12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
A travel policy is the key driver of successful travel management, Andreas Erhard of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) said.
The TMC's director of global account management said a successful policy had to take in the culture of the company, the well being of its travellers, the savings that needed to be achieved and "ideally" it would benchmark best practice.
Mr Erhard was speaking at the joint ACTE/BATM Executive Forum held this week in Brussels and attended by more than 80 delegates.
He said a travel policy was one of several major “bullet points” which strategic account management had to cover.
The others were:
* transaction and operational services* technology* sourcing* data/performance measure* compliance and demand management * corporate social responsibility.
Mr Erhard said that of these, sourcing was one of the most important. "This is not just airline or hotel contracts but defining a whole sourcing strategy," he said.
"This is defining what you have to deliver and how it can be benchmarked."
But it also involved travel compliance, identifying "programme leakage" and why the traveller is not using the preferred suppliers and getting the balance right between negotiated rates and "best of the day" deals.
He said that demand management was now a buzz word with travel managers asking whether a trip was really necessary.
"This is a question of reducing travel by using alternatives like web or telephone conferencing. This is an up and coming topic," he said.
Another area of strategic account management was corporate social responsibility which included the well being of passengers, how to locate them in a crisis, risk management and the "hot topic" of the environment.
Mr Erhard said the role of the strategic account manager was like that a facilitator who is responsible for finding the right people and the right resources and using the right specialists and experts to fulfil the client's programme.
"It depends on where the strategic account manager is from. He might have a flair for IT or negotiations. But it is not the role of the strategic account manager to do it all on his own.
"He needs to know what tasks he has to tackle the client company's culture and then bring in his expert help," he said.