17 November 2005 | Anusha Bradley
Travel purchasers and managers must sell the benefits of online self-booking tools to internal staff if they are to achieve real cost savings.
That was the advice from senior buyers at the Association of Corporate Travel Executives conference in London last month.
Philippe Darson, associate director of corporate travel services for pharmaceutical firm Bristol-Myers Squibb, which adopted self-booking last year, said communication was key.
Richard Darley, European travel manager at pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly, agreed. "An internal marketing campaign is crucial," he said.
Eli Lilly, whose UK operation spends £5 million a year on air travel, put fliers on desks and posters in staff bathrooms to stress the benefits.
It implemented self-booking in five countries last year. UK staff achieved Lilly's 50 per cent adoption rate target in the first 12 months, with average savings of £68 a ticket.