As sophisticated travel buyers continue their pursuit of best in class travel management, GoldSpring provides the following considerations for building that future. We recently polled our team here at GoldSpring and asked about the issues that are top of mind for clients today. Here are the top concerns and our recommendations.
Current Tech Stack: Assess the current tech stack to ensure the right technology delivers the right results at the right price –– all optimized to meet buyer goals rather than supplier goals.
TMC & Third-Party: Understand the right balance between TMC technologies and third-party offerings –– what is off-limits, what is in play and what can be interchanged to meet program goals.
Technology Strategies: Consider what creates a better system overall and encompasses traveler engagement, supplier management, policy management, integration of micro-services, etc. to culminate in best-case-scenario cost management.
Travel Services/Chat: Consider solutions where the phone call becomes the exception because of preference, not because of travel policy. This will drastically change buyer behaviors, supplier pricing, and negotiated agreements.
Trends vs. Fads: Separate the trends from the fads to ensure products have a lasting shelf life and ROI on implementation is achieved.
Third-Party Assistance: Consider third-party implementation assistance or audits to ensure program goals are prioritized and aligned with each supplier (TMC, OBT, tech providers, etc.). As technology, NDC, and micro-services become more commonplace and complexity abounds, buyers need to closely monitor implementation and rollout.
Service Configurations: Analyze current and potential service configurations. Is local vs. regional vs. follow the sun the right solution to meet the organizational goals? How does the traveler experience vary? How are supplier discounts managed, offered, and reported?
Full Content: Achieve full content (aggregation, display, pricing, and reporting) to build confidence in the travel management system, integrity of negotiated supplier pricing, simplify purchasing, enable competitive shopping, grow policy compliance, and report on choices made and not made for future strategy adjustments.
New Distribution Capability (NDC) Strategy: Ensure distribution strategy is available and is as automated as possible with the designated TMC. This will allow clients to fairly determine the value of the direct supplier versus traditional channels.
NDC Commercial Incentives/Costs: The industry is offering both incentives and costs for NDC. Be prepared to engage in whichever offers the best overall value proposition (policy compliance, bundled inclusions/exclusions, traveler convenience, etc.)
Measuring Costs: Costs will always be a high focus item, so ensure market opportunities are easily quantifiable, both within current policy and in scenario modeling.
Traveler Compliance: Growing traveler compliance continues to hold more savings potential than supplier contract negotiations, so enable travelers to make better decisions to achieve the desired outcomes via timely messaging, incentives, etc. –– all within company parameters of course.
DATA & REPORTING
Data Visibility: Get the complete data picture and define a true north, with a holistic approach that captures data on booked, ticketed, purchased, changed, and expensed transactions, regardless of channel.
Off-Channel Bookings: Get insight on shared economy suppliers, travel suppliers offering personal incentives to travelers, airport kiosk offers and hotel front desk offers. These are a few of the many purchases that may not flow through preferred channels.
THE TRAVELER EXPERIENCE
Traveler Experience: Consider which suppliers and what products should be offered to keep employees in the right channel with the right service delivery.
Traveler Analytics: Measure traveler type, purchasing choices, supplier loyalty engagement and compliance achieved –– all by channel to support company-wide strategies.