8 April 2009 | Jake Kanter
Making savings on business travel is "significantly enhanced" by the involvement of procurement professionals, according to a poll by American Express Business Travel
The survey of 241 US firms, released at the Association of Corporate Travel Executives Global Conference in Washington yesterday, revealed that 75 per cent have turned to purchasing to "tighten up" their business travel policy.
Popular improvement strategies carried out by buyers last year included managing demand for travel services, mandating the use of preferred suppliers and implementing pre-trip notification and approval programmes.
The report found that 68 per cent of the respondents saved between 5 and 15 per cent on business travel by applying procurement techniques. Nearly 80 per cent expected cost reductions of up to 20 per cent this year.
Some 55 per cent of the companies said securing a high level of service from suppliers was equally important as containing costs.
The survey also noted an increased effort to quantify and measure supplier performance.
"Procurement practices, which now include compliance and demand management, are an effective complement to traditional savings efforts," said Frank Schnur, vice-president, Global Advisory Services, American Express Business Travel. "The survey results underscore the continued success of these tactics."