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17 May 2013 | Adam Leach
The majority of travel buyers do not have systems in place to collect feedback from travellers, even though almost three-quarters believe it is important when it comes to supplier selection.
A Supply Management survey found most travel purchasers place a high level of value on traveller feedback, with 64 per cent of respondents identifying it as ‘important’, and 11 per cent as ‘very important’. But despite this level of significance, just 36 per cent of the same respondents said they had put in place a system to capture these views.
Speaking to SM about the findings, Paul Tilstone, senior vice president of global operations at the Global Business Travel Association, said: “The figures are pretty surprising and I think highlight an area that those responsible for procurement of the travel category should consider carefully.”
He also suggested the results indicated feedback had become devalued over the past decade. “If you had asked a sample of travel managers 10 years ago I also suspect the response would have been higher, as traveller surveys certainly used to be pretty standard,” he said.
The survey also revealed just 20 per cent of buyers are using mobile tools to monitor or manage spend and only 4 per cent are using social media to track this.
There was correlation between the buyers’ top frustration – lack of traveller adherence to policies and processes – and the main area where purchasers thought they could save money in the year ahead, which was by increasing compliance.
Some 69 per cent of respondents have implemented online booking processes to manage travel, while payment cards and video conferencing also proved popular, adopted by 47 per cent and 46 per cent respectively. Apps to manage expenses are being used by 19 per cent.
The survey, conducted in association with AirPlus, was completed by 70 travel purchasers, more than half of which spend more than £1 million a year on travel.