You travel managers have very challenging jobs. You also have two very stark career paths in front of you. Let’s start with where you’re at today:
You’re managing a complicated and ever-changing mix of problems. One hour it’s all about traveler service issues, the next it’s a rash of technology speed bumps, followed by constant demands for reporting cost savings.
You get sucked into endless supplier meetings, do your best to reconcile messy data points, and pray that the new travel policy proposal gets past the latest stakeholder review checkpoint – all while trying to stay on top of 200 e-mails a day. There’s more, but this makes the point.
A big tip of the hat, folks – you’re doing important work across a variety of disciplines, with many stakeholders ready and willing to critique your results. It’s a pretty unique job in many ways, and chances are good that you enjoy most of it.
But you need to ask what’s the future for a travel manager. What type of role will you hold in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years? Will ever-more automation and ever-better analytics put your current job to pasture? Continue reading
You road warriors are a hardy bunch, aren’t you?
You spend over a hundred hours a year on planes, take trips on short notice, cross too many time zones, lose sleep, gain weight, get up way early and come home late, and give up more than your share of weekends.
All while being squeezed by travel policies that leave you shaking your head, wondering if the people who approved these policies really, truly understand how hard it is to be a heavy-duty road warrior.
The Travel Friction Concept
Let’s call all this wear and tear you’re taking on “travel friction“. You get it, right? The more trips you take, the tougher those trips are, the more you get burned out by being on the road.
Fun fact: Real road warriors, those in the top 10% of all travelers, absorb Continue reading
Road warriors are a hardy bunch. tClara’s data on more than 100,000 travelers shows that each month road warriors often spend more than ten nights away from home, and spend more than 30 hours on planes. Month after month, that adds up to a lot of wear and tear.
Most road warriors can handle it – for a while. But sooner or later, all that travel-related wear and tear (aka traveler friction) builds up, and then the traveler burns out.
Burning out a road warrior is incredibly expensive, especially if the traveler is on the road producing revenue or serving high-value customers. So it makes sense to look hard at what causes traveler friction, how it impacts a business, and what should done about it.
Benchmarking Traveler Friction’s 3 Key Drivers
It’s a simple equation:
Traveler Friction = Trip Quantity x (Travel Footprint + Trip Discomfort)
tClara has applied its patent-pending Trip Friction™ algorithm to over 500,000 trips from 100,000 travelers around the globe. This means that firms can now objectively understand what their travelers are experiencing.
Second in a series on Managed Travel 2.0 based on my keynote speech at the Beat Live.
Travel program optimization. It sounds so desirable, doesn’t it? A worthy goal. A complicated process. A successful achievement.
“Program optimization” is a phrase deeply embedded in every TMC sales pitch. It’s a phrase that travel managers put at the top of their strategic goals.
It’s a phrase that’s nothing more than a convenient fiction. Convenient because we really want to believe it can be delivered. Fiction because it can’t. At least not in the way we usually think about it.
TMCs and Travel Managers Don’t Have the Full Picture
Here’s the optimization problem: Companies want to get the most value from their travel spend. That means maximizing the gap between a trip’s expected value and it’s total cost. A trip’s total cost is the sum of the trip’s expense plus the cost of the trip’s traveler friction.
So now we see the source of the fiction. TMCs and travel/procurement managers don’t know two key pieces of the puzzle. They don’t know the trip’s Continue reading
This series is based on my keynote speech given at the Beat Live.
Traveler Friction Costs Offset Program Savings
Traveler Friction vs Travel Policies
Travel programs depend on travel policies for savings. See how the blue line curves down, just like we expect? Travel policies reduce the cost of a trip. Good to know, right?
But as you increase the strength of that travel policy, you create costs.
Costs we’ll call “traveler friction”. That’s the red curve in the chart above.
Traveler friction comes in the form of Continue reading