Posted by Rob Golledge (Head of Marketing Communications, Amadeus UK & Ireland)
As part of our Business Travel Insights initiative in 2013, we surveyed more than four hundred UK and Irish frequent business travellers and discovered that convenience was the number one priority (62%), followed by cost (22%) and comfort (15%). Pose the same question to budget-conscious travel managers and corporate buyers and you’ll find the balance quickly shifts in favour of cost control. The survey also revealed that two thirds of business travellers can now book travel themselves, which sets the backdrop for the rise of online solutions such as Amadeus e-Travel Management (AeTM).
Corporate online booking tools deliver traveller convenience – now even more so with the arrival of AeTM Mobile – but they do so within clearly defined and managed parameters. Travellers are empowered to research travel options (including real-time availability and pricing) whenever and wherever they may be in the world, but they can only book travel if it adheres to company policy.
Now that using an online tool has become as ubiquitous as the paper clip, what next? After implementing and embedding an online tool into the Travel & Expense management process, the next step is to review its performance. Like a finely tuned Formula 1 car, nothing can be left to chance. Think of periodic reviews as pulling into the pit stop. It’s the only way to guarantee peak performance. A corporate booking tool checklist looks something like this:
- Is the tool measuring up to the salesperson’s patter?
- How do cost-savings compare with what similar companies (in the same industry, of a comparable size or within the same geography) are able to achieve?
- Where can the travel manager or procurement team take action to optimise return on investment?
To help answer those challenging questions, Amadeus sponsored an independent and in-depth study of the opportunities and challenges facing corporate travel management in Western Europe. Eleven corporations in the UK, France, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands took part. The study analysed travel management based on actual visits to corporations using a proven activity based costing (ABC) methodology.
The findings show that strictly enforcing policy compliance enables corporations to save a dramatic 23% of their T&E costs. The study also highlights practical tips on what successful companies are doing to achieve such significant cost savings.
Of the corporations taking part in the study, it was revealed that just 16% of employees account for 80% of T&E costs. So identifying and training these “super users” could dramatically reduce travel management company service fees.
In Formula 1, winning is more of a science than an art. The same could be said for creating a winning corporate travel management programme. The good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own.