Jump Trading is a globally-positioned, proprietary trading firm that remains on the cutting edge of algorithmic trading. Since they place significant importance on human capital, it was essential that any cost savings initiative in their business travel program also benefit employee engagement.
We spoke with Marc Vernick, Jump Trading’s Business Process and Insights Analyst about their journey to optimize their travel program and experience with Rocketrip.
RT: Tell us a bit about your background and what you do at Jump Trading.
MV: I’m a Business Process and Insights Analyst, but when I first got involved with Rocketrip, I was part of the Implementation team. When we decided to look for a solution to help take control of our travel spend, we started looking at Rocketrip and I was involved with the due diligence. Then, I worked with the tech side to get Rocketrip implemented as well.
RT: What challenges did Jump Trading face that inspired you to seek out a solution like Rocketrip?
MV: The first thing that’s important to mention is that the way we actually heard about Rocketrip was in a job interview. A candidate had had Rocketrip at a previous company and wanted to know if we offered it as well.
This happened to coincide with a two or three-year period where we started seeing our travel costs spiking. We were traveling more but our costs were increasing at a much faster rate than they should have been. We needed to get a better understanding of our travel program and get a better handle on our increasing travel costs, which made Rocketrip very attractive to us.
RT: How has Rocketrip helped address those challenges?
MV: We’ve definitely seen costs stop that exponential upward trajectory that was worrying us. Our employees are not just bought in but are actually excited about the idea that we reward their savings efforts by reinvesting in them and their happiness.
Rocketrip’s Insights dashboard has been really helpful in identifying the root causes of those cost increases. It’s shown us where the greatest savings opportunities lie and put a dollar value to the results of our efforts to address those opportunities. Specifically, we could tell that business class flights on international trips were driving huge costs, and we know without a doubt that motivating employees to switch to coach has had a big impact.
RT: Tell us a little more about how your travelers have reacted.
MV: Travel used to be a hassle for all parties involved. Now our employees associate it with a benefits program, and they actually get excited about business trips. They know that they have the opportunity to earn rewards. They’re thinking about different ways they can save money and earn rewards.
We had one traveler who was going to Singapore and was considering flying business class on the way home, but then she figured out how much she could earn by taking a layover in San Francisco. The whole deal got more appealing when she realized she’d be able to meet some friends during the layover. She wound up saving nearly $5,000 on that flight! Not only did she appreciate the flexibility, but she was able to do a whole lot of shopping afterward.
RT: Why did you choose to incentivize positive travel behavior instead of tightening your policies around what employees are or are not allowed to do?
MV: When we have employees traveling internationally, we want them to be comfortable when they land. We need them to be able to hit the ground running on Monday morning and not have terrible jetlag or be sore and exhausted from their flights. That’s a no-brainer because otherwise, productivity and employee happiness both suffer. Using Rocketrip means that people save money where they can but spring for those more expensive flights when they’re truly needed. Rocketrip’s made it so they use their best judgment instead of either only taking uncomfortable flights or only taking the most expensive flights they’re allowed.
They’ve also been introduced to different savings behaviors, such as staying with family members or friends. People are thinking creatively about how they can help Jump save money because they know that some of that savings goes back in their pockets.
RT: How did you get your travelers to start actively using Rocketrip?
MV: Most people started using Rocketrip after the initial push we made at the end of implementation. We did the usual email communications but also promoted Rocketrip in very visible places around our office, such as TV monitors. Once everyone was aware of Rocketrip, of course, they wanted to use it. There’s no downside to it for them. I think the only challenge we faced was in communicating about Rocketrip internationally and making sure people in other offices knew about its existence.
RT: How have your interactions been with Rocketrip’s Support team?
MV: Pretty universally positive. They have probably the fastest response time I’ve seen from any application or vendor. I think the longest I ever waited for a resolution to a question was twenty minutes, and even then, their response completely closed out the issue I was having.
RT: What advice would you have for someone who was in the process of rolling Rocketrip out at their company?
MV: I’d tell that person to rely as much as they could on Rocketrip Support and to get used to working with Rocketrip Support. I find that with a lot of the questions I get from people on Rocketrip, I’m able to communicate those questions to the Support team and get them immediately answered. There’s a comfort there in knowing that Rocketrip can resolve issues quickly and effectively, and they are good about checking with me to make sure everything is clear and that it truly is resolved.
You can check out more Rocketrip success stories here.