Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President of Operations and CTO at SafeSourcing.
This week we began a series of blogs looking at the hot categories being expected to be sourced by companies in 2013 starting with a view of mobile products, managed services and marketing and social media planning and contingent labor. Today we will wrap up the series looking Travel Related Categories.
In spite of the fact the world has completely embraced the digital movement to texts, emails, online meetings and Voice Over IP conference calls there is still a great need and use for travel related services in the corporate world. This need, however, comes with rising costs and is a big reason why travel related categories will be a focus for procurement professionals in 2013. Today we will look into some the areas that will be concentrated on.
Travel Management Services – Travel Management Service Providers have taken a big hit in the past few years as their customers have experimented with booking their travel related activity in-house. What the corporate world has found, however, is that the lack of good travel tools, the rigidity of tools they do have and the lack of resources has created a shift back to travel management companies. The big areas of focus in this category will be in the “per transaction” fees charged, the support provided and the “extras” that the management companies can bring to the table.
Hotels & Rental Cars – Many companies look at hotel stays and rental car spends as something they need and yet do not take much time to get the most valuable deal for their organization. The hotel and rental car companies don’t make this much easier because of how their pricing is structured and their need to have a guaranteed level of activity in pre-defined areas of use. Many times these companies are not willing to give great agreements unless they are dealing with a large company. 2013 will see many companies begin to focus on those areas where they know their spend levels and details and negotiate the best deal for themselves. This typically ends with a primary/secondary or preferred partner program which can be easily monitored and controlled with revised travel policies and can be enforced with a Travel Management Service.
Event Planning – While not every company has big events to plan throughout the year there are still hundreds of companies that require the planning services to pull these events off. 2013 will see many companies begin to look at where they are spending their money and attempt to leverage bigger spends against more formal agreements, letting the bigger event planning partners manage the smaller specialty services they need. Many companies in 2013 will be looking to start with an initial survey of their current providers and expand that scope to new suppliers they may not have worked with in the past. This will allow them to put together the combination of product and service providers that best fits their needs and budgets.
Regardless of how you plan to attack your category spends in 2013; it is clear that companies are continuing to find new and creative ways to help control their expenses. Creating a plan for 2013 now and working with a third party procurement specialist can help you get the biggest value and return on your products and services. For more information on how we can help you with this process, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.
We look forward to your comments.