Louise Lascik, Travel Leaders
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for GWBC Radio’s Open for Business. Now, here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:18] Lee Kantor here, broadcasting live from the WBENC National Conference 2022 inside GWBC’s booth. I’m so excited, we have Louise Lascik with Travel Leaders. Welcome, Louise.
Louise Lascik: [00:00:29] Hi. How are you?
Lee Kantor: [00:00:30] Get in there close, Louise.
Louise Lascik: [00:00:31] Okay. I’m in.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:32] All right. So, tell us about Travel Leaders. How are you serving folks?
Louise Lascik: [00:00:35] We are a corporate travel management company and we work with companies trying to reduce their travel spend. And that encompasses quite a bit of different things, beginning with centrally purchasing all of your air card and hotel reservations. And then, we do contracts with all their top vendors. And then, all of that would integrate into their expense report. So, we focus on larger pieces of business because it’s very detail oriented. There’s a lot of reporting as well. And we also partner with various expense reporting tools. So, that’s kind of what corporate travel management is all about.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:10] But it’s important, though, to have a partner like you in travel. Even though a lot of people try to do this themselves, it’s just impossible at the level you’re talking about for those kind of people to keep track of everything accurately, to have the reports you need, and to kind of get the expenses where they need to go when they need them.
Louise Lascik: [00:01:27] Yeah. That’s correct. I mean, if you’re a larger piece of business and you’re doing anywhere over 300,000 in travel, you need to have some kind of manage program. People tend to buy what’s best for them, not always what’s best for the company. So, you need to have that transparency. So, we kind of showed the whole picture of what was purchased to what actually ends up on the expense report.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:49] Right. And sometimes that’s eye-opening for the company.
Louise Lascik: [00:01:52] Yes, very much so.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:53] Right. Now, what’s a story you can share, maybe don’t name the company, but where they thought one thing and then something else was really happening in real life?
Louise Lascik: [00:02:00] Well, a lot of times, let’s say, you have a per diem, a hotel you can book whatever you like within, let’s say, it has to be under $125 a night. But in the meantime, by the time it hits the expense report, it’s $150. And you don’t have that information and you have no way of knowing. But by using a managed program, those are the things that we will expose and show you. Because people aren’t always buying what you want them to buy. So, we control that. We also will expose and support whatever the company’s travel policy is. And if somebody is booking out of policy, we will stop them from doing that.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:34] Right. And do you give them a portal or some sort of place where they can go online and book the travel and that goes through your system?
Louise Lascik: [00:02:43] Yes. We partner with a lot of different expense reporting tools, and with that is an online booking tool. So, they would book on the online booking tool, or if it was a more complex booking, they’d probably want to call in and have an agent, or if they’re going to Europe or something like that. And then, once that’s all done, it’s sent to somebody to approve or disapprove. So, make sure that everything’s within policy. And then, it all ends up on the expense report. So, it’s a whole streamlined process.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:11] So, now, you’re exhibiting here at the WBENC Conference, how has that been for you?
Louise Lascik: [00:03:16] Very good. We’re very excited. This is our first time. We were certified two years ago as a woman-owned travel management company. And we have made quite a few contacts. I’m very excited because I was just at a conference two weeks ago. And I think this one’s been excellent.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:32] Now, what’s it been like to be around all these women business owners? That must be exciting.
Louise Lascik: [00:03:36] Oh, I like it. I like the whole thing. I like the energy. It’s been good.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:40] And did you see on the row on the other side, there’s chocolate? Have you been over there?
Louise Lascik: [00:03:44] I’ve been over there. I’ve got some samples because we give our larger corporations gifts.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:49] Gifts? Well, that’s a perfect gift. So, now, at Travel Leaders, you said you just got certified recently.
Louise Lascik: [00:03:56] Two years ago.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:57] Was that something that it came to your attention that there might be some benefit? How did you even kind of become aware of it?
Louise Lascik: [00:04:02] Well, we’re always trying different marketing things, and we’re part of Travel Leaders, so there’s quite a few different marketing things that we go to. But I’ve gone to conferences, gosh, for the last ten years, and I would pay to participate, have our booth and things like that. And decided to try something new, and I like this niche. And before the conference, I’ve been reaching out to different –
Lee Kantor: [00:04:26] You’ve been strategic. It hasn’t been just showing up.
Louise Lascik: [00:04:28] No. I’ve been working it. And making appointments, I’ve had three luncheons. And as I said, we go for larger pieces of business because of what we do.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:36] It’s a better fit for the larger one.
Louise Lascik: [00:04:38] Yes. Yes. Absolutely.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:40] So, a company, I would imagine, are they going to you after they work with somebody else or is this sometimes their first time working with a kind of corporate partner to help them with their travel?
Louise Lascik: [00:04:53] Well, bigger pieces of business. We recently signed a very large Fortune 500 company. And, yes, most large companies have a managed program.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:02] So, they had had somebody else then switched to you?
Louise Lascik: [00:05:05] Well, this company, we call it very fragmented.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:09] So, maybe a division.
Louise Lascik: [00:05:10] We had one division and we recently consolidated 35 other locations across the country. And it’s a very large piece of business.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:18] So, what’s kind of a pain that they’re having where your company is a good solution for it? Is it something that they’re noticing on the expense? Or something’s out of whack? Or the budget all of sudden is through the roof and they didn’t expect it?
Louise Lascik: [00:05:28] Well, firstly, I think people booking out a policy and booking on their own –
Lee Kantor: [00:05:35] That’s more common than you think, because, look, I’m on Hilton, so I’m staying at a Hilton, and I don’t care –
Louise Lascik: [00:05:40] And we would correct that.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:42] It’s like, “Well, if you’re going to stay there, then you’re paying for it. Do you still want to stay there?” You’re like, “No. I don’t want to stay there.”
Louise Lascik: [00:05:46] Yeah. We would correct that behavior. Like, this large company, they had what we call leakage, and we would expose that leakage.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:53] It becomes obvious when you show them the report, right?
Louise Lascik: [00:05:55] Yeah. If somebody’s information is not there, why isn’t it there? That’s not being captured. They’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:01] So, if somebody wants to learn more about your work, what’s the website?
Louise Lascik: [00:06:06] www.fscorporatetravel.com.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:11] fscorporatetravel.com.
Louise Lascik: [00:06:13] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:13] Well, Louise, thank you so much for sharing your story. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Louise Lascik: [00:06:17] Thank you so much.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:18] All right. This is Lee Kantor broadcasting live from the WBENC National Conference. We’ll be back in a few.
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