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13 October 2013 | Andrew Pring
Revenue production and not cost savings will be the future measurement of success for travel procurement professionals, said a business travel expert at the CIPS Annual Conference.
Andy Grodecki, manager industry affairs the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC), predicted companies will be looking to their travel procurement team for a greater emphasis on risk management than on cash flow and cost control. He said a recent CFO survey carried out by the GTMC revealed a more optimistic business outlook than for years and said travel buyers should rethink their corporate travel policies in the light of the positive economic prospects.
“Too many times we have seen travel policies become ineffectual because they have been based on estimates that are too low – they need to get real. But it’s also important for companies to be honest with their estimations of the business they can put the way of hotels and airports.”
Grodecki claimed that for every £1 spent on business travel, a company will benefit by a twelve-fold sales increase. And he predicted business travel will become less commoditised in the future, with companies buying travel in the way cars are specified and purchased.
Nicola Lomas, chairman of the Institute of Travel & Meetings and director of corporate travel services at Omnicom Group, agreed the recovering economy will affect the way travel is procured, with staff becoming less willing to endure personal inconvenience on behalf of their company as they may have done during the recession.
Lomas said she was unconvinced by the new trend in travel buying known as ‘Travel 2.0’, which allows individual staff to make their own travel arrangements within certain company parameters. “Google have been leading the way with this, on the basis that they are on screen all day and will be able to find the best deal for them. However, to me this is just in-sourcing which requires a lot of monitoring and offers no incremental cost savings.”