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Yes, Travel Manager, it's time for a spring cleaning!

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Since spring has almost sprung, now is the time to pick up the proverbial broom and sweep out the clutter. Then, you’ll be much better placed to prioritize what needs to be done; and ready for some fresh thinking!

It might be a bit of dusting or window cleaning. It might be painting and decorating. Maybe the gutters need fixing? Or perhaps it’s time for a complete overhaul of the kitchen, bathroom or loft?

If the latter, I empathize – I’ve just been through a major rebuild job on our house. Now, before I get too carried away sharing my building tales, let’s think about how all this applies to travel management.

First, let’s talk about the core objectives of most travel managers. These are two:

  • Procure all travel in the most economical way
  • Ensure travelers are safe while on the road

Like cleaning and fixing the gutters these can be tedious tasks but they are the pillars of any travel management program. And as any homeowner will tell you they need doing. Some tasks might be short-term and tedious – the cleaning bit. Others entirely necessary – nobody needs a leaking gutter! These are the building blocks of your investment and if you look after them, and do it properly, you’ll have a good foundation.

But since we’re talking of fresh thinking, I’d like to add another to the list of travel management’s ‘core’ objectives:

  • Productivity & User Experience

If you’ve been reading my blog posts you’ll know about traveler happiness and how closely that is linked to productivity. This longer-term objective is, I believe, the answer to those short-term problems – keeping costs low and travelers’ safe.

So here’s the thing: we all know that we’ve reached the end of the procurement era for air and hotel programs. You simply can’t easily squeeze out the 5-10% savings year-on-year anymore.

We need a fresh approach to a challenging paradox: how to build a better traveler (end-user) experience, while lowering the total cost of travel.

I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Mobile.

Think of it as the floor, window, toilet, kitchen, bathroom and sink cleaner rolled into one. A product that saves you time and money and will free up time to get a grip on more important business decisions again – like influencing the end user to make travel choices that will set you on the path to success.

With mobile you can build a dialogue with your users while they are traveling. Mobile is the window to your travelers’ needs and experiences.

So open the window and let the light in – this is essential for growth and happiness. And that, dear travel manager, is the ultimate objective: happy travelers and a company – your company – that is moving forward, growing and beating the competition.

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