Effective strategies for managing your second most controllable expense: Travel
The last 12 months have resulted in many changes for the travel industry. The high cost of fuel and the current economic down turn have softened the market place and have forced travel vendors to change their outlook and chase profitability in new ways. To name just a few, the airlines have successfully unbundled their services cut capacity in slow markets, hotels have responded by releasing more dynamic pricing options thereby lowering the effectiveness of corporate contracts, and car vendors have changed their fleet to accommodate shifting demand. It is self evident that during such times companies must re-evaluate their internal processes to increase efficiency, which the travel industry clearly has done. How are you addressing these changes?
The fact is travel is next to personnel the largest controllable business expense for most companies. The question is how to tighten the screws without compromising the functionality and efficiency of your core business. Automation has taken hold in the form of online booking tools, online reporting tools, and credit card reconciliation tools have allowed companies to cut back on services fees, while increasing productivity. Unfortunately tools can only do so much as they are a mere 2-5% of your travel costs. Clearly the solution lies with the other 98% of your program. But what needs to be done?
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