Hot Topics in 2010 – Travel Management in a New Generation

Guest author Karoline Mayr shares her views on travel management in the article below.  Karoline is Deltek’s Senior Manager of Global Travel Procurement.  She is a candidate for NBTA’s Board as a Direct Member at Large.

Following the deepest pitch in the 2009 recession, a new term emerged, the “New Normal”.  So, what does this mean? It translates into a new generation in travel management and procurement that, moving forward, will require some new skill sets and technologies.

In 2010, there was heightened interest in Strategic Management Meetings Programs (SMMP).  There are now software and video conferencing technologies that complement a SMMP.  The goal is to optimize customer contact and maximize ROI on travel spend.  Tying the online booking tool to meetings is also on the rise so; in 2008 I executed a SMMP and immediately saw the benefit of leveraging combined transient and meeting spend.

Video conferencing is another area in which organizations are looking to invest to save on travel expenditures by replicating the meeting experience.  At Deltek, Inc., video conferencing technology was implemented in 2009.  In Q1-10, with the use of video conferencing, I was able to increase employee productivity and save 18% on internal travel costs!  In 2010, virtual meetings were implemented as well for further cost savings.

Social media outlets are also burgeoning in travel programs.  Recently, I implemented a travel exchange blog at Deltek.  The goal was to exchange information transparently, improve travel services, increase employee value and lower costs.  It was an immediate success.  I was able to monitor remarks from a high level, gain valuable feedback and make changes to reduce expenditures.

As technologies continue to emerge, with smart phones and iPads as examples, we must stay ahead of the curve, providing smart travel management programs that are effortless and simple for the user.  If it’s easy to find; they’ll use it.  If it’s easy to book; they’ll do the right thing.  If it’s easy to communicate; they will.

In order to bring our travel programs into this new generation, we must embrace change by finding bright spots, working together collaboratively, and delivering results. In one example of a success in change management, I was able to increase compliance to 90% in 30 days. These are the kind of achievements I would like to share; to help educate other NBTA members to elevate their programs.

Join me to embrace the industry’s challenges and help me educate and elevate our NBTA members.

To read more about Karoline Mayr’s platform and background, please visit:  http://www2.nbta.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/2010BoardElections/2010_Elections_Booklet.pd

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