- Total volume. Overall, by product (air, hotel, car, sedan,etc.), by department, by cost center.
- Average transaction cost compared to plausible benchmarks. Topaz International and other third parties provide this data, as do many TMCs.
- Lost opportunity compared to lowest fare available. What the lowest fare was for the itinerary compared to what was selected by the traveler. This data is often available from TMCs and can’t be secured from public sources.
- Preferred supplier performance and/or opportunities. Air program, hotel, and car. If you have them or, if not, where your volumes lie.
- Travel purchase by source. What was purchased from your TMC, then online and call in with your TMC, then alternate sources (public sites, supplier sites).
- Policy compliance. If you have details in your travel policy about what the company expects travelers to select (fares under $500 or within range of the lowest fare, per diem rates), how did the team do with compliance? Measure it within your suggested travel program.
Often the mistake that is made is that a travel booking process is suggested, yet not required because the organization believes that all rates and rate sources are created equal and the only difference is the fee. So the team thinks it’s doing well by minimizing or eliminating the fee. Common wisdom is that the fee is 3% of the trip and the rest is 97%. So watching and managing the entire cost of a trip should deliver better results. The above data will help you do so.
How to collect all this data is a common challenge for those without a tightly managed program whereby the data can be provided by your TMC. Expense report data from your ERP is useful. Credit card data is usually helpful if everyone is using your corporate card system (another missed opportunity with many rogues). Then with data aggregators like TripCase corporate or Triplink you can at least require everyone to forward all bookings to these tools for complete data integration and evaluation while enhancing duty of care.
We have found that from this evaluation will come reasonable policies and procedures to better control this size able line item. We wish you luck!