Turning the Open Booking Lights On

Lights Off, Lights OnGood debates require good definitions.  The polarizing phrase “Open Booking” is a case in point.  It has at least two very different meanings.

A popular interpretation of Open Booking has travelers booking outside the approved corporate channel, with no responsibility to get their booking data back to their company. This is truly “rogue” booking behavior.

Rogue bookings undermine a travel program’s ability to manage duty of care, and to collect important information in a timely manner.  The travel manager is very much in the dark about these travelers and their spend.  Call this “Open Booking, Lights Off”.

The less understood version of Open Booking comes from the principles of Managed Travel 2.0  Specifically, the one that says “Let travelers book anywhere – so long as the company gets the data quickly.”

It’s that last phrase that requires the booking be done in  such a way that the company gets timely visibility of the booking.  Call this “Open Booking, Lights On”.

Some 40-50% of corporate hotel bookings are done in the dark.  That’s a big black hole of spend and traveler location data.  This black hole isn’t being resolved by traditional means.

How is failing to address this well-known and persistent  problem not a dereliction of duty of care?

Travel managers must find a way to turn bright lights on to this problem.  It’s a question of how, not why.

Want articles like these delivered to you by e-mail?  Sign up here.  It’s free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Learn, Network and Vote at GBTA’s Convention

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

The Rise of Managed Travel 2.0

Third in a series on Managed Travel 2.0

Creativity is often born from conflict.

For two decades, modern travel management has preached the virtues of travel policy compliance, use of preferred suppliers, and booking through the proper channels.

See GE’s description of its global travel program as Exhibit A.  It’s six sigma production line thinking at its best.  It’s the pursuit of travel program optimization via the logic of travel management.

But that policy-first approach frustrates travelers who have access to plenty of good consumer travel tools, who know the value of their time and their trips, and have no problem staying within their travel budget. For them, it’s all about the art of traveling.

Michael Tangney, Google’s travel program manager, gets credit for pioneering a new approach in 2008. Give travelers a target airfare.  If they book 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.

Want articles like these delivered to you by e-mail?  Follow this blog here.  It’s free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

GBTA Prezos: Hit 1 Home Run, Struck 2 Nerves

Evan Konwiser and I presented the “Managed Travel 2.0” session at GBTA’s Global Convention last month.  The presentation was well received – lots of good discussion in the session, and after, about the implications of this form of travel management.

Here’s the deck we used, and here’s a good recap of the Managed Travel 2.0 session.  Look for a few more posts in the near future about some of the key points we made.

The next day I presented “Innovation in Travel”.  As promised, I took a critical view of the innovative track record in our industry.  Those views weren’t fully appreciated by some in the audience, predictably from the TMC and GDS camps.

Fair enough.  Innovation is to some extent a matter of opinion.  Here’s the deck I used to stir the innovation flames a bit. Thanks much to GBTA for the opportunity to speak about these important issues.

If you attended either session, what did you think?

Want articles like these delivered to you by e-mail?  Follow this blog here.  It’s free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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

Want articles like these delivered to you by e-mail?  Follow this blog here.  It’s free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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