- Seize the Day
This could be the best chance you will ever have to persuade senior management to adopt your ideas on cost control. Don’t Waste it.
- Make the business case
Use simple dashboards to cost out how much your organization is spending on travel now and how much can be saved by each specific action you are proposing. Example: benchmark the average fare on key routes for tickets bought 0-7 days in advance against the average fare for tickets bought 8-14 days in advance.
- Push for investment…
…but be realistic. Even if you can prove a clear, quick return on investment in an expense tool, video-conferencing system or even additional member of staff, you may be told to wait a year.
- Utilize Demand Management
A total travel ban threatens business continuity, but failure to cut costs is not an option either. The role of the travel manager has therefore become far more strategic, identifying which travel is unnecessary and lowering cost per trip for travel which is necessary. This is smart demand management.
- Improve your strategic value – explain the big picture
Senior Management does not always understand the consequences of its decision about travel. Boost your strategic importance by showing them the bigger picture. Explain why Corporate liability is better for the organization. Show that rebust expense approval and reimbursement process would also have to be put in place to avoid damaging employee relations through late compensation with individual liability.
- Expand your sphere of influence
Electronic alternatives to travel are increasingly on the radar as a major source of savings. Make the case to senior management why their should be a travel management tool. To make strategic savings and ensure business continuity, you need management control through integration with the travel program.
- Tackle meetings once and for all
Seize the opportunity to introduce strategic meetings management if this does not already exist in your organization. Not only is it a major source of potential savings, but concerns about excessive corporate spending make it a risk management issue too.
- Build a relationship with the finance department
Finance is taking an increasing interest in travel for reasons of both cost control and risk management, which can only enhance the status of travel managers. Learn to speak CFOs’ language (depreciated costs, accruals, etc.), talk straight and find ways to reduce risk.
- Maintain a balance
Even in a turndown, travel management is not all about saving money. Remind senior management that traveler safety and security is important too and carries a quantifiable risk.
- It pays to advertise
Travel Managers are lousy at blowing their own trumpet. If you achieve success in reducing expenditure, tell everyone in your company about it! And, show the data. www.airplus.com
If you would like more information about how to develop your Corporate Travel Program, please contact Christopherson Business Travel: www.christophersontravel.com