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

Why Ancillary Revenues Don’t Much Matter

Let’s cut to the nub of this issue.  No one will  ever know for sure if ancillary revenues make airlines more profitable.  There are just too many moving parts in an airline’s  revenue stream.  Sure, airlines may report an extra billion dollars in ancillary revenue (AR, from here on) – but what did fares do?

If fares went down, then maybe the extra AR revenue Continue reading

Social Scanning, Fuzzy Shopping and More Travel Innovations

**Update: The four finalists are noted below in bold purple text.**

The Phocuswright Travel Innovation Summit showcased 34 firms yesterday. Each has an interesting new angle on some aspect of the travel business. For me, the firms in the social scanning and fuzzy shopping categories were the most intriguing.  See this post for my take on the implications for travel procurement. Continue reading

Top 5 Posts – Last 40 Days

Here are the five most popular posts on this blog from the last 40 days:

  1. Trippy – Tomorrow’s Biz Trip Planning Tool? (Trippy is a mash-up of Google Wave, Google Maps and Lonely Planet content)
  2. Travel 101 (a 4-minute video introduction to the travel category, and four posts covering Travel Data 101)
  3. Travel Procurement’s Fighting Words (started by a slam against using procurement principles in the travel category)
  4. Future Innovations in Airline Distribution – Condensed (a summary of problems and  innovations needed in the airline distribution channel)
  5. Why Travel Disses Procurement (explains the friction found between travel and procurement staffs and what to do about it)

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?

5 Sticks for Higher Travel Policy Compliance

Seems everybody’s looking to increase their savings in the travel category these days. If you’re sourcing travel, you know how important it is that travelers comply with your firm’s travel policies.  It is essential that they buy travel from your preferred suppliers.   This is the key to getting and keeping good discounts.

The question many firms consider is whether they’ll get higher compliance by using sticks or carrots.  Most come down on the side of sticks.  I’ll write about the kinder, gentler carrots in the near future.

Here are five travel policy compliance “sticks”, from lightest to heaviest:

  1. Internal benchmarking of 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

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

Tyco Wins Procurement Honors

Tyco International ($20 B revenues; TYC) yesterday earned Purchasing Magazine‘s highest honor, the Medal of Professional ExcellencePaul Teague, Editor in Chief, covers the path to excellence taken by Tyco’s procurement team in this in-depth and insightful article.  It’s must reading for any procurement executive.

Did the travel category get mentioned?  Absolutely! Susan Avery gives this in-depth account of how travel’s big challenges were met with textbook collaboration and strong senior management support.  Rose Speckmann, Tyco’s director of global travel, led a sprawling multi-national effort to integrate and improve Tyco’s travel supplier contracts in all sub-categories. In addition to global sourcing, Rose led efforts to increase the use of video conferencing and improve traveler security.

This is a classic success story achieved in a turbulent corporate environment.  Congratulations to Rose and her team for achieving success and helping Tyco win the Medal!