Meet the buyer: Robert Curley, Amey
Travel management is one of Robert Curley’s many responsibilities at consulting and infrastructure support services business, Amey
I work in business improvement for Amey’s Consulting and Rail business. We are a leading supplier of consulting and infrastructure support services both in the UK and internationally. I started as a graduate structural engineer in November 2012 and have gained a wide range of management experience by following a non-traditional route in Amey. I first got involved in business travel in 2014 when we were trying to transition to online booking from paper-based processing.
Working with our procurement team, one of my responsibilities is to make sure that our employees and contractors get the right level of service and experience when there is a business travel need. I also spend some of my time promoting the use of technology, such as Skype for Business, to act as a safer substitute for travel.
About three years ago I spent up to 40% of my time managing travel but as a result of our hard work and business adoption it is now managed far more efficiently and I can be effective with only about 10% of my time spent on business travel management.
We have a network of business support employees who are the business travel heroes in my eyes and manage travel as part of their roles at our local offices and depots across the UK and in our international territories.
We employ approximately 19,000 people and in 2017 we had around 6,000 people who regularly travelled on business via rail or air, or staying overnight in hotels.
The majority of our business travel is project driven so, for instance, we would have a lot of journeys to and from the sites of the new Elizabeth line being built as part of the Crossrail project in London. Our regular destinations include Reading, London, Stafford, Oxford and Birmingham. Our most travelled rail routes are between Manchester, Birmingham and London and all surrounding areas. We undertake a lot of night work as we design, build and maintain public infrastructure so we regularly require late check-out at the hotels we stay in and adequate security and premises for our welfare vehicles.
We have a strong collaborative partnership with our TMC, Clarity, and we use their Go2book tool. It’s encouraging to work with people like Patrick Mcdonagh, their CEO, who place such a high value on investing in technology to enhance the user experience and that enables us to achieve savings on travel spend.
We have a very robust company travel policy in place that gives clarity to our business travellers about our mutual expectations of business travel.
Safety is our primary concern because we put our people first. Our biggest challenge is being able to respond effectively to unexpected events, such as those that affect security. We are proactively engaging our local counter-terrorism units to promote training at our offices and depots around the country.
The majority of our business travel is project driven so, for example, we currently have a lot of journeys to and from the sites of the new Elizabeth line being built as part of the Crossrail project in London”