With an increasing number of engineering and packing projects, working as an administrator for IES has put me in a unique position to watch the organisation grow and change. Some of our engineers and packers certainly have some exotic stamps on their passports, and as the person responsible for booking their travel, it is amazing to see how much things have developed over time.
Communication at a click
It used to be interesting to hear the various hums and bleeps of dialling tones from far flung corners of the world, but the process of making contact with our partners abroad, as well as hotels and transport agencies, could be a challenge. Now all it takes is a simple email or LinkedIn message and I have contact with the person I want to speak to. I’d imagine our telephone bill is a little less expensive, too!
The price is right
I love a good bargain, and part of my job is to move the IES team from location to location in security, comfort, and also at the best possible price. Before the emergence of price comparison websites, this could involve numerous phone calls to different agencies, and required an eagle eye for special offers. Now, I have the advantage of several websites which allow me to compare the prices of various airlines, and book multi leg journeys for our trips - it’s a whole lot easier.
From budget airlines to high end carriers, there has been a huge explosion in airline choice over the past few years, and this allows me to plan much more accommodating itineraries for the IES team. Gone are the days of 13 hour stop-overs at remote airports - for the most part, we are able to get from A to B using the most direct route.
What’s in the bag?
No matter how experienced our teams are in working abroad, these days it is increasingly important to remind them what they can, and more to the point cannot, take in their hand luggage. Any large cans of deodorant are a no-no, and what can seem an innocent pair of scissors in a wash bag can also cause a fuss going through security in some parts of the world. There used to be far less restrictions in place - it’s hard to believe that smoking was entirely acceptable on some airlines!
The GBP rollercoaster
Our currency has certainly seen some ups and downs over the years, and this has affected the cost of booking trips, as well as the expenses totted up by IES teams overseas. Only last June, we saw the strength of the pound plummet overnight in some of the countries in which we operate, following the result of the Brexit poll.
Being at the forefront of a sector which is heavily reliant on technology, at IES we know as well as anyone how quickly new systems and innovations can change the world. I think this will continue to be the case in travel, and it remains to be seen how much the UK’s exit from the European Union will also have an influence. We already do a lot of work in countries outside the EU zone, and now this looks set to increase.
Look out for the IES Travel Blog
Soon you will be able to hear about the experiences of the IES teams overseas, in our forthcoming IES Travel Blog. We will tell you exactly what our guys have been up to, from photos of local food, to traditions and landmarks which they have come across. More to be revealed on our website!