Why Traveler Friction Matters. 1st in a Series

Traveler Friction Costs Offset Program Savings

This series is based on my keynote speech given at the Beat Live.
 

Traveler Friction vs Travel Policies

Travel programs depend on travel policies for savings.  See how the blue line curves down, just like we expect? Travel policies reduce the cost of a trip. Good to know, right?

But as you increase the strength of that travel policy, you create costs.

Costs we’ll call “traveler friction”. That’s the red curve in the chart above.

Traveler friction comes in the form of Continue reading

Managed Travel 2.0 – Explanation and Implications

What do chickens and travelers have in common?  Both might be better off without fences.

That’s one of the issues I raised today at The Beat Live’s closing speech.  This speech covered

  • The driving forces behind Managed Travel 2.0 and its five key principles
  • The three requirements for this concept to take off
  • And most intriguingly, several key implications for the major stakeholders in the travel industry.

Here’s the full presentation.  It’s a much deeper presentation than what Evan Konwiser and I covered in Boston at GBTA.  Like that presentation, this one is in ballroom style (pretty pictures, few words), so it loses some punch without the voice-over.   We’ll push out a series of posts to put these pictures into context.

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From Friction to Fire at GBTA

The sparks are flying.

No, not about GBTA’s IP policies – we got that resolved a couple of weeks ago.  Thanks to all who weighed in on that – GBTA leadership heard you loud and clear.

This is much, much bigger.  It’s the issue of how to manage travel in modern times.

Evan Konwiser and I will fan the flames at GBTA’s Convention in Boston. We’ll present some pretty provocative views on this.  We’re backing it up with evidence, and laying out a direction that has big implications for buyers and suppliers.

Come add your fuel to the fire – join our session on Monday, July 23rd at 9:00 am.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of the sparks we’re throwing out there:

Traveler welfare trumps travel policies

Savings is the wrong goal

Revolution or Evolution – your choice

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Why Bother Managing Travel?

That’s a serious question, after reading this recent GBTA report.

The key findings, covered in more detail here, show that unmanaged travelers achieve better business trips, are more satisfied with their business travel – and here’s the kicker – don’t spend any more than their managed traveler counterparts.

Let’s assume the study is valid, and that managing travel doesn’t produce significant savings.  Deep breaths, everybody – we can debate that last point later. For the sake of argument, if there aren’t significant savings from managing travel, why would we do it? Continue reading

The Curious Case Against Managing Travel

Achieve better trips. Increase traveler satisfaction. Spend less on travel.

That’s the trifecta of travel management, isn’t it? So which horse would you bet on to deliver these wins – the one with, or without, a jockey?  The managed travel program, or the unmanaged travel program?

GBTA’s “Global Business Traveler Study 2012”, a 72-page report, shows the winner is the unmanaged program – and it’s not even a close race.  That’s the conclusion I draw from the study’s facts as they pertain to U.S. travelers. Continue reading

SmartTrip Delivers Shared Travel Savings – Bravo!

Travel managers have a powerful new tool to coax more savings from their travelers.

Runzheimer’s new SmartTrip tool solves the problem with a simple equation:

Good Trip Budgeting + Traveler Self-Interest = Shared Savings

How it works:  The traveler enters the most basic of trip specs: Origination, destination and dates of travel.  The tool produces the trip’s benchmark cost (a best estimate), split out by Air, Hotel, Transportation and Meals. Yes, these estimated costs can be tailored to fit company travel policies, so for example, the estimated hotel costs can be based on 3 star properties, not 4 stars.

With the trip’s benchmark cost in hand, the traveler Continue reading

ProcureApp’s Clever Compliance Tool

Disclosure: I’ve served  ProcureApp as an unpaid advisor.

Procurement folks hate undiscounted spend.  They’ll love ProcureApp.  Why? Because it detects when a buyer (think traveler) has wandered onto a non-approved supplier’s website. When that happens, a friendly message pops up.

“Pardon me, old chap.  Couldn’t help noticing that you’re on Brand.com’s site.  Not really an approved supplier, are they?  Tsk, tsk. Why don’t we take a nice stroll over to our approved travel site, and do our shopping and booking over there, shall we?”

Beautiful.  A timely message displayed to a traveler at a critical step in the path of non-compliance. Complete with a link to the preferred site. Continue reading

“Book It” Will Spark Travel Value Engines

Book It, the oh-so-clever service from Short’s Travel, is a game changer.

Book It makes the “Shop anywhere, but book it here” concept practical for corporate travelers.

Travelers can use any website to find an itinerary and fare they like, then send that flight info to Short’s via e-mail.

The Book It system looks up the traveler’s corporate profile, presents relevant travel policies, applies the corporate discount, and with 3 clicks from the traveler, books the flight.

This “Shop anywhere, but book it here” model is incredibly powerful.  It eliminates Continue reading

Short’s Book It: A Brilliant Booking Breakthrough

Short’s Travel, arguably the most innovative TMC in North America, has done it again*.

Book It** allows a corporate traveler to search for airfares on any site, then e-mail the selected flight info to Short’s for booking and en-route servicing. Completely automated. Fast results.  Pure genius.

Why pure genius?  Because, according to
David LeCompte, Short’s president, some two-thirds of corporate travelers are shopping for their airfares on non-corporate websites anyway. Once they find a good flight, they have to re-enter the details into their corporate tool.  Newsflash – not every traveler bothers with that last step.

Then there’s the small problem that consumer OTAs are Continue reading

Revolution Is In The Air

Democracy blooming in the Middle East.  Leaderless revolutionaries occupying Wall Street. Student athletes organizing to get paid. Presidential candidates wanting to overthrow the U.S. Tax Code.

Do you see the implications for managed travel?

It’s all about power from the bottom up. Compliance gets you nowhere.  Stop questioning the status quo and do something dramatic. Continue reading