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ProcurementTravel Planning

Strategic Travel Management: Planning for the Future

The Persistent Challenge in Travel Management

Managing your costs is a critical part of any company's operational strategy, but travel cost management presents unique challenges. The initial complexity of creating a joined-up strategy for your savings can make it more tempting to rely on generic approaches from TMCs, or to attempt individual negotiations directly. These approaches don't serve companies successfully any more, demanding more of your time to manage them and failing to offer substantial, sustainable savings. 

Failing to master your travel spend means missing out on vital savings that can give you an edge on your competitors, grow your business, and allow you to invest in the wellbeing and growth of your team. Well planned Strategic Travel Management isn't about painful travel changes for single digit savings, it's building relationships with travel suppliers to unlock meaningful value without compromising traveler experience.

Successful direct negotiations with airlines and hotels hinges on having the right data and expertise to secure favorable terms

Conventional Negotiation - High Effort, Low Reward

Many companies attempt to manage travel costs through direct negotiations with service providers or by leveraging TMCs. However, these efforts often yield minimal savings and can be fraught with difficulties:

  • Inefficacy of TMCs: While TMCs can offer convenience, they use a one-size-fits-all approach in their negotiations. They lack the incentive to push for the best possible deals for their clients, as their earnings are usually tied to the volume of bookings rather than the quality of savings achieved.

  • Challenges of Direct Negotiations: Successful direct negotiations with airlines and hotels hinges on having the right data and expertise to secure favorable terms. This method requires significant time and resources, and without proper market insights it can be difficult to secure strong savings. 

  • Lack of Strategic Focus: Traditional travel management often emphasizes short-term savings over long-term strategy. Without a strategic approach, travel policies might not support broader business objectives such as scalability, employee satisfaction, and market expansion.

To shift travel management from a cost-centric to a strategy-centric focus, companies need to re-evaluate their approach to travel from the top down. This starts with leadership recognizing travel as a potential enabler of business objectives, not just an expense to be slashed.

Getting your staff onboard with changes to your travel policies is vital. This avoids leakage to airlines or hotels with unfavorable rates, or those which are out of policy. This is the core of a successfully managed travel strategy, with continuous monitoring and adjustment helping to react to changes in how your team travel. 

Analyzing data trends can help identify how different travel patterns affect overall business outcomes, enabling more informed decision-making about where to invest in travel and where to cut back. This strategic alignment ensures that every travel decision supports the broader business objectives, providing a foundation for sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

Impala's Approach: Tailored and Data-Driven

At Impala, we understand these challenges and have developed a solution that not only aims to reduce costs but also enhances the strategic value of travel management. Our approach integrates deep data analytics with a bespoke strategic vision to develop travel management solutions that align with your company's goals and travel needs.

  • Data-Driven Strategy Development: We start by analyzing your travel data in depth. This allows us to understand your spending patterns and identify opportunities for optimization that go beyond simple cost-cutting, ensuring solutions that support both immediate and long-term objectives.

  • Customized Travel Programs: Each travel program we develop is tailored to the specific needs and strategic goals of your business. This customization ensures that travel policies are not only cost-effective but also scalable and adaptable to changing business conditions.

  • Ongoing analysis and management: We do what you don't have time for - constant management and analysis of your travel programme. Using data gleaned not just from your past travel but also from wider industry trends, we can react to changes in the market and ensure your travel program includes the most effective selection of hotels and airlines.

Key Takeaways:

  • Traditional travel management often fails to achieve significant savings and lacks a strategic focus.

  • Impala leverages data-driven insights and customized strategies to overcome these challenges.

  • Partner with Impala to transform your travel management into a strategic asset that supports your broader business objectives.

Ready to rethink your travel management strategy? Book your call with us and discover how our approach can transform your company's travel.

Learn how you can master your travel. Get our white paper - Mastering Travel, the insider's playbook to deep travel savings.