Center Is Redefining the Travel Booking and Expense Experience. Here’s How.

Center’s director of product management shared how its new feature blends accessible technology with a deep understanding of business needs.

Written by Lucas Dean
Published on Nov. 15, 2023
Center Is Redefining the Travel Booking and Expense Experience. Here’s How.
Center
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In an era when fiscal responsibility is fraught, expenses and travel costs can make or break a company’s financial health. Center is taking strides to redefine spend management and safeguard the fiscal future of its customers.

Center is creating data-driven solutions, offering an app-integrated corporate card for real-time expense insights. The launch of the company’s new travel functionality is a significant milestone — unifying data, policy and a modern travel booking experience.  

“The way employees make purchasing decisions has changed, as has the expectations for enterprise tools and tech,” explained Director of Product Management Mark Macchioni. “Our real-time expense solution, now with integrated travel, was designed to meet the evolving needs of both.”

Macchioni shared how the company is innovating in this shifting domain — and addressing the pressing needs of mid-market companies in the process.

 

The Core Challenges

Travel has emerged as a significant challenge for many companies, ranking second only to payroll in terms of expense. With decentralized purchasing decisions becoming the norm, compliance has become an uphill battle. 

“Considering low compliance, lack of timely control and visibility of travel spend — coupled with legacy solutions that are often expensive to maintain — we knew there was a better way,“ Macchioni explained. 

 

“Considering low compliance, lack of control and visibility — we knew there was a better way.”

 

Center’s solution is not only a shiny new tool; it’s an integrated experience. 

“By integrating a consumer-grade booking experience into our real-time expense solution, we’re providing finance teams with the visibility and control of spend that they want and spenders and travelers with the booking and expense experience they’ll use and love,” said Macchioni. 

 

Collaborate to Innovate

The path to innovation is seldom straightforward. Over the past year, adapting to a growing hybrid workforce while maintaining focus was a major hurdle at Center. 

Rather than being disheartened by these obstacles, the team used them as opportunities to strengthen their alignment with the customer. 

“We want to be able to provide tangible value through our efforts rather than measuring success simply through output,” said Macchioni. 

At Center, the significance of spend management has become a conduit for making an impact. By “reimagining finance and accounting processes from the ground up,” the company seeks to unlock new levels of business productivity.

The launch of the travel feature stands as a testament to Center’s commitment to collaboration. Every team across the company played a role, from product and engineering to marketing, customer experience, business development and sales. 

This collaboration was key in refining the product based on feedback from early-access customers and initial go-to-market efforts. 

Macchioni acknowledged the invaluable contributions of each department, stating, “Without collaboration, we would not have been able to reach our end goal of addressing underserved customer problems and delivering meaningful value to the market.”

 

Built Different 

What distinguishes Center from similar companies? According to Macchioni, its “unwavering commitment to innovate on behalf of customers” is the true differentiator. 

From every corner of the organization, team members ensure that customer voices remain at the heart of their decision-making processes. 

“Product, engineering and our customer-facing teams are empowered to be thought leaders in identifying customer problems, creating innovative solutions and executing efficiently,” Macchioni explained.

 

Product, engineering and our customer-facing teams are empowered to be thought leaders in identifying customer problems”

 

With over 50 years of combined spend management experience, customer experience efforts and data-driven insights fuel the company’s innovation.

“We solicit insights from every corner of our organization and target market — we listen to, evaluate and prioritize market needs, and believe customers are at the center of everything we do,” said Macchioni. 

Center’s travel functionality signals a bright future, equipped with a vision to cater to a broader market segment. 

“What sets our solution apart is the unification of data and policy paired with a modern travel booking experience and real-time expense solution that drive the right behaviors across an organization — ultimately leading to a stronger fiscal culture,” Macchioni concluded. 

Where enterprise tools evolve to meet employees’ changing expectations and purchasing behaviors, Center solidifies its position as a leader in the realm of spend management.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Center.

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