For us, the traveller comes first, says Valio's HR Specialist and Travel Coordinator Harriet Lemberg. - If someone's work duties involve travelling a lot, it is important for us that he or she arrives at the destination full of energy and fit to work. Therefore, pricing is not always the deciding factor.
In addition to the 15 locations in Finland, Valio has subsidiaries in Russia, China, Sweden, the Baltic states and the US. Thus, it is no wonder that the company has a couple hundred employees who are often on the road and even travel several days at a time. This is why Valio works with SMT to take care of its business travellers.
- The duty of Valio's employees who travel a lot is to sell our business abroad, Harriet points out.
Their well-being and safety around the world are very important for us.
Centralising brings safety
Valio is using SMT's safety service. The system sends e-mail notifications to Valio's personnel who are responsible for security if travellers are heading to a destination with an increased safety risk.
- If this happens, I forward the safety bulletin to the traveller and ask him or her to store my number as well as SMT's 24-hour service number to their mobile phone. I also advise them to check the directions from the hotel to the Finnish embassy in case of unexpected conditions, Harriet explains. - In an emergency, it is easier to locate and contact travellers when all the reservations are made through SMT.
Getting to know the online service
Valio's travellers and travel arrangers already utilise the online service in more than half of their reservations. For example, many people reserve Finnish train tickets and hotel rooms via the service because it is so easy.
The online service was originally implemented quite smoothly. - At first, we offered trainings, webinars and even personal assistance that shared best practices for using the reservation system, Harriet says. - We have also reminded our personnel about the system by using posters as well as brush up and information events. Effective and repeated communication is important when introducing new services.
How is my visa doing?
Valio also uses electronic solutions for obtaining visas. For that, they use SMT's partner Visumservice. Valio's travellers often need different visas, and they really appreciate Visumservice's tracking system.
- The system sends the travellers and travel arrangers an automatic e-mail notification when the passport and visa application arrive at Visumservice in downtown Helsinki, at different stages of the application process and when the visa is ready. Visumservice has also facilitated co-operation with consulates, and persons who reserve visas are often separately identified in the service chain, Harriet explains.
Up-to-date instructions for visas are also available in SMT's travel portal, which Valio uses. Now, Harriet no longer has to maintain the instructions in Valio's intranet, which was a difficult and time-consuming process. - It is best to keep the visa information with the visa experts, Harriet adds. - We have now removed the duplicate information between our intranet and the travel portal, and travellers can find the relevant information in a single location.
This close collaboration between Valio and SMT has developed the travel management services throughout the reservation chain.
Valio Oy refines products with good taste and high quality for consumers. All its activities are based on the value "We will do the best". Valio is a cooperative owned by 18 dairy processors. It pays the return of the operations to its owners, Valio Group dairy producers.
Valio works to develop and refine the Finnish milk primarily for its own branded products, with features that consumers want such as good taste, convenience, cleanliness and healthiness. In Valio dairy chain, the use of genetically modified forage is prohibited.