Decoding Barrick's Golden Rules for Travel

The wheels of Barrick’s operations need to keep turning no matter what challenges occur. "In the mining industry, the simple fact is that rotation staff needs to be on-site. That means you have to be inventive and pushy but still polite," laughs Pascale Bartholome, Executive Secretary at Barrick.

For Barrick, travel needs to be safe, smooth, comfortable, and above all, on budget. The company requires a travel management company (TMC) that can juggle all these balls and handle anything that the mining industry frequently throws their way.

"The mining industry is volatile. A traveller might be thinking he or she is going home, but then something breaks on-site, and they need to stay. Travel plans change continuously, and a TMC needs to be attuned to that,” she explains.

Piecing Together the African Puzzle: Navigating Mining Travel Challenges

Navigating Africa's travel landscape is not for the faint-hearted. Difficult air access, escalating prices, and fluctuating government regulations form a whirlwind of challenges. "You need to think on your feet," says Bartholome, adding, "The next day – or the next hour – some government somewhere changes a rule, and you have to start over."

Bartholome points out that the turbulence in Africa's aviation market has led to a significant surge in fares. The monopolistic tendencies of Ethiopian Airlines, for example, particularly towards destinations like Mali and Ivory Coast, have added an extra layer of complexity, forcing Barrick to revamp travel policies and encourage economy travel over business class.

Corporate Traveller Rewrites Barrick's Travel Story

Corporate Traveller entered the narrative when Barrick outgrew their previous travel agent. The team, armed with a knack for streamlining the approval process, offering after-hours service, and providing dedicated Corporate Travel consultants, were ready to tackle Barrick’s diverse travel requirements.

"Corporate Traveller's team has been instrumental in understanding and navigating the complexities of our travel requirements," shares Bartholome. Out of the three CT consultants assigned to Barrick, one is exclusively dedicated to the account, while the other two also handle other accounts concurrently. As a result, the travel programme transitioned from local to global, expanding corporate rate access and simplifying approval processes.

"We've gone from 70-page emails to efficient electronic approvals," Bartholome says. "It's been a game changer and a huge burden off my shoulders."

Corporate Traveller has also allowed Barrick to achieve significant time and budget savings.

“Since the mining industry is so volatile, the most affordable fare is usually not an option. However, the Corporate Traveller team is very hands-on when it comes to suggesting the best options for an itinerary, as well as identifying potential mistakes travellers have made with the online booking tool,” she says, adding that the most significant savings come in the form of time efficiencies.

Understanding the nuances of the Barrick’s unique industry, the Corporate Traveller team assists Barrick with the negotiation of fares for the best possible outcome. For instance, their deal with Air Uganda wasn't just about discounted fares, it focussed on excess baggage instead.

Striking Gold: The Corporate Traveller-Barrick Bond

The partnership between Barrick and Corporate Traveller is not just another tale of corporate collaboration. Together, they’ve managed to navigate the rollercoaster ride of mining travel in Africa, landing on golden opportunities while staying within budget.

The dedicated Corporate Traveller team has shown remarkable understanding of Barrick's business, helping them navigate challenges more effectively and seamlessly. "Although their promise is 24 hours, they’ve often been able to help turn around bookings in 25 minutes,” says Bartholome. "They always find a solution to our problems, actively exploring the best possible options for our company. Their dedication is truly impressive."

The collaboration is more than just a business deal. It's about resilience, agility, and the ability to turn obstacles into opportunities, creating a new gold standard in mining travel.

"It's not just about travel management anymore," concludes Bartholome. "Corporate Traveller has become a true travel partner, and we couldn't ask for more."

Are you ready for Corporate Traveller to rewrite your travel story?

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