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Case Study: Education start-up flourishes with Egencia

3 min
Posted: 18 October 2018Updated: 22 April 2022

Top Hat provides an end-to-end teaching platform that enables professors to engage students inside and outside the classroom with compelling content, tools, and activities. Since joining as an Egencia client in 2013, they have expanded to 300 employees in the US and Canada and plan to open a new office in Australia. Click here to download the full PDF case study KEY FIGURES

  • 300 worldwide employees
  • 93% online adoption
I wear a few hats at a Top Hat, one of which involves overseeing travel for more than 300 people. I’m able to balance my tasks and fulfill them effectively because Egencia makes it easy for me to stay on top of our travel program.” - Russ Tebaldi, Travel Manager US, CA


Create and design a travel program from the ground up
  • Changing the mentality from an unmanaged to a mandated travel program.
  • Maintaining momentum and nimbleness in a fast-paced startup environment.
Control travel spend

Egencia’s consolidated expense reports help Top Hat find savings by providing visibility into expenses, so they can make strategic policy decisions based on spending patterns. The reports available through Egencia are instrumental in identifying the means to control these costs.

Scalable growth

Top Hat’s Travel Manager, Russ Tebaldi, comes from a start-up background and was familiar with the challenges of managing travel for small companies. Embracing traveler preferences can be complex, and as you continue to scale, placing that control in the hands of the travelers is key for a smooth travel program. Doing so has allowed Russ to focus on more strategic aspects of the program.


Easily communicate policy changes

Russ has the ability to react with agility to trends and make effective policy changes with Egencia. Instead of running an education campaign for Top Hat’s 300 travelers, when Russ needs to make a strategic decision, all he needs to do is change the policy on the platform and train the approvers, who then communicate any policy changes to the travelers.

Create lasting strategic partnerships

Egencia provides a strong support network of contacts beyond Account Management. When Russ had questions about car rentals, his Account Manager connected him with their Enterprise representative, who is now a strong strategic partner. In addition to Egencia’s many hotel partners near Top Hat’s main offices in Colorado and Toronto, Russ identified and negotiated new corporate rates with strategic properties by leveraging the travel intelligence from Egencia’s reporting tools. Egencia allows Travel Managers to leverage partnerships across the board, beyond the support of the Account Manager.

Support for expansion

Top Hat recently opened up an office in Australia and as expected, have been sending people between the three global locations regularly. “We were able to open the Australian office with a lot less anxiety knowing how well the travel program was working within our North American offices,” said Russ. Top Hat can quickly identify opportunities for cost control with Egencia’s reporting tools, enabling them to monitor year over year growth and evaluate the value of each trip, making every dollar count. Travel intelligence and a good support system allow Russ to spend less time managing his corporate travel program and more time focusing on the overall strategy. Employees in revenue-driving positions travel for half of their jobs. Identifying opportunities for savings in this key group of travelers will be essential in driving cost savings.

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