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

Why Travel Disses Procurement…

… And What To Do About It.

As promised in “Travel Procurement’s Fighting Words”, here are my thoughts on why procurement has a bad rap in the travel management community, and what each side should do to get along better.  First, the Why, then the What To Do. (Beware –  this is a long post, so you might need a fresh cup of coffee to get through it, and it ends with a teaser for an upcoming post.  Now back to the original program)

Why the bad rap on procurement? It usually comes down to either fear or a bad experience on the part of the travel manager. Let’s start with the bad experience, since this is the hardest one to overcome. Continue reading

Travel Procurement’s Fighting Words

Anybody out there looking to pick a fight about the role of procurement in the travel category?  I found this post on, an active forum for topics related to the business of travel.

Holly Hegeman, who closely tracks the airline industry on her well-respected site Plane Business, made this comment:

Oh and the procurement method of purchasing travel? If your company is still doing it — you need a new CFO.(Her full post is here)

My response is copied below, and yes, I defended procurement’s role and capabilities.  But the more important question is this: Why does procurement get a bad rap when it comes near the travel category?

I’ll gather my thoughts next week.  (Update: See them here) Meanwhile, what are yours? Continue reading

Tyco’s Travel X-Factors: C-Support, Communication

As readers know, Tyco International won Purchasing Magazine’s Medal of Professional Excellence last week.  I spoke with Rose Speckmann, Tyco’s Director of Global Travel, to learn more about her success factors.

The situation was that Tyco’s travel spend shrank by about 65% due to divestitures.  Tyco’s CPO, Shelley Stewart, challenged his supply chain organization to deliver savings despite the loss of buying power.

Rose initiated a three-pronged approach.  One focused on reviewing the contracts with all major travel suppliers; another focused on demand management and usage of video conferencing. (See more details here from’s article.)

The third prong was all about compliance and communication.  Early on, Rose’s boss, VP of Supply Chain Management Jaime Bohnke, used a monthly President’s Roundtable to Continue reading