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Procurement Strategies to Try with Your Corporate Travel Program

procurement strategies for business travel

Travel procurement refers to the process of sourcing, acquiring, and managing travel-related services for business purposes. It involves strategies such as the selection of suppliers, negotiation of contracts, and implementation of cost-saving measures for your travel program.

Having well-defined procurement strategies for business travel management programs is important as they ensure compliance with travel policies and regulations, optimize supplier relationships, streamline processes, and enhance transparency. These strategies contribute to efficient and effective travel management, ultimately benefiting the organization’s financial health and operational efficiency.

Here are some procurement strategies for business travel you can consider for your corporate travel program:

1. Identify Potential Suppliers

When conducting supplier market research for your corporate travel program, it is important to thoroughly assess the suppliers. You can find out potential suppliers via online platforms, conferences, or industry publications. 

Next, evaluate suppliers based on their reputation and industry experience. Consider their track record, industry recognition, and any awards they have received. Ensure that the suppliers you consider can provide comprehensive solutions that cover all the necessary aspects of your travel program. This reduces the need for managing multiple vendors and improves efficiency.

2. Understand Market Dynamics

Before entering into negotiations, it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of the market dynamics in the travel industry. This means being aware of market rates, pricing structures, and service levels, which will help you evaluate supplier proposals and determine if they meet industry standards.

Understanding market dynamics in the travel industry is crucial because it provides valuable insights into potential areas for cost savings in your travel program. It may include securing discounted rates or promotional offers.

Moreover, having up-to-date knowledge about market conditions strengthens your negotiating position. For instance, knowing when demand is typically low in certain destinations can help you negotiate better rates during those periods. 

3. Leverage Volume Discounts

Leveraging volume discounts is a powerful strategy for maximizing savings in your travel program. ​​When you commit to a high volume of travel, you gain stronger negotiating power with suppliers. As a result, suppliers are more likely to accommodate your requests for better pricing. 

To emphasize your travel volume, clearly communicate the number of trips, hotel room nights, or airline tickets your company needs annually. By showing the size of your travel program, you demonstrate the business value that a supplier can gain by securing your partnership. 

In addition to highlighting your current travel volume, emphasize the growth potential of your company. Share insights on anticipated increases in travel demand or expansion into new regions. This increases the suppliers’ willingness to offer volume-based discounts.

4. Consider Long-Term Contracts

One of the primary advantages of entering into long-term contracts is the stability they provide. By committing to a supplier for an extended period, you secure a predictable and consistent relationship. 

This stability allows both parties to plan ahead and allocate resources more effectively. Additionally, long-term contracts often include clauses that lock in competitive rates, shielding you from price increases that may occur in the future.

5. Incorporate Value-Added Services into Negotiations

Incorporating value-added services into negotiations is a strategic approach to maximize the benefits of your travel program. For this, you must identify the services that align with your company’s goals and will have the most significant impact. This could include complimentary upgrades, access to exclusive amenities or facilities, priority services, or concierge assistance. 

During negotiations, ask the supplier to include these in the contract as well. However, be open to trade-offs that can benefit both parties. If certain value-added services are not readily available, explore alternative options where the supplier can add value. 

6. Monitor the Performance of Suppliers

Performance monitoring allows you to verify whether suppliers are meeting their contractual obligations. This includes evaluating their compliance with the terms in the contract, such as pricing, service levels, and deliverables. By monitoring performance, you can ensure that suppliers are fulfilling their commitments. 

To monitor the performance effectively, establish key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs can include metrics such as on-time performance, customer satisfaction ratings, response times, and cost savings. Regularly measure and track these KPIs to assess the supplier’s performance objectively and identify areas that require improvement.

You can also gather feedback from travelers regarding their experience with the suppliers. This can be done through surveys or feedback forms. Pay attention to their suggestions and complaints, as they provide valuable insights into the supplier’s performance.

7. Incorporate Preferred Suppliers In Your Travel Policy

You must add preferred suppliers to your travel policy to encourage employees to make bookings with them. Having a travel policy that directs business to preferred suppliers allows for better collaboration. It allows suppliers to become familiar with your company’s travel preferences, enabling them to better tailor their services. 

As a result, you can expect improved service levels, personalized attention, and a more seamless travel experience for your employees. Moreover, suppliers will prioritize your requests and strive to deliver exceptional service to maintain the relationship.

8. Explore Dynamic Pricing Models

Dynamic pricing models allow for greater pricing flexibility compared to fixed pricing models. With dynamic pricing, travel suppliers can adjust their rates based on real-time market conditions. This flexibility opens up opportunities for businesses to secure more competitive rates and maximize savings.

Dynamic pricing takes into account the level of demand for travel services. During peak periods or high-demand seasons, prices may increase, reflecting the increased market demand. Conversely, during low-demand seasons, prices may decrease to attract more customers. By monitoring demand patterns and leveraging dynamic pricing, businesses can benefit from lower rates during less busy times.

9. Look for Loyalty Benefits

When identifying preferred suppliers for your business travel management program, consider their loyalty programs. Evaluate the value of their loyalty programs, including the earning potential, redemption options, and program perks.

You must also implement a system to track and manage loyalty points earned by employees during their business travels. Consider maintaining a centralized record of loyalty program memberships and ensure employees are aware of their point balances. Further, develop a process for employees to redeem their loyalty points for future business trips.

Optimize your Organization’s Travel Program

By implementing these strategies, you can drive savings, improve supplier relationships, and optimize your travel program. However, to centralize and streamline your procurement strategies for business travel, we recommend that you use a travel management system.

ITILITE is an advanced corporate travel management software solution that can help you in implementing these strategies effortlessly. ITILITE offers a user-friendly platform that allows you to search and book flights, hotels, and other travel services in real time. 

One of the key benefits of ITILITE is its real-time policy enforcement. With this feature, you can rest assured that your employees will book from preferred suppliers. Therefore, no more time-consuming manual checks or policy violations. 

You can also gain valuable insights into your supplier relationships, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions via our analytics dashboard.

Discover a simpler way to manage corporate travel

Corporate travel management can be extremely daunting. Getting travelers to stick to budgets while booking travel, monitoring spends or finding support for travelers – there is always something that needs to be done. That’s why we built a solution that makes corporate travel management simpler.

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