TravelTracker - Getting More from Membership
In a crisis, without a system in place to track and communicate with travellers, it can be difficult to reach out to them. The case below highlights the issues faced by a security director during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. TravelTracker fully leverages International SOS membership so organisations can meet their Duty of Care obligations and comply with their business continuity, crisis and employee travel policies.
Service: Information & Tracking services
Location: Mumbai, India
The Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008 were an anxious time for businesses with employees in India. Frank Johanssen, a security director at an American software company, knew he had several employees in India on business.
However, Frank did not know where they were staying and, as it was the start of the USA’s Thanksgiving holiday, the travel businesses that could help him were either closed or running only with a skeleton staff. The company had International SOS membership which could provide invaluable on-the-ground help for employees – but Frank needed to be able to contact them first.
After spending 33 hours on the telephone over four days and contacting 28 travel agencies, he finally established that five employees were still in Mumbai. Two employees had changed their hotel without informing the head office, and it took six days for Frank to contact everyone and be satisfied that they were safe.
He was determined to introduce a better way of tracking and communicating with employees during a crisis. He felt that his company’s International SOS membership could be used more effectively and consulted our security experts.
As a result, Frank decided to implement TravelTracker. TravelTracker automatically provides a company and International SOS with an aggregated view of the travellers’ flight details, hotel, car rental and contact information. When there is an emergency, TravelTracker sends automatic alerts to managers on how many employees are in the country, provides travel advice and information on incident response.
TravelTracker prepares employees before their journey too. It sends out a pre-travel email with destination-specific health and safety advice, cultural tips, vaccination requirements and other helpful information. If there is a change to the health or security advice, travellers are alerted immediately with an automated email. Lastly, managers can communicate with travellers through integrated email and optional SMS services.
Frank was able to get TravelTracker installed with the help of International SOS technical support in less than three months. He could access TravelTracker from his laptop or from his phone. All travel bookings were centralised under the company’s newly written travel policy, and Frank was satisfied that they now could demonstrate best practice in crisis planning.
Frank got more from his International SOS membership and could contact employees more rapidly during a crisis without reconstructing journeys using travel agencies. His organisation was better able to meet their Duty of Care obligations. Employees too were comforted knowing that their company could get in touch easily in the event of an emergency.