The MacNair Travel Leadership Blog

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

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

Data Sharing: Providing Visibility in Managed Travel Programs

Posted by Mike MacNair on Oct 18, 2016 12:00:00 PM

In today’s data-driven world, companies have access to all types of valuable traveler data: from personal information to preferred airlines and hotels. Travel managers can see employee preferences for travel times, direct or indirect flights, and seat choices. By analyzing credit card usage, it is easy to discover where and when travelers ordered meals or if they watched a movie on the plane.

But what do you do with all of this data? Share it! By disseminating travel data among different business groups in your organization, your managed travel program gains visibility. Turning raw travel data into valuable information can help travel managers improve the travel policy, track traveler compliance and help in budget forecasting.

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Topics: Data Sharing, Managed Travel

Unmanaged Travel vs. Managed Travel 101

Posted by Mike MacNair on Oct 17, 2016 10:49:44 AM

Understanding the key differences between unmanaged travel vs. managed travel can help organizations objectively and accurately determine opportunities for process improvements that can improve their bottom line. The table below compares an unmanaged travel program to a managed one, broken down in to nine phases: starting with (1) Policy and Procedure Development and ending with (9) Reviewing and Refining the overall program.

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Topics: Travel and Expense Management, Managed Travel

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

How the US Chamber of Commerce Saved Over $200k with Managed Travel

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jun 7, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the United States Chamber of Commerce (USCOC) represents more than 3 million businesses of all sizes across the country. This century old organization is the largest non-profit that advocates on behalf of America’s business interests.

When new management took over the USCOC, they wanted to make changes in their travel program. As with many organizations, they wanted more control over their T&E budget and wanted to put a strategic travel system in place that would benefit the entire organization.

The USCOC wanted to partner with a TMC that would help them reach their travel management goals, so they hired MacNair Travel Management due to our association travel management expertise.

 

We started with reviewing the existing program.

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Topics: Managed Travel

How Much Can be Saved by Using a Travel Management Company?

Posted by Mike MacNair on Aug 14, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Businesses are always looking for ways to save money, but when travel is an important part of your company’s success, expenses can skyrocket. The travel and entertainment (T&E) line item not only takes a toll on your bottom line, but for employees to book their travel, reconcile credit card reports, and other travel-related follow-up takes away valuable time from their day-to-day job responsibilities.

Enter a travel management company – a great solution, right? Travel management companies (TMCs) are able to take over the responsibility of booking and managing your overal travel management process, but are they really saving you money? Are they making an impact on the bottom line? The answer is, "Yes."'

Read this whitepaper to learn how a Travel Management Company differs from a  Travel Agency by delivering the most value to your company. 

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Topics: Travel Management, Managed Travel, Travel Manager, business travel, Corporate Travel, Travel Management Company, business process outsourcing, Travel and Expense Management, Supplier Negotiations