The power of numbers
Wherever we turn, it’s clear that we live in a number driven world. Personal best times, record crowd numbers, game scores and match statistics. We collect, compare and crunch numbers – and the travel industry is no different. Timely travel intelligence and comprehensive reports that harness this quality data, can transform your travel program and help your company achieve the best return on your investment.
With the support of an experienced travel manager skilled at drilling down to the details, data can provide powerful insights into booking patterns, traveller behaviour, individual supplier spend and policy compliance. This customised information not only improves visibility, but also allows you to leverage industry benchmarking and gives you enhanced control over traveller duty of care.
Build on a solid platform
The first step is to set your company up for success with the right reporting platform and suite of tools. A well-designed system, implemented by your travel management company should have the ability to capture both online and offline booking data.
With the support of a scalable web-based analytical and intelligence tool, customisable dashboards can filter the data you want to capture – before transforming it into actionable reports. Reports can be configured to monitor hotel rates, flag non-compliant travel and identify when best fare of day is not used. With the right training your company booker can access and share rich data, and pull reports to review program performance, implement changes or capture measurable results.
Recognising patterns and behaviours
The travel sector is continually changing and evolving, so it’s important to review travel guidelines and traveller behaviours accordingly. Reporting can reveal travel intelligence which is impacting on your travel program – such as the average fare types and room rates being booked, and it can also track individual traveller patterns and uncover reasons for non-compliant bookings.
Reporting can also be very useful to assess whether a particular travel policy feature is still realistic. If your company has had the same hotel caps in place for years, they may no longer reflect the current market conditions and price changes. For example prices for Perth hotels have dropped over recent years, while Sydney average room rates continue to climb.
Know where you stand with suppliers
Before negotiating with airlines, hotels and other travel suppliers it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of your travel program patterns, plus future forecasts. Rich reporting and data is a vital tool which will give you – and your suppliers - an accurate picture of your company’s travel volumes, spend and preferences.
Reporting analysis will also reveal hidden travel behaviours which may be unexpectedly driving up program costs. If a pattern of last minute bookings or regular late cancellations emerges, further investigation can reveal why this is occurring and policies can be put in place to combat the practice.
Benchmarking for best practice
Benchmarking your company’s travel program against others in the industry - whether it be entertainment, sport or film travel – can reveal how you are tracking against your peers. Information gathered through reporting and analytics can be incorporated into the annual review process, conducted by your travel account manager, to benchmark your company’s travel program performance.
Benchmarking against similar organisations can identify new opportunities and also reveal new ways to save money. These learnings, which are backed up by data, can help you improve processes and make better strategic decisions. Benchmarking will give you meaningful targets to aim for, compare year-on-year performance and also give you a mandate to implement changes designed to achieve best practice.
Harness account management expertise
An experienced account manager with the expertise to help you crunch the numbers is the cornerstone of maximising your travel data. Turning these facts and figures into actionable insights and useful reports assists with decision making and ensures you are getting the best performance out of your travel program.
By partnering with your travel manager you can benefit from metrics designed to help you see where you are – versus where you want to be. Recommendations based on data analysis can also demonstrate how even small changes can achieve forecasted savings.