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Categories: Special ReportManaging Travel Programs

Travelers in the Balance

In the first of a new series, industry consultant Scott Gillespie makes the case for a new travel program paradigm, and lays out a path for advancing your career

Frequent travelers are probably among your firm’s most valuable employees. They maintain strong relationships with customers and suppliers, they have knowledge and skills the company needs, and they have the drive to jump through the hoops we call travel.
But all that travel creates wear and tear on road warriors – “travel friction” – and you can quickly see the undesirable result: The burnout of your high-value frequent travelers. This has significant costs for the traveler, such as higher stress and increased risk to health and safety, but also in real dollars to the company through lower productivity and higher attrition and replacement costs.

The Transaction Cost Paradigm
For the past twenty years, corporate travel has been heavily influenced by procurement, which has led travel managers to adopt a transaction cost paradigm. The key goal is to reduce the price paid to travel suppliers. This in turn requires strict compliance to tight travel policies – the kind that may require an extra connecting flight, or an early morning departure, or an inconvenient hotel location.
All this focus on transaction cost gives suppliers little incentive to add value if it means raising prices, and it locks travel managers into a low-value future.

Managing Travel Programs

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