November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Principles the same for all companies
Data transparency is the key to successful travel management, Lutz Stammnitz, award winning travel manager for Siemens, said today (March 12).
It gave a benchmark to show how they were performing, he said in a keynote speech at the Business Travel Days Forum at ITB Berlin.
Mr Stammnitz, voted Germany's travel manager of the year this year, said that the principles of travel management were the same whether it was for a global company like Siemens with an annual spend of €1.2bn or for a company with 500 staff.
Among the strategic needs of travel management were preferred suppliers, the use of a company credit, a travel policy which staff complied to and constant communications with travellers.
"We are now hopeful of coming to terms with a quarterly report which we can not have with a price index. The report is a way we can have a clear benchmarking to see if our performance has improved or deteriorated," he told about 100 delegates.
He said key performance indicators (KPI) were important to these reports as they indicated where savings were being made.
Data transparency and KPIs gave better control, he said.
He said it was also important that staff complied with company travel policy because if they did not, there would be less data to assess.
"There are certain people who would prefer to use their private Visa card because they get credit points. But they don't put the data in if they don't comply with company policy," he said.
"The need for communication is vital. If you are not capable of getting the message across and people go outside the policy, then the suppliers can't deliver the required quality level."
Having full data also helped prevent travel bans, he said. "If you travel one day less, then there will be situation where you have fewer overnight stays but the same number of destinations.
"You can then convince your bosses that they don't have to have a travel ban. But your staff will have to understand that their compliance has a direct impact on their spend," Mr Stammnitz said.
He siad that transparency creates confidence and the senior executives would realise the impact on the corporation.
"You have to get your staff to understand why the different measures are taken. This is why we have quarterly reports. We want to know what has been saved.
"It does not make sense y to say everyone must save 20% across the board. The engineers may not be able to be subject to this and there might be departments which are not doing that well.
"But if you measure all regions and their conformity to your strategy you can tell how you are doing compared to your colleagues.
"We try to create transparency and we would not be successful if we did not create transparency," he said.