Air Sourcing Academy a Big Hit

The first-ever one-day workshop on airline sourcing was a big success!  About 70 delegates worked their way through the key success factors for sourcing this important spend category. NBTA‘s post-event survey measured two key factors:

The change in the level of understanding of airline sourcing (definitely improved, above), and the overall satisfaction with the event (quite high, below). Continue reading

Travel Procurement Workshop at NBTA 2010

Yesterday I led a full-day workshop on travel procurement at NBTA’s annual conference.  We had a terrific group of about fifty folks participate.  About two-thirds came from travel backgrounds, and about a third came from the procurement side.  Lots of good interaction throughout the day.

Here are the slides that I used during the workshop. Continue reading

Best Practice: Hotel Sourcing Strategy Study

We’re moving into the hotel sourcing season, so take a moment and think about your favorite little black dress or your best power suit.  What makes it your favorite? And how the heck does this relate to hotel sourcing?

Great clothes project the image you want.  They send signals.  They help define your image.  And if you’ve chosen carefully, they help achieve your goals. But they’ll only do that if your clothes fit like a glove.  See where this is going? Continue reading

Coffee, Chalkboards and Travel Policy: True Innovation

Some forms of simplicity are pure genius. Therein lies the lesson for all you travel managers who wrestle with travel policy issues. After all, it’s not changing the words in the policy that matters – it’s changing people’s behavior. Let’s learn from Starbucks how a simple chalkboard can be the centerpiece of a massive campaign to change people’s behavior. Continue reading

Free Webcast on Travel Data

** Update:  The original webcast is no longer available.  Here’s the portion of the webcast that I presented.  It gives a few examples of anlyses that have some element of added value in them:

MasterCard ProMedia Webex v2 Continue reading

Baking and Data Reporting

What the heck does baking have to do with travel data reporting, you ask?

Baking and Data ReportingIt makes for an interesting metaphor.  I used this concept in the speech I gave at the ACTE Canada conference this week in Toronto.  I’ll admit that the skit was a bit hokey, but the points about poor preparation of data, half-baked analysis and hanging Christmas lights on plain-jane data were too good to pass up.

Once I got beyond these process-related problems, we dived into Continue reading

When Travel Suppliers Look The Same – Beware!

This post continues the thread from “Deciding How to Decide”.  Here, I deal with the common case of having to choose from suppliers that seem comparable on non-price dimensions.

One of the things that makes sourcing the travel category unique is the need to factor in traveler behavior.  Therein lies the key to selecting a winning bid from suppliers who look the same.

Let’s assume that you have a set of bids from a variety of suppliers, and that you don’t see much difference among them on the relevant quality dimensions.  That leaves you free to focus on price as the deciding factor, right?  Of course not…you know it’s never as simple as that. Here’s what you should do: Continue reading

Deciding How to Decide

This post continues the thread “Why Travel Disses Procurement…And What To Do About It“. In that post I explained why procurement has a bad reputation among many (not all!) travel managers, and two steps that will help travel managers overcome this problem.  This post describes the third step.

Get Your Flu Shot

This third step is a lot like getting kids to take their flu shots.  Continue reading

Sustainable Travel: Case Study

How does sustainable travel relate to travel procurement? Airline emissions of CO2 account for about 3% of global CO2 output.  Not the biggest emitting industry, but a very visible one.  Many companies are taking a closer look at what they – and their suppliers – are doing to reduce carbon emissions.  Travel is a topic that comes quickly to mind.

The question is how can you keep people on the road but have a positive impact on your CO2 reduction goals? Here’s one answer: Continue reading

Travel Data 101 (part 4): Travel Analytics

Today we’ll look at data reporting’s sexy cousin, analytics.  Well, “sexy” may be a stretch, but my point is that data reporting is not very interesting, while good analytics can make you say “Wow – look at that!”

Travel category managers can be overwhelmed by all the data available to them.  Data reporting tools are necessary, but they typically produce “dumb” data.  By dumb, I mean Continue reading