Reducing Corporate Travel Costs in a Challenging Economy

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In challenging economic times, corporations have to keep a more stringent hold on costs, and one of the key areas where cost-saving strategies can have maximum impact is in travel and entertainment (T&E). Amadeus has done extensive research to better understand how corporations manage their travel activities and propose recommendations to optimise the T&E budget.

Given the current market situation, T&E Policy is the key area for achieving cost savings. It is important that travel managers enforce strict compliancy of the company’s travel policy and subsequently monitoring the necessary KPIs. T&E Policies should be effectively communicated to travellers, use of best fares enforced and business class flights offered only to selected management tiers.

Although procurement is no longer the main source of savings, travel managers still need to maximise discounts, especially for air tickets, which account for a large part of total T&E expenditure, but should not dedicate too much time to this.

Using online booking tools (OBTs) could be a key driver for reducing T&E costs. In order to have visibility on all bookings, an online request tool is recommended. These online request tools are used to access the OBT and are an effective way for travel managers to enforce travel policy and encourage early bookings.

Any simplification of expense management would generate considerable savings for corporations. The use of mandatory corporate credit cards linked to expense systems is the easiest way to save time in expense reporting and improve efficiency.

The integration of back office, OBT and expense management systems would simplify the administration of the central billing function, achieving important time savings. Measuring and reporting is essential to establishing the corporation’s total travel activity and controlling the achievement of travel management’s goals.

Importantly, travel managers need to have a clear strategy on how to achieve the expected savings. A lack of visibility of the whole picture of travel activity in corporations makes it difficult for travel managers to set, enforce and measure a T&E management strategy. Travel managers need to build strong relationships with their CFOs so that they are empowered to implement potential improvements to the company’s travel activity.

Santiago Jimenez

Director, Sub-Saharan Africa

Amadeus

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