The MacNair Travel Leadership Blog

4 Reasons Why We Recommend Utilizing Business Process Outsourcing

Posted by Mike MacNair on Feb 23, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Outsourcing is common with businesses, both small and large. What makes Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) different from typical outsourcing is that an entire non-core business process, rather than separate tasks, is outsourced to a third-party service provider – putting the provider in charge of an entire functional area of the business.

Typically, BPO is used as a cost-saving measure for non-critical processes that a company must perform, but do not depend upon to maintain their position in the marketplace. Some common outsourced business processes include:

  • Front office: customer support, lead generation and telephone call centers.
  • Back office: HR, accounting and travel management.

BPO is ideally suited to organizations that do not have the financial resources to establish and maintain entire in-house departments devoted to these non-core processes. While every solution has its own set of benefits and disadvantages, here are 4 key benefits to choosing a business process outsourcing provider.

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Topics: business process outsourcing, Outsourcing

How Will this Year’s Travel Trends Impact Your Business?

Posted by Mike MacNair on Feb 16, 2017 12:00:00 PM

The overall state of business travel is often considered to be a strong indicator of the overall health of the U.S. economy. Two of the leading causes that slowed business travel in 2016 — the U.S. presidential election and the British vote to leave the European Union – are resolved, leaving the outlook for 2017 particularly promising.

According to a poll of 63 travel managers conducted in the fourth quarter of 2016, a rise in overall travel and air spending, as well as an increase in the number of trips and air transactions is expected.

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Topics: business travel, Travel Trends

Travel Policy Optimization = Effective Data Management

Posted by Mike MacNair on Feb 9, 2017 1:00:00 PM

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Having access to reliable data is essential for controlling business travel, yet many CFOs do not pay the same amount of attention to this aspect of their business as other core areas of operation. This is a mistake.

Travel and Expense (T&E) budgets represent the second largest controllable cost for most organizations, typically coming in behind only payroll and rent. The benefits of analyzing travel data to identify gaps in efficiency are many. Travel data analysis can offer CFOs insights into company-wide travel spend and an accurate interpretation of this data can help control traveler’s choices and increase compliance. Yet research released by the GBTA Foundation – the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association – found that despite the demonstrated value of travel data, CFOs continue to struggle with deciphering travel data.

Why is travel data difficult to manage? It comes down to several root causes:

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Topics: travel policy, Managed Travel, Travel Data

How a TMC Contributes to Business Process Management

Posted by Mike MacNair on Feb 2, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Even if they are not using a comprehensive business process management (BPM) enterprise suite through vendors such as Oracle and SAP, most organizations still use some form of a business process management system. Unfortunately, few companies realize the true potential of BPM and how it relates to the T&E processes.

Harnessing the power of BMP for travel can only be achieved by first identifying processes to optimize, then choosing the right TMC partner and finally, implementing an intelligent yet flexible BPM methodology that works for your business.

This article is intended to inform you about some of the common pitfalls that threaten travel initiatives and how a TMC can help you achieve success in your business travel processes. But first, what exactly is business process management?

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Topics: CFO, business process outsourcing

Benefits of A Single Card Travel Program

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jan 26, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Simple payment management changes, such as introducing the use of virtual payment options, like Central Travel Solution (CTS) or Business Travel Account (BTA) commercial cards, can significantly improve the ROI on travel programs. A TMC with expertise in payment management systems can help your organization build travel policy guidelines to ensure credit card payments are consolidated in order to increase eligibility for various credit card company benefits, rewards and special offers.

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Topics: TMc, Travel Management Company, Virtual Payment Cards

The Disconnect Between Policy and Travelers and What to do About it

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jan 19, 2017 12:00:00 PM

According to a recent study conducted by GBTA Foundation and HRS, most travelers believe that they are familiar with and understand their company’s travel policy. In fact, their research indicated that 96 percent of North American business travelers say they are knowledgeable about their company's travel policies and 79 percent of travelers say that company policy has the greatest impact on their travel decision-making. Yet, the high number of rogue travelers booking outside of corporate policy does not support these numbers.

What is the cause of this disconnect between wanting to follow corporate policy, but not? According to the whitepaper, “Travel Policy Communication: Understanding Disconnects and Increasing Compliance,” it is suggested that “perception is more important than reality” when it comes to corporate travel policy.

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Topics: travel policy, Compliance

Travel Safety in 2017: Traveler Tracking Expands

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jan 12, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Many travelers, especial those traveling abroad, are exposed to dangerous risks to their safety and well-being. Hardly a year goes by without hearing about a natural disaster, public unrest, act of terrorism, or outbreak of an infectious disease – all of which directly impact travelers.

2016 was an especially tumultuous year when terrorists struck targets throughout Europe, in areas that had previously been considered safe. In December of 2016, 12 people were killed and 56 injured at a Christmas market in Berlin. Airports in Brussels and Turkey were the site of deadly bombings. An explosion at a check-in-area of Shanghai's main international airport injured four people. In the first week of 2017, a mass shooting at a Fort Lauderdale airport left five people dead.

In a recent study conducted by the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association in partnership with AIG Travel, an overwhelming majority of employers ranked traveler safety as a major concern. The report is based on an online survey of 167 travel managers in the U.S. and Canada. The study reported that 95 percent of travel professionals feel that providing insurance or assistance services to employees is valuable for international trips; and 76 percent agreed both are valuable for domestic trips as well.

Yet, per the same study, only 41 percent of employers offer risk management training and 26 percent offer GPS tracking of travelers. Those numbers are expected to expand quickly in 2017.

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Topics: Traveler Tracking

The Challenges of Supplier-Direct Booking for Managed Travel Programs

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jan 5, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Motivation for travelers to book direct with suppliers is on the rise, creating unique challenges for managed travel programs. Travel suppliers, especially hotels, are making a concerted effort to cut out middlemen by re-launching loyalty programs and adding incentives to entice business travelers to book directly with them – thus bypassing corporate travel policy.

With non-compliant bookings, the tangible benefits of corporate travel policies and programs are diminished. When travelers do not use preferred suppliers, or take advantage of negotiated rates and perks by using the company’s approved online booking tool (OBT), the company loses its ability to leverage volume for future negotiations towards discounted rates.

Not only are organizations hamstrung in negotiations, but supplier-direct booking also impacts the ability of travel managers to track down, locate and contact their travelers in the event of an emergency. As a result, travel managers must re-think policies and discover new ways to account for travelers who bypass approved booking methods.

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Topics: TMc, travel policy, Managed Travel, Travel Management Company, Supplier Direct Booking, Compliance

Best Practices for Benchmarking Your Travel Program

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

Travel and Expense (T&E) budgets represent the second largest controllable cost for most organizations. Improving your managed travel program offers a huge opportunity to enhance your company’s bottom line and overall financial wellbeing. One of the most effective ways to accomplish that is through the process of benchmarking. For managed travel, the benchmarking process will compare key components of your travel processes (identified by you) against similarly sized organizations.

When you compare your managed travel program against companies with excellent managed travel programs in place, you will understand your strengths and weaknesses. In addition, any areas that require additional attention are identified so that they can be studied, analyzed and eventually improved by adopting best practices and implementing the results.

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Topics: travel policy, Benchmarking, Travel Data

Managed Travel Program Trends for 2017

Posted by Mike MacNair on Dec 22, 2016 12:00:00 PM

As a travel manager, you are likely pulled in multiple directions as you handle various aspects of the travel program that impact your travelers, finance team and organization writ large. While this may not be anything new, some of the trends expected in managed travel for 2017 are, and will continue to modernize the face of business travel.

While travel costs look like they will remain flat or only slightly increase in 2017, the election could prove positive for the economy. Being ready to take advantage of an uptick in business could be vital to a successful managed travel program in the upcoming year.

Here are some business travel trends to watch for as 2017 quickly approaches:

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Topics: Travel Trends