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.
We often meet with organizations who are looking to improve their travel procurement process. Our conversations usually begin with a deep dive into what is and isn’t working. Service is almost always identified as an area that needs to improve.
In the travel environment, service can mean many different things to different people. Finance has opinions, the travel manager has opinions and the variety of different traveler types also have their own perspectives on service. More importantly, these role players often have different objectives. To top it off, service can be delivered by humans or technology (or both) and there is a difference of opinion as to what great is in those environments.
Getting everyone on board with your Travel and Entertainment (T & E) program can be a challenge. I have found that these three tips make compliance improve significantly.
At times the challenge with introducing a new travel procurement program is that your staff can think that you have just hired a travel agency to help them with travel. First of all, many don’t think they need help booking their trip. Secondly, they have no idea what a Travel Management Company does versus a travel agency.
So let’s start with not needing help making their travel arrangements. Quality TMCs have both online and call in systems to make easy and complex reservations however the traveler sees fit 24/7 in a managed environment. They also have teams to construct complex muti-leg international itineraries or even change/support reservations when schedules change or weather disrupts the industry. So at one point every traveler is going to need some help to get out of a jam and/or save time. When we say a managed environment we mean that the resulting reservation will make the traveler and the company who is purchasing the trip as happy as possible based on some defined policies, procedures and systemic expectations.
Travel Leadership Blog
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.