16 November 2007 | Paul Snell
Procurement's involvement in buying business travel is reaching a peak, according to research.
A report, published by the Aberdeen Group, which surveyed 370 firms worldwide, found some organisations have just under 90 per cent of their firm's business travel and entertainment spend under their control.
Some 77 per cent of buyers source rental cars, the same number book hotels and 72 per cent buy airline seats either currently or will do within the next year.
More than two-thirds of firms have saved money by letting procurement take control of business travel spend. And over half said it had improved compliance with travel policy and the use of preferred suppliers.
But the study also found that most firms do not have a sustainable travel policy - only 14 per cent did. And 31 per cent have one "in progress". Increased use of web conferencing and reducing the number of trips taken were the most popular changes. Some 26 per cent plan to evaluate suppliers on sustainability criteria.
Aberdeen said firms should improve the way they collect and manage travel data and ensure service level agreements are established with suppliers.