ITM part three: A wide range of benefits is waiting to be seized

By: Lesley O’Bryan
Vice President and Principal

A savings opportunity missed

Meetings spend can account for 35% of a company’s total travel budget—but this spend can be fragmented and hidden.* Companies often use the same hotel and air suppliers for both transient travel and meetings. Most of the time, the spend stays in separate camps—and the companies miss a solid opportunity to drive savings and increase transparency.

Improving the negotiating position

Adding meetings spend to what is already spent on transient travel can substantially increase buying power when negotiating discounts with airlines and hotels. Companies are often surprised to find they’ve been using the same supplier for transient and meetings/group travel, with deals negotiated separately and/or a third-party support organization utilizing the spend volume versus your corporation. An integrated approach strengthens the companies’ negotiating position. It ensures suppliers understand the true value of the business their corporate client is bringing them.

Better control and process efficiencies

By consolidating the transient and meetings spend made with a given supplier, companies can also ensure that their contractual terms and conditions are consistent. Companies can adopt a standard approach to features common to both transient and meetings travel, such as airline class of service, documentation requirements, and safety and security. This helps boost compliance.

Travel and meetings integration also means bringing together booking processes and information sharing within the company. This guides travelers to book with preferred vendors and educate them about the benefits—both for the company and themselves. Having one place to look and one process to follow, makes life much simpler for managers and employees.

A single process and a more unified supplier list means you can merge all your spend data in one report. This provides a much better picture of expenses, and aids budgeting. It also highlights areas where compliance is low. Then, travel managers can reach out to a broader audience to improve it.

Collaborate to save money

Travel managers and meetings managers have a lot to offer each other if they collaborate, rather than operate separately. When resources are scarce, you can achieve more with the talent available by integrating the two teams. Additional savings and increased compliance may be within easy reach.

Stay tuned to our next blog to learn what companies are doing now and how you can get started with an ITM program. To learn more, contact us directly.