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It’s tough out there. Across the global corporate landscape, all eyes are focused on budgets—and it’s not just the finance team peering into the microscope. A new white paper—the joint work of CFO Europe Research Services and Amadeus—reveals that more than 60% of CFOs want to see improvements in the savings delivered by their corporate travel program.
So how can corporate travel managers help their CFOs manage their travel budgets more effectively?
The white paper, Cost Control and Beyond, offers several important insights. The report confirms finance views travel management primarily through a cost-control lens. And while controlling costs has always been important, it has moved front-and-center, as more corporate travel managers’ responsibilities are being transferred to procurement/financial managers.
Three ways to add value
In part two of our three-part series, we expand on three key actions travel managers can take to support their CFOs’ demands for improved travel cost management.
1. Invest in travel cost management.
While 60% of respondents believe managing travel costs is very important, less than half say their companies are doing it well. And despite its perceived importance, travel cost management has made a minimal impact on overall cost management at companies.
What you can do: Demonstrate immediate (current fiscal year) and longer-term (future) cost savings by introducing travel tools like online booking and automated travel expense reporting systems from Amadeus. Consider if travel services like Amadeus checkmytrip.com with feedback tools, security/incident alerts and mobile travel services will improve your return on investment (ROI).
2. Help employees manage their own travel better.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they wanted travel managers to help employees save time while on the road. And 45% want travel managers to recommend new ways to boost employee productivity when they book travel. At the same time, CFOs also agreed when it comes to customer-facing travel, quality is a must.
What you can do: Your CFO will be impressed if you can present an ROI that offers a single set of coherent travel data, i.e. information that increases the transparency and control of traveler spending. Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents agreed integrating travel management systems with expense management systems is important. As a result, you’ll gain powerful leverage by considering IT systems like Amadeus e-Travel Management that provide one cohesive view of travel across the whole company.
3. Embrace green alternatives.
More than half of the survey respondents said they lack a clear understanding of how environmentally-friendly programs benefit their business. However, some companies—particularly those that are highly regulated or have green reputations to uphold—have already taken these issues into account because their key stakeholders expect it.
What you can do: As environmental concerns become more critical, companies cannot afford to overlook the green agenda. Our report points to the need to become more accountable for CO2 emissions. Companies that tackle this issue may enjoy the added bonus of saving money. You might also consider replacing some travel with Web-based conferencing or other high-tech communication vehicles. However, these measures should never occur at the expense of alienating clients or undermining your company’s business position.
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