Merel van der Pijl is category procurement buyer professional services at dairy good firm FrieslandCampina. Travel buyers can hear more advice on how to save money and add value in a travel programme during her session at Business Travel Summit Amsterdam.
What's your number one tip to buyers when it comes to saving costs?
The best tip for buyers to save money is for employees not to travel and invest in technology that works accordingly. However, you cannot stop travel and, therefore, the second-best tip is to invest in online solutions. Booking business travel should be as simple as booking a holiday. Business travel doesn't have to be more complex and it will save a lot of money once the right tool is in place. It is very easy to still call or mail TMCs but that comes with a price.
What's the biggest challenge facing buyers now and why?
It is still difficult to get a complete travel programme in place. What do you add to the programme? Do you only travel across borders or is travel also when you travel from office to office?
What's the biggest opportunity buyers should be taking advantage of and why?
The travel industry is changing rapidly at the moment. The environment is shifting towards an online world and TMCs are getting more and more online driven. It is wise to check your TMC and see if they are still operating as economically as possible.