I’m surprised that two of these posts don’t relate directly to travel procurement (“Trippy…” and “Future Innovations…”). You’re saying it’s OK to cast a wider net in terms of topics. Cool. I’ll continue to bring in this type of content from time to time. What else would you like to see here?
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 →
Good data is one of the two must-haves in any successful travel sourcing project. (The other is effective people, but that’s another story). The question here is how do you go from acquiring your travel data and scrubbing it, to getting good data reporting? The answer is that it depends a lot on your data reporting tool (click here for a list of the better-known travel data reporting firms). Here’s what you need to look for:
Consolidation: You want to store your travel agency booking data with your corporate credit card and expense reporting data. Your data tool should be able to acquire data from just about any travel agency’s back-office program, any corporate credit card file and any expense reporting tool. The more automated these handoffs, the lower the cost for you.
Let’s assume that you’ve collected all your travel data – now what? Just like with your other categories, you now have to scrub the data before it’s ready for your sourcing project. These two generic rules shouldn’t surprise you:
Discard abnormal values. Your sourcing data is the basis for representing your future purchase patterns. Throw out the $35,000 plane tickets, the $300 per day car rentals, and the $1,800 per night hotel stays. While these may be fine audit items, they don’t belong in your sourcing data.
Embrace the 80/20 rule. Travel data sets have very long tails…lots and lots of very small purchases in obscure places. These purchases are of no value to your negotiations, so trim the small stuff from your spend files. It makes the analysis much easier and the negotiations more relevant.
Here’s what you need to know about scrubbing Airline, Hotel and Rental Car data: Continue reading →
Sourcing the travel category is the same as most other procurement categories – you need to start with good spend data. The trick with travel data is knowing where to get it and how to use it. Let’s start by dividing the travel category into its major food groups: airlines (or just “air”), hotels and rental car. These sub-categories each have different places to get useful sourcing data. For the impatient reader:
For airline spend – get it from your firm’s travel management company (TMC, a.k.a. travel agency)
For hotel spend – use a combination of your firm’s TMC booking data and your corporate card data
We had a great CCTE session at the NBTA conference this week. Many thanks to Roger Hale and his terrific staff from AdTrav, who sponsored and helped facilitate the workshop. Fifty-five folks contributed to an engaging day-long session. We covered a lot of ground, all related to travel procurement and getting senior management support for stronger travel policies.
You can see or download the slides we used here: Part 1 and Part 2. Each file is in PowerPoint 2003, and each is nearly 8MB in size.