Any travel buyer interested in learning the most powerful and innovative methods for sourcing airlines should attend one of my workshops:
Airline Sourcing, Nov. 14th in Chicago
Airline Sourcing, Dec. 10th in Dallas
I’ll cover the basics, but then quickly head into deeper water – where buyers will learn how to maximize their leverage, regardless of their air spend. Key topics include:
- Scenario modeling
- Risk-reward mapping
- Why discount benchmarking is useless, and what’s better
- Discovering the gap between the offered and maximum rational discount
- Finding the 20% of your markets that will drive 80% of your savings
- Optimizing between trip cost and trip friction
- Predicting the impact of the AA-US merger on your 2014 air budget
- Procurement’s best and worst roles
These workshops are open to anyone, including airline sales managers. Register via the GBTA website.
Everyone benefits from having a sophisticated, fact-based discussion about optimizing airline discounts. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
You gotta love the 40 good folks who gave up a beautiful Sunday in San Diego to talk travel data. I delivered a 6-hour workshop for GBTA on this topic, and am proud to report that not one person fell asleep! Here’s the handout file we used. Topics included:
- Sources and uses of travel data
- Boring data reports and stupid statistics
- Making good data-driven presentations
- Key concepts needed for travel analyses
- Using derivative data to answer seven key questions
- GBTA’s KPI Resource document (as a handout; we didn’t have time to discuss it) Continue reading
Many of you know that I sold my last company, Travel Analytics, back in 2006. I had a 5-year non-compete, and filled my time doing a fair amount of speaking and training, and of course writing here on whatever caught my eye in the travel industry.
Along the way I met some great guys at Diio, the aviation data intelligence firm. They know aviation data inside and out, and have an amazing group of really smart software engineers who – and this is vital – are very focused on providing great customer service.
Long story short, we’ve joined forces to offer on-demand analytics for the corporate travel industry. Our firm is tClara, pronounced tee-CLAIR-ah, a riff on “clarity”. You can check out our site here.
Our sweet spot is delivering customized reports in three areas: Airline category analysis, travel policy decision support, and trip friction scoring and benchmarking. Continue reading
GBTA’s annual convention (Aug. 4-7 in San Diego) offers great opportunities to learn about the corporate travel industry, network with peers and vote on the future of GBTA.
I’m teaching this travel data workshop on Sunday, Aug. 4th from 9am to about 3pm, and this advanced airline sourcing session on Wednesday, August 7th at 11:45am. On Monday the 5th at 9am Evan Konwiser and I will present on The End and Future of Managed Travel.
Managed Travel 2.0 has come a long way since Evan and I presented the concept at GBTA’s 2012 convention. We’ll bring fresh and surprising views from Continue reading
Anyone who’s worked on a TMC RFP knows what a royal pain in the butt these projects are. Lots of reasons for this – it’s an infrequently sourced category, there are no standard data elements, questions or pricing schedules, and there is no easy way to score bids.
Don Swartz, principal of Corporate Travel Buyer Resources, figured there had to be a better way. As a former TMC guy and active consultant on TMC bids, he had a ringside seat to these and other problems.
Don’s solution? Streamline and standardize. Impose reasonable limits on buyers and sellers. Make things easier and faster. Stay focused on the goal: Help buyers make good choices from several well-crafted offers.
The result? A notable reduction in cycle time Continue reading
Jeff LaFave, founder and CEO of SummitQwest, has mastered the art of controlling black car costs for his corporate clients. If you’re keen to see 15% savings in this category, read on…
A big pain in black car spend management is dealing with messy invoices from lots of suppliers. There can be dozens of price-related fields and factors. Lots of rides need to be charged back to clients or business units. Rides may not comply with travel policies…like the guy who took a black car to and from work for a year, yes, you guessed it – outside of company policy.
SummitQwest tackled this messy problem by creating SummitGround, a standardized black car invoicing platform. It makes a lot of sense for these reasons: Continue reading
Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the dawn of modern travel management.
In 1994 Delta cut commissions to travel agents, turned travel departments into cost centers overnight, and ushered in the need for more sophisticated management of the travel category.
Our industry responded well. It developed a core set of best practices. Online booking technology and Prism’s airline contract management tool accelerated the importance of having an effective travel policy.
Consolidation of TMCs, use of procurement techniques, improved data reporting, duty of care – all these and more are now well-known hallmarks of managing a corporate travel program.
We’ve learned how to add value. The body of knowledge is solid, stable, strong. The castles of best practices have been built.
But castles have limits. They are neither mobile nor flexible. They aren’t suited for exploration and discovery. After 20 years, we need explorers willing to chart new courses, to explore new frontiers.
It’s time to search beyond the diminishing returns of Managed Travel 1.0. Continue reading
This morning I pointed out some new frontiers in managed travel to the Society of Government Travel Professionals. Things like traveler friction, trip tailoring, edit rights, Managed Travel 2.0 and traveler dashboards, along with their implications for the government travel program. (here’s the full deck)
Then I shared this slide to make the point that airfares will go up after the AA-US merger:
Fewer competitors in a market result in higher profit margins for the suppliers. Looks like that basic economic theory holds true in the airline category. (For non-government readers, YCA fares are the U.S. Government’s equivalent of full Y fares – fully refundable, last seat availability in coach.)
The significant implication for the U.S. Government and businesses Continue reading
A colleague recently asked if travel suppliers will continue to offer discounts in the world of Managed Travel 2.0.
“Why would suppliers offer discounts under this open booking format? Why would they simply not let their revenue management team set prices and do away with all discounts?”
Discounts won’t go away in MT 2.0. Here’s why:
Let’s assume that suppliers would still want more than their fair (i.e., unmanaged) share of a corporate account’s business. How will they get that extra share?
Suppliers can expect to get their fair share by Continue reading
How helpful would it be to know the airline’s cost of any ticket?
Procurement pros often use cost modeling to estimate profit margins, then use that as context for price negotiations.
But airline pricing doesn’t depend much (some would say at all) on costs – it’s all about supply and demand.
Evan Konwiser and I are developing a website aimed at this issue. The initial focus is on the consumer market, but we are keen to understand the potential for the corporate travel market as well.
Your feedback will be greatly appreciated! Click here to weigh in using this 8-question, 3-minute survey: https://aytm.com/r762623
Feel free to share the survey link as you wish. The survey will close out after 250 responses.
Alternatively, your comments here are most welcome, as always.