If we reflect on the past 12 months and ask ourselves, “what is the most common request clients are asking of CTM?”, our categorical response would be; “how do we make further cost reductions across our travel program?”. This is music to our ears as one of the three founding principles of CTM is Return on Investment.
We believe that saving money across your travel program has never been easier and here are some strategies you can implement immediately to effect substantial savings.
I recently attended a corporate travel seminar and one of the topics discussed the difficulties small businesses face when trying to reduce their travel costs. In our view, small businesses have never had it better than they do right now.
- Airlines: The airlines have restructured their SME programs to give more back to small business through either percentage discounts across a wider selection of fare types or centralised points earnings whereby the company can benefit from their travellers mileage. This “double dipping” concept is something that small business has been asking for over a decade, and now they have it. I strongly urge you to talk to our teams about optimising the right program for your business as there are definite savings to be made.
- Hotels: Secondary to this is maximising your hotel spend. Small business now has the luxury of comparing a wide variety of hotel rates all via your online booking tool (Serko or Lightning). I am talking about accessing CTM rates, Expedia rates, best public rates of day and your own negotiated rates in the one simple rate display. To further compliment this, the CTM Mobile platform now gives you all of the content you need, right in the palm of your hand. Small business can not only be assured they will get the best travel rates but will benefit from the efficiencies gained by booking travel at a time that suits you.
If you sit in the medium to large market category, aligning yourself to one carrier will reward your business with substantive discounts as the drive for market share across both carriers remains. Now is the time to cement your partnership.
- Airlines: Good procurement practices, however, are only one element of how your program should be evolving. Technology is advancing rapidly and CTM has provided many “widgets” which can deliver enormous savings; far ahead of your airline negotiations.
Fare Forecaster is one of these technologies. Our 21-day advance outlook of airfares allows you to view what the most cost effective day of travel is and plan your meetings around this day. For example, you may want to go from Sydney to Melbourne next Wednesday however little did you know that if you can travel on Thursday, this demonstrates a $80 cost reduction on the ticket. Fare Forecaster arms you with this information and many organisations can quantify upwards on 10% average ticket price savings based on this one widget alone.
- Hotels: In the hotel space, Brisbane and Perth remain destinations who demonstrate challenges with an oversupply of stock. Similar to airlines, we encourage you to build partnerships in this space as the good times for Buyers will not last.
Partner with a preferred supply chain, show solid compliance to your program and be realistic with your annual volumes. If you follow this simple recipe, you will be rewarded with best in market rates.
Return on Investment has been part of CTM’s value proposition since our foundation some 23 years ago. We invest heavily in our Account Management teams whose key focus is to deliver value in the form of savings to your corporate travel program. The corporate travel industry is most definitely a Buyers’ market right now! We strongly urge you to take the time and properly assess how the travel category can contribute to your overall business objectives. Our expertise will assist you in developing the right strategies which will deliver optimum savings to your bottom line.
Author: Craig Southee, CTM’s General Manager, Queensland.
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