Change is in the Air, According to Our Survey Results

By Julie Simpson, Senior Consultant

Thanks to all who participated in our “Appetite for Change” survey last month.  Overall, the results were not surprising to our team, as we have noted more of a willingness by our clients to make changes. Maybe it is a sign of the times, but the days of decade long relationships seems fewer and farther between. In light of this, let’s take a look at some of the results:

Only 15% of respondents have not made a change over five years, while 36% have made recent changes – within six months or less.  The largest group, at 32%, have made a change in the past 1-3 years.

As previously mentioned, it seems companies are more willing to make changes looking forward. Forty-one percent of those responding are extremely likely or likely to make a change in the next six months, while 26% may or may not.  Only 32% are unlikely or extremely unlikely to make a change soon.

So what is bringing about change?  We asked that question and the results were:

It is interesting to note that only 13% are looking to make a change because of dissatisfaction with their current supplier.  The main driver behind exploring other options is an open mind about exploring other options.   This makes sense as today’s travel manager is accustomed to change – it is the new norm and no longer avoided because of risk or extra effort.  Those hose selecting “other” included reasons such as company mergers, the need for better pricing, new capabilities, new market entries, or simply time for a shake up.

So which suppliers are subject to change?  All of them.  Surprisingly, the airlines outrank all others – no doubt a result of the changing landscape due to mergers and the acceptance of low-cost airlines in corporate programs. Still, no supplier is exempt.

In summary, suppliers should expect more RFI, RFQ, and/or RFP requests moving forward (to learn more about the difference between each, click here). As for travel mangers, the pace of change is likely to stay the same, if not increase, over time. Efforts on both sides of the equation will ensure each time the appetite for change arises within the organization, the process is fair, as transparent as possible, and ultimately, mutually beneficial.

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