By Kevin Iwamoto, Senior Consultant
The results are in! Thanks to the many respondents as promised here’s the top 3 highlights of the SMMP survey. To get a copy of the final whitepaper on the findings, please click here and we will forward you a copy of the whitepaper and full survey results which we are planning on releasing at GBTA in Denver.
- State of SMMP
At least 74% of respondents claim they have fully and partially launched a SMMP within their corporation. This is in close rage with other recent surveys conducted by GBTA, MPI and other associations and suppliers. SMMP has crossed the line into mainstream corporate strategies, especially in North America. Our survey results mirrored what has been stated and is further supported by the growing amount of ancillary businesses and industry positions centered around people with knowledge and experience of SMMP.
- Global SMMP
Over 46% of companies surveyed claimed to have a global program. Of those, the majority (63%) have launched in 1 to 10 countries. This number is slightly higher than other recent industry surveys, but not surprising given the economic and financial pressures that many countries, particularly those in the European Union, are currently experiencing. The addition of the recent Brexit decision will only further exacerbate the challenging economic pressures that European-based companies face. With Brexit, UK based companies will need to examine every part of the operational expenses to gain efficiencies to weather the transition to an independent economy, and meetings and events spend is the final frontier of travel related corporate expenses. Marketing expenses will also be under review and is long overdue for a similar process and sourcing review, where SMMP can be used to facilitate any changes and to reduce costs.
- Combining transient program and SMMP spend to improve supplier negotiations
Roughly 70% of respondents indicated they were planning to combine both buckets of spend to improve their positions on increasingly tougher negotiations with hotel suppliers. This is in alignment with the recent survey study conducted by the GBTA Foundation. In an already tough negotiation marketplace where demand is surpassing supply, further exacerbated by the continuing trend towards hotel chain consolidations, the consolidation and aggregation of spend data becomes increasingly critical to achieve savings goals and targets.
In summary, the survey results indicate an increasing number of corporate SMMPs are growing in scope and facing program maturity challenges. The top SMMP challenges range from continued decentralization, aversion to change management required to successfully deploy SMMP, and a lack of senior executive support. These challenges, while real, are not insurmountable. Over time the global economic forces will require a deeper dive on corporate expenses, and SMMP champions should leverage that opportunity to gain leadership support to circumvent the decentralization and aversion to change management.
If that sounds like it’s too good to be true, consider that 6 years ago the oil and energy sector felt they didn’t need SMMP for cost containment. Fast forward to the present and almost all of the major and second tier oil and energy companies are launching or have launched a SMMP.
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