Travel Managers are like business travel Swiss Army knives – at any moment they have to be able to solve a multitude of problems, whether it’s booking some last minute travel, reporting on budgets or curbing out-of-policy behaviour.
So, with that in mind, it’s no surprise if you feel a tad overwhelmed when taking on the role of travel manager for the first time – or even for the first time at a new organisation.
At Click, we work with some of the best travel managers around, helping them to produce great results for their organisations and along the way we’ve picked up a hefty handful of best practice advice, so here’s a ready-made to do list for your first 100 days as a travel manager at a new organisation:
1. Find out if you have a travel management company(TMC), if so who is it?
2. If applicable, find out how bookings are currently processed through the TMC, for example do you have bookers using an online booking tool?
3. If applicable, reach out to your Account Manager to introduce yourself (if they’re proactive, they will already know who you are!)
4. Do you have central bookers or self-bookers or a mix of both?
5. How do you pay for travel? On a credit account or company credit cards?
6. Establish who your principal travel bookers are and how they fit into your organisation.
7. Arrange a meeting with main bookers and your finance team to discuss the current travel process,and obtain any positive or negative feedback that can be used to improve your systems or ways of working. Check that the invoices contain the information they need to process payments correctly – are there regular issues with invoices etc?
8. Review the current travel policy; do you actually have one? When was it last reviewed and does it match today’s economy?
9. Review management information – establish travel patterns, spends, top locations, missed savings, rail lead times etc.
10. Arrange a face to face meeting to find out more about your TMC; how have they assisted the previous Travel Manager i.e. cost savings on rail lead times? Discuss feedback from meetings with Bookers and Finance.
11. Set objectives. For example, to improve the current service, saving x amount on your travel spend by driving bookings online, holding regular meetings with main bookers etc.
12. Arrange quarterly reviews with your TMC to discuss feedback and let them bring suggestions of cost savings that you can make to your travel programme.
13. Decide if the chosen TMC is the right fit for your company, when was the last time that your company reviewed the market? If you feel that your current TMC is not the right fit then find out the process to start a tender once you know what it is that you are looking for e.g. Online Booking Portal.
14. If you do not use a TMC, then find out why? How are bookings processed?
15. Who in the business will you need to speak with about appointing a TMC? Engage your key stakeholders and initiate the process, let the tender sell the benefits of a TMC!
P.S. BONUS TIP: You may like to have a written to do list but check out online to-do lists, we highly recommend Asana as you can set yourselves and others tasks and collaborate to tick things off the list by the set deadline.