The MacNair Travel Leadership Blog

3 Reasons Operations Managers Should Outsource Travel Management

Posted by Mike MacNair on Aug 23, 2016 12:00:00 PM

During the company’s height of growth in the 1980s and 90s, GE’s famous CEO, Jack Welch, was asked what his secret was to running one of the largest companies in the world in a similar growth trajectory to that of a much smaller company, while simultaneously reducing GE’s underlying cost structure. His answer was remarkably simple.

He replied, “We realized that our back office, is someone else’s front office. That the non-crucial functions that are important to business execution can often be done by somebody else at a lower cost (not necessarily a lower spend) than we could on our own; and it could be done better.” And thus began one of the most valuable trends in business – the outsourcing of services functions to companies that specialize in those areas (please note this is not the same practice as offshoring).

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Topics: Outsourcing

4 Steps to Prepare for a Travel Management RFP

Posted by Mike MacNair on Aug 16, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Travel and expense management (TEM) represents the second largest controllable expense for most mid-market and larger businesses. Given the size of the expense and the consistent desire to control and reduce costs, it’s no surprise that travel management is among the most common services that go out to RFP.

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Topics: Procurement, TMc, Travel Program

5 Key Data Points for CFOs to Better Analyze Corporate Travel Expenses

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jul 12, 2016 12:00:00 PM

What would it look like if you had better visibility into your corporate travel expenses? What if you had the right technology that integrated booking, authorizations, and payments; and then that technology streamlined your processes? What if your business travelers were happy to follow the corporate travel policy?

Learn how to create an effective travel policy here.

For many companies with unmanaged travel programs, that scenario is far from reality. Rather, your organization may experience rogue travelers and multiple inaccurate or incomplete expense reports that require you to piece together the larger financial picture.

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Topics: Corporate Travel, Travel Management, CFO, TMc, Travel Management Company, Travel Expenses

The Out-of-Control CFO: Gain Control of Travel and Expense Management

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jul 8, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Gaining control over Travel and Expense Management (TEM) is on the top of the minds of many CFOs. According to recent CFO Research, more than two thirds (69%) of senior finance executives agree that their company would benefit from better control over T&E.

If you’re like many CFOs, improving T&E control and addressing reporting variances are key goals for your travel program. You want actionable data when it comes to travel expense management. You also want visibility into how your travel program fits within the larger picture of your organization.

After all, corporate travel management affects more than your business travelers; it also touches on HR through duty of care and policy compliance, procurement when it comes to control and travel costs, and even the legal department as it relates to liabilities. Your challenges lie in managing the complexities around travel. According to, “Many finance executives say that companies lack the centralized oversight or controls that would help them better manage T&E spending.”

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Topics: CFO, Travel and Expense Management

Reach Your Travel Program’s Potential with KPIs & Savings Measurements

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jun 30, 2016 12:00:00 PM

According to the GTBA 2016 Global Travel Price Outlook Report, global hotel rates are expected to rise 2.5%, and in North America, meetings and event costs per attendee are projected to rise 4.5%. How much will that impact your T&E budget?

If you’re like many CFOs, you realize that travel expense management is an important component of financial health, yet you may also realize you don’t have the visibility you need to improve your bottom line. In fact, you might feel T&E is something of a black hole.

It’s no secret that the first step to savings measurement is to review your existing corporate travel policy while considering your company’s financial objectives. If one of your goals is decrease spending, an area to look at is how to lower costs related to your travel program. Take some time to go over your current travel processes. The review will help to reinforce your correct assumption that reducing travel costs is largely about streamlining systems and creating easy-to-follow procedures.

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Topics: CFO

4 Ways to Make Data-Backed Corporate Travel Decisions

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jun 29, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Travel is essential to the success of your SME even in today’s hyper-connected workplace. Not all meetings can be managed via video conference or work conducted over email exchanges. Quick growth and globalized expansion are hallmarks of enterprise development and travel is essential to developing and maintaining important relationships, providing customer support and securing new business. Travel can also be one of the most expensive line items in your operating budget. 

Striking a balance between a robust corporate travel program and a tightly controlled budget is possible but typically requires the implementation of customizable online corporate booking toolsand the guidance of a professional travel management company (TMC) to help navigate through the complexities of your program. Companies that realize the greatest savings utilize TMCs and typically see a 10-20% cost savings on their entire annual T&E program budget. In addition, these companies witness measurable impacts on program oversight, control, support and overall employee productivity.

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Topics: Corporate Travel, TMc

5 Considerations for Corporate Travel Expense Programs

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jun 23, 2016 12:00:00 PM

If you’re like many organizations with automated expense reporting, you are well aware of the advantages of improved visibility into travel expenses. Automated expense solutions not only provide insight, but also save valuable time for your travelers and finance team. No more keeping up with paper receipts!

Now you may be ready to expand on your existing solution. After all, how do you leverage all that data to move the needle and increase your ROI even more? As you contemplate next steps, take these five symbiotic considerations as starting points.

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Topics: technology, TMc, Travel Management Company

How Managed Travel Can Reduce Costs When Working with Car Rental Firms

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jun 21, 2016 12:00:00 PM

With the increased competition from Uber and Lyft, many car rental companies have raised their prices. Yet, are they offering you more? If your top travelers are paying more for the same service, it could be a sign that it’s time to review your preferred suppliers and determine your true travel needs.

For example, how often does your company rent cars? What types of cars do they usually rent? Do your travelers typically put a lot of miles on the rental or is it used for short distance travel? What types of upgrades are permissible within your travel policy? What type of supplementary insurance is necessary?

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Topics: Managed Travel

Tax Compliance Implications of Business Travel

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jun 16, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Did you know your business travelers could be liable for double income tax while they’re working in another country? Did you know it’s possible to inadvertently expose the company to a corporate tax liability by engaging in certain types of business while traveling?

Chances are, neither your travel managers nor your business travelers are thinking of the potential tax implications for business travel. Yet, technically, if one of your employees spends a week in another country (or state) they owe income taxes to that entity under the Pay-As-You-Earn type taxes for the amount of time they’re there.

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Topics: travel policy, Tax Compliance, Travel Management Company

5 Strategic Meetings Management Myths Debunked with Travel Management

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jun 14, 2016 12:00:00 PM

You might ask yourself what Strategic Meetings Management is. After all, every business requires meetings. Some of those meetings require travel in order to reach them. So, where’s the strategy? 

In this article, we’ll define what a strategic meetings management program (SMMP) is and how it affects your business objectives, cost savings, duty-of-care and other important elements of your travel program.

What is Strategic Meetings Management (SMM)?

The Global Business Travel AssociationBusiness Travel Association defines SMM as “the disciplined approach to managing enterprise-wide meeting and event related processes, activities, metrics, standards and supplier strategies to achieve business objectives, quantitative cost savings, risk mitigation, and optimal service levels.”

In other words, it covers everything that goes into preparing for a meeting and ensuring your employees are able to maximize their attendance. Whether a large, company-wide event or a small meeting with only a couple of key members of your team, a SMMP affects them.

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Topics: Travel Management, Strategic Meetings Management

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Travel and expense management is a key leverage point to enhance productivity & control costs.  Join us here as we share best practices, stories, insights and tools to help you manage your travel more effectively.

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