Three Things That Keep Corporate Travel Managers Awake at Night

By Jesse Sokolow on 10 May 2016
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For the second year in a row, corporate travel managers told us that Cost Control is their top concern and it’s worse than a crying baby on a redeye flight.

In a survey conducted from March 21 through April 19, several hundred travel managers were asked by Frequent Business Traveler what the greatest challenges of their jobs were. They may carry titles ranging from “vice president, procurement” to “VP, strategic sourcing,” to “director of global travel,” but they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, at least when it comes to getting from point A to point B in that world.

Also at the top of their list was Compliance and Policy Adherence.

Given that business travel is a major cost center for most corporations, compliance and policy adherence, which ensures that employees are getting the correct (and often painstakingly negotiated) corporate rates with travel providers, can save vast sums of money. In addition, managing duty of care issues is far easier when employees use preferred providers, as they can be contacted in the event of an emergency in the event that they cannot be reached via their own phone or e-mail.

Rounding out the top five were Keeping Employees Informed on Travel and Travel Policies, Risk Management and Traveler Safety, and Getting Important Travel News and Information in a Timely Fashion. These three areas all revolve around having excellent communications with employees although sometimes getting employees to the corporate travel portal or page is like herding hats.

Many companies have found that adding interesting travel reviews and important travel news to the travel portal results in greater employee interest and increases the likelihood that employees will use the tools contained therein to book and manage their travel.

In several follow-up interviews following the survey, corporate travel managers told FBT that they found the amount of information they had to keep track of to be “daunting.” One manager at a pharmaceutical firm said that her company was struggling to focus on strategic issues with vendors given the number of changes taking place in the travel industry. She cited consolidation in both the airline and hotel businesses as a major reason and often found she knew less than her staff and travelers about key trends and actionable news that would have a direct impact on her bottom line.

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