Consolidation in corporate travel
Regional and multinational travel management is a moving feast - with multiple travellers across multiple destinations and an array of needs and expenses.
How well does your company track and control these costs? And do you check your performance regularly, to know whether your travel is becoming smarter and more cost efficient?
Consolidation brings all the pieces of your business travel together, to achieve work efficiencies at every stage of the travel process. At FCm Travel Solutions, we arm you with a single and consistent approach to your travel management, and one central point of contact for your entire program.
Consolidating your travel gives you better insight, data and control to leverage the savings. With a focus on policy management and reporting, consolidation drives accountability and results by allowing you to monitor performance across three areas:
- your company's internal travel patterns and improvements, which can be measured through tools such as policy compliance and exception reporting
- the performance of FCm Travel Solutions (or your travel management company) against agreed KPIs and the savings being negotiated for you
- the performance and suitability of your travel suppliers, which can be tracked through measures such as scorecards, rate auditing and rate loading.
In addition to these measurable outcomes, consolidating your data improves your travel risk management program by having centrally located information to track any travellers.
A journey of discovery, change and maintenance
Effective consolidation hinges on your commitment to a change management plan that aligns your corporate travel culture with your goals. It therefore does not occur within weeks or months, but rather as a more comprehensive strategic plan. While consolidation itself can be achieved within six months, leveraging its full opportunities is a three-year process encompassing three key phases.
Year 1 - Discovery
The first year of a travel management program is about discovery. During this phase, FCm works very closely with your business to focus on:
- finalising the implementation of your program through consolidation of TMC services with FCm
- delivering service consistency
- reviewing and improving your booking processes, payment procedures, travel policy interpretation and compliance
- ensuring your satisfaction, and (if applicable) reviewing your program consolidation and specifically looking at your early airline and hotel expenditure trends.
Your involvement in this phase is imperative, as it helps to fully exploit the opportunities of consolidation. Working closely with you, we may be able to unearth poor policy compliance and booking behaviour. We may also identify cultural issues, leakage or the spread of spend across numerous suppliers, both of which can substantially - and unnecessarily - increase your costs. To monitor your satisfaction, FCm conducts a post-implementation survey three months after your final country goes 'live'. Where timing allows, we also conduct an annual customer service survey to identify areas for mutually beneficial change from both FCm and your business.
At each quarterly review and at the end of your first year, your program performance is measured to ensure your travel volumes are in sync with your initial forecasts.
Year 2 - Visibility and measured change
As travel patterns emerge quarter on quarter, consolidation in the second year of a travel program is achieved through strategic direction and planning.
FCm proactively identifies any opportunities for efficiency in your travel booking processes and self-booking tools. We also provide deep analysis of your travel trends and supplier deals across air, hotels, car, land content, meetings and events. With this approach, we put you in the most informed position to make the best changes to your travel policy.
These changes can then be measured and tracked using FCm's management information reporting (MIR) solutions. We identify options for non-travel opportunities based on transparency through MIR (eg. video/teleconferencing for internal meetings instead of same-day travel). Using our FCm Expense solution, we also identify operating inefficiences such as accounts payable.
During the second year, FCm continues to undertake an annual Travel Policy Analysis and benchmarking exercise to help improve your company's buying behaviour and savings. An Airline Opportunity Analysis is also often undertaken, focusing on the 80 per cent of volume and recommending local and multinational airline contracts. We recommend you enable our dedicated hotel specialists to procure your accommodation to negotiate competitive rates and generate further savings. By conducting our annual survey, we can develop a business strategy that is based on outcomes and focused on improvements for the year ahead.
FCm not only conducts an annual review of our contract trading terms, multinational account management and financials, but also encourages each FCm country team to review their SLA in conjunction with your local office.
Year 3+ - Fine tuning and maintenance
In the third year and beyond, our focus is on maintaining your savings and satisfaction, while continuing to benchmark the effectiveness of your travel program against similar clients. This approach helps ensure your business is travelling at optimum performance, while considering any external influences within markets - or across the industry - that can affect your travel procurement.
During this phase FCm also continues to conduct airline and hotel opportunity analyses to drive savings and compliance. We review your booking procedures and maximise opportunities for automation and cost efficiencies. And finally, we conduct our annual survey with you so we can develop the best action plans for the road ahead.
Fast-tracking your consolidation
Consolidation of your corporate travel can be achieved within six months, however, it relies on the implementation of a robust change management plan at the outset, and 100% engagement of your regional travel manager with the FCm account manager.
Other factors that can impact how quickly your program improves include culture and industry developments. It is therefore wise, if you are aiming to fast-track consolidation, to allow additional time for factors that may be out of your control. With all aspects of consolidation, FCm is here to guide and advise you, and to offer as much practical and/or strategic support as you require.