Michael Padilla-Pagan Pay
Ships are the safest in the harbor, but they weren’t built for that.
Our consultancy about security challenges is faced by global business travelers or expats on the ground, working in places like Libya, often leading towards discussions on business resilience and travel risk management services.
In more than one case, customers dismissed our advice with dire consequences and kidnapping incidents. We all have heard fancy brand names being tossed around, about whom they were getting their risk management services from. But by far, the biggest threat by those companies is that they do not have a presence on the ground.
What good are the fancy logos and expensive ad campaigns, if you can’t actually maintain local capability and a deep operational understanding? It’s time to understand this: There is a convergence of security, business continuity, and crisis management.
Travel is a supporting actor in an overall program to protect people. We have been delivering an integrated risk management solution rather than isolated services and maintaining location awareness of employees is an important aspect of what we provide in order to identify and manage threats effectively. Our ABI program, which uses automated online data analysis along with human local ground insight, is used to anticipate traveler needs and to provide them with targeted information about their trips to better inform their choices on the ground.
The next piece of this is ‘where am I going’ – providing data and information about your destination (before going there). Apart from global monitoring of threats, the network of Al Thuraya responds to problems on-the-ground, giving travelers advice during a crisis.
Sure, most travel management companies track their travelers through mobile apps. This approach is helpful, yet incomplete as a traveler should also receive alerts about threats in a destination before, during and after their journey.
It’s time we recognize business travelers as people who need to make informed choices in a split second, rather than as passive recipients of information, enabling them to make the most of situations even in the most challenging locations.
There are so many situations that can arise while your travelers are on the road. From natural disasters to civic unrest, your travel management program needs to be properly equipped to handle it all so that your travelers can get home safely. After all, ships are safest in the harbor, but they weren’t built for that!