The MacNair Travel Leadership Blog

Reduce Travel Costs to Achieve Operational Excellence

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

Reduce Travel Costs to Achieve Operational ExcellenceAs a CFO, you know achieving business growth comes as a natural byproduct of achieving operational excellence. Improvements in efficiency, flexibility and lowering costs in your travel program are all contributors if you know where the gaps lie. After all, many organizations face ballooning T&E expenses due to inefficiencies and lack of compliance from employees.

For example, we worked with one Internationally Known Membership Organization and helped them gain control over an unmanaged travel program. By making it clearer and easier to comply with travel policy, we were able to help this organization see a 98% adoption rate and reduce travel costs from 1.5 million to $250,000. We reduced average ticket price from $591 to $459.

Results like these are not atypical. With another organization, we were able to implement an online booking tool fully customized with established policies and procedures which gained executive buy in and up to a 90% program adoption rate for an annual savings of $177,106 in combined airfares and fees.

As you can see, if you’re working with an inefficient travel program, your organization could be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be recoverable simply by addressing these inefficiencies.

Results like these are best achieved by analyzing real-time data to identify areas of underperformance or production. A travel management company (TMC) can work with you to analyze this data, locate inefficiencies and create simple and efficient travel policies to drive down your travel costs.

A travel management company can help your organization analyze real-time data to identify areas of underperformance, production or supply-chain bottlenecks. Even better, it can automate and streamline processes throughout departments so everyone has access to an integrated decision-making environment.

As a finance executive, you’re well aware that travel costs are the second largest budget line item. Reducing these costs through targeted improvements is one of the most effective means to approach organizational excellence. 

4 Ways a TMC Can Help Finance Executives Reduce Travel Costs

  1. Improve Efficiency -- A TMC can provide an automated online booking system that not only makes it easier to track where (and how) your employees spend money but it’s in keeping with employees familiarity with booking travel online. The online booking system can even be customized to the culture and workflow of your organization. For example, with one law office, we set it up so employees would be notified of unused, non-refundable plane tickets available for use to reduce travel costs. A customized, online booking system keeps better track of receipts and can even pre-pay some expenses. A good TMC offers your employees an easy-to-use online booking system that tracks their expenses and offers quick reimbursements.

  2. Keep Rates Low -- A TMC provides current travel data, which keeps rates low. You’re probably aware that every online booking ends up in a database somewhere. If your employees book on their own on a regular basis, then there’s no central, holistic “snapshot” of spending as an organization. A TMC builds relationships with preferred vendors and passes the savings onto you. In some cases, organizations have saved 20-30% based on shifting their spending to our preferred vendors.

  3. Real-Time Data -- Access to real-time data ensures a shorter time to reaction process. Whether it’s improving safety for your travelling employees or identifying areas of inefficiency in your travel process, a TMC can track this data and offer guidance for simplifying the processes.

  4. Automate the Travel Process -- When processes are automated, it’s easier for employees to make proactive operational decisions at every level. Imagine, an online booking tool fully customized for your travel policies and achieving a 90% adoption rate by employees. That’s been our success with numerous organizations.

Simple, efficient, relevant and flexible. These are hallmarks of a well-run travel program that meets both your traveler’s needs and the organization’s needs. Let us know how your travel program is performing in the comments below and download our white paper to learn how you can begin to reduce travel costs, increase compliance, and leverage suppliers in order to obtain operational excellence.

Learn 5 strategies for CFOs to take control of travel management



Topics: Travel Management, CFO