☛ Want the latest procurement and supply chain news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the Supply Management Daily
25 June 2014 | Gurjit Degun
Two out of three firms in Europe have a centralised travel procurement operation, compared with just one out of three in North America.
A study by Egencia added frequent travellers are more likely to make their own bookings, as are travellers from multinational organisations.
It also analysed how companies can optimise these different organisational models for cost-effectiveness and traveller satisfaction.
In terms of centralised procurement, Egencia said: “Companies may choose to focus on this category of bookers in their efforts to implement cost-saving initiatives. In Europe, arrangers provide a single point of reference with high impact for change management, policy enforcement and travel booking expertise.”
Egencia added in North America, multinational companies are completely decentralised. Europe has seen a similar trend as the study said the majority of companies with decentralised booking are "large multinational companies with a high number of travellers".
“This has led to an overall rate of self-booking of 50 per cent among travellers in Europe,” the report said. “These self-bookers also favour online booking over offline, but cancel their bookings only half as often as travel arrangers do.
“With a better idea of their own preferences and constraints, self-bookers can make the most of consumer-style corporate management solutions with full content, intelligent booking tools integrated over web and mobile devices and tailored customer service.”
Egencia predicted the self-booking model is “likely to gain more traction” in Europe as more companies in the region expand globally. “The new, digital generation of business travellers will also affect this trend,” the report added. “They will expect the same level of usability, choice and transparency in their business reservations as they get in the leisure market.
“As this generation increasingly moves into the workplace, this will naturally lead to more self-booking and companies should be poised to respond with solutions that will maximise this trend for savings and traveller satisfaction.”