Procurement bosses are only spending 5 to 10 per cent of their time on travel, according to a report by hotel specialist HRS.
The report, which has been unveiled at the Business Travel Show in London, said a typical procurement professional spent fewer hours concentrating on their travel responsibilities because it was “less system-critical”.
“If the company’s core IT system doesn’t function it will be debilitating to a business in a way that perhaps travel will not be,” said HRS in its report The Best of Both Worlds.
“It is incredibly important for procurement professionals to have a good quality travel programme set up that keeps employees happy and ensures they are meeting their duty of care requirements, but once in place, procurement don’t want it to require a huge amount of day-to-day management.”
But HRS argued that there could be problems if relationships with travel suppliers were “left unattended or managed poorly” and this was a particular risk with hotel programmes.
Jon West, HRS’s managing director in the UK and Ireland, said: “Today’s procurement professional possesses a much broader range of skills, and plays a more strategic role within their business.
“Of course, one of their many responsibilities is travel - understandably something that they can often only commit a small amount of their time to.
“Many in procurement therefore outsource travel management to a travel partner such as a TMC.
“These partnerships generally work well, but the report illustrates that there are four key areas that procurement professionals need to regularly monitor to ensure they are working as smartly as possible.”
West added that the key questions include: are they getting the right price, are they getting the right hotels, is their payment solution simple and are they getting the best advice?
The report was compiled following interviews with 20 UK-based procurement directors.