible by using direct connections, Katariina says. - One business trip can include visits to several locations, which lowers our overall travel costs.
Katariina has a good overview of travel at Rapala Group, as she herself books most of the trips from Finland and handles some of the travel for foreign sales and distribution companies.
Smooth start for the partnership
Rapala started purchasing travel services from SMT at the turn of the year. The transition to the new partner was smooth and flexible, in part because the group carefully chose a period with less travel for implementing the change.
- Moving profiles always involves a large project, and that made me a bit nervous, Katariina says. - I had thought that the process would be more automated, but everything worked out fine. Our contact person took good care of the contract numbers and other profile information and maintained contact with our partners. The service team received comprehensive training on our travel policy.
Advance planning cuts costs
Rapala has seen the benefits of booking online. - I use the online service for 90% of our bookings, Katariina says. - Most of the time, I only contact the service team for any changes. I have always received friendly, effective and professional service. Some nights we have used SMT's 24-hour service for making changes, but quite rarely. I think our employees truly commit to their schedules and fly according to plans. We have been able to work within normal office hours really well.
Katariina has worked for a travel agency in the past, so she is able to find cost savings in travel. - I am quite happy with the offering of good one-way rates at the moment. We carefully plan our travel and combine several trips into one. Our employees have already learnt to plan and combine their own trips well in time.
Good advance planning, booking early and choosing the right ticket can result in significant cost savings for companies.
Rapala VMC Corporation is a leading manufacturer and seller of fishing lures, treble hooks and fishing related knives and tools. The Group also has a strong global position in other sport fishing categories and it is one of the leading distributors of outdoor, hunting and winter sport products in the Nordic countries.
The Group has the largest own distribution company network in the industry that covers 35 countries globally. The main manufacturing facilities are located in Finland, France, Estonia, Russia, Indonesia and the UK. The Group's brand portfolio includes the leading brand in the industry, Rapala, as well as other global brands such as VMC, Sufix, Storm, Blue Fox, Luhr Jensen, Williamson, Dynamite Baits, MORA ICE, StrikeMaster, Marttiini and Peltonen.