In travel buyers, we do not (entirely) trust

15 December 2006
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15 December 2006 | Paul Snell

More than a quarter of travel organisations do not give potential suppliers a complete picture of their operations when inviting them to bid for work, a survey has claimed.

The research conducted by the Institute of Travel Management, also found that around 60 per cent of suppliers believed buyers were not providing the full facts about their firm's travel programmes.

Paul Tilstone, executive director of the ITM, said: "No one is suggesting that buyers mislead suppliers on purpose, but buyers need to be more diligent in their calculations and more open about the deficiencies in managing their travel programmes."

Half of buyers are not doing enough to support suppliers once a contract has been put in place, according to the survey. Suppliers criticised buyers for treating travel buying in the same way that they would purchase commodities, such as stationery or fleet. The ITM warned that buyers are not taking enough time after the negotiation to ensure objectives they have set are achieved. It suggested that buyers follow the approach used in sales and introduce contract managers to look after travel contracts.

"Procurement has finally begun to understand that buying travel is not a simple case of negotiations and contracting of a commodity," Tilstone said. "Rather it is an ongoing programme of relationship, change management and effective communication."

SMdec2006

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