Challenges facings business today are numerous and well-documented. They include, but are not limited to, the impact of the global financial crisis, a demand for cost savings, corporate data security, traveller safety and satisfaction.
At the same time, at HRG, we see that businesses are growing in confidence and are looking to travel more – often to developing and emerging markets. As such, they are seeking to mitigate the risks while magnifying the rewards of business travel. HRG’s three Cs for implementing an effective, viable and successful travel programme are:
First and foremost companies are looking to consolidate their travel programme with a single provider - this is essential for benchmarking and supplier negotiations, data management, tracking and controlling costs. The visibility of a company’s entire operation is crucial, especially as businesses become more connected and more mobile. The best results are achieved by addressing the entire spectrum of the traveller experience from booking right through to reimbursement.
Compliance has traditionally been about tightening travel polices – however this is another area where HRG is seeing significant change as a result of mobile technology and the unbundling of fares. Companies need to balance the desire to support travellers’ needs and preferences with the goals of the travel programme. A lack of compliance can lead to significant missed savings and an unsuccessful programme. It is important for businesses to look at improving traveller behaviour around the approval process, use of advance bookings and preferred suppliers, the hotel programme and the booking channel.
By consolidating their travel programme, businesses will see improved compliance, resulting in greater control and visibility over their travel related data. At the touch of a button, travel managers can see all of their travel related data in one place – making it significantly easier to fine-tune policies so that they better encourage traveller behaviour. At HRG we are seeing businesses increasingly working with us at a strategic level, calling on our expertise to initiate, shape and develop – rather than merely implement – best business travel policies.
This post was written by Ian Windsor, Managing Director – Europe North, HRG, who are exhibiting at the Business Travel Show on 4-5 February 2014. For more information please visit www.hrgworldwide.com and www.businesstravelshow.com