The bustle and sound of different languages stand out in an open office at Hietalahti in Helsinki, as the aggressively expanding start-up Wolt runs its business. The technology business mediating orders and deliveries for meals was founded in 2014 by Miki Kuusi, who is also known as the founder of Slush. The company now has 70 employees in four different countries.
- As we expand, the need for travel is also increasing, says Lotta Wikman, General Manager for Finland (in the photo). - We have around twenty employees who travel a lot and typically stay a long time at their destinations, for instance when preparing the opening of a new branch.
Wolt employees mainly travel between the different branches in Finland and the Nordic countries. There is also a certain amount of travel to other EU countries and further. As a technology company, Wolt makes use of modern solutions in videoconferencing, for instance. Face-to-face meetings and working together are nevertheless important.
In the summer of 2016, Wolt noted that it needed the help of a travel agency with its travel. SMT was selected as the partner, and the cooperation has been developing ever since. - In SMT, we were attracted by the availability of personal, Finnish customer service and the easy-to-use travel portal, which we can also use to make reservations by ourselves, emphasises Lotta. - Keeping in mind our future expansion, the strong international brand of SMT’s owner, American Express Global Business Travel, was also convincing.
- We decided to start using the services of a travel agency because efficiency and making the most of limited time is important for us, says Lotta. - When we maintain passenger information and book the trips in the same place, it’s easy and we can deal with everything in one go. Thanks to SMT’s service in exceptional situations, we know where our passengers are and that they are being taken care of. They can also make use of Finnish customer service, 24/7. Centralised invoicing also saves time and effort.
Nina Salovaara makes most of her travel reservations through SMT’s concentrated online booking service. Some passengers, however, want to book their trips by themselves, and they’re allowed to do so. In the future, the number of self-booking customers will probably increase further.
- The travel booker view is easy to use, and making reservations for others is handy, says Nina. - The reservations can be made quickly, as SMT Online already knows about our travel guidelines and the contracted hotels.
Wolt has selected contracted hotels in its most important target countries and cities. The most important thing is that the hotels are located near Wolt’s own offices. Concentration on contracted hotels is beneficial to both the business and the travellers. With its own guidelines, Wolt wants to make the travel experience flexible and comfortable and to offer reasonable and practical choices. - We do not thus go to the outskirts of town just to get a cheap price for a hotel, laughs Lotta.
Wolt is a technology start-up for which the efficient use of time is important. - We have enough on our plate when we concentrate on developing our services. We have no time to surf around the Web to find cheap flights, Lotta sums up the benefits for using a travel agency – for Wolt and all other start-ups too.
Wolt is a Finnish technology company founded on 2014. Wolt builds the one app for food. Be it discovering or getting great meals – takeaway, home or office delivery or to the table – Wolt takes care of it for you. You can order your meal even hours or days in advance. In Finland, Wolt operates in Helsinki, Turku and Tampere, soon also in Espoo. It is currently expanding throughout the Nordics and Baltics. Additional information: www.wolt.com