There has been an ongoing trend for travel managers to report to procurement because, after all, travel services are a commodity that requires price negotiation and service level agreement just like all other commodities, right? The answer is yes and no, and not "It depends." [more]
First of all, anyone can manage the sourcing relationship of any supplier by requiring in the service level agreement for the periodic customer survey to xxx% satisfaction, demonstrated xx% cost reduction, etc. One of the most crucial elements of travel program management is customer service. How can your organization provide the best customer service to your traveling employees (and their arrangers) by continuous enhancement of service delivery while also managing cost reduction?
1. Consolidate travel spend by consolidating travel management companies and T&E card worldwide, providing a standardized service delivery (while incorporating cultural nuances)
2. Consolidate reporting/business intelligence; create an interactive dashboard to broadcast spend
3. Evaluate a combination of VIP service, self-booking tool/mechanism, reservation center
4. Educate end-users and broadcast cost reduction opportunities worldwide and automate the information flow via intranet
5. Meet with your arrangers and road warriors periodically and ask them their vision of the best travel program
6. Be actively involved in continuous education of all service staff, direct reports and outsourced staff
Now do you start to see procuring travel services as only a small portion of a truly managed travel program?