Improve RoI from business travel with IT-enabled best practices, says new LSE study

The London School of Economics has released the Managing Every Mile report aiming to help companies unlock greater RoI from business travel.

The study was commissioned by Amadeus through LSE Consulting, and insights were drawn from C-level executives exploring how corporations can get a better understanding of its Travel & Expense (T&E) programmes, unlocking a greater return on investment in the process.

Key recommendations from the report include that T&E programmes must align with six strategic priorities: growth, cost minimisation, operational efficiency, employee productivity, risk mitigation and management information/analytics.

Two thirds of the executives interviewed said the expensing process was a cause of both user frustration and clerical and managerial annoyance. The absence of best practices at earlier stages in the T&E process and notably in the booking and approval flows negatively affects the traveller’s experience and increases the complexity at the expense management stage. Aound 60% of executives interviewed were considering changes to their IT and T&E systems in the next 1-3 years to facilitate better T&E spend management as opposed to cost control strategies.

Dr Alexander Grous, author and lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, said: “The framework we have developed identifies five key stages, all of which are underpinned by technology: T&E strategic sourcing; T&E buying; traveller support and duty of care; expense management; and analytics and feedback. By following best practices at each of these stages, companies will secure optimised T&E spend management and ensure maximum return, while also driving greater operational effectiveness and employee satisfaction.”

Arlene Coyle, CCO corporate solution sales and marketing of business travel, Amadeus, added: “We are seeing travellers’ needs, and the nature of the workplace, change in ways that require much greater dynamism and flexibility in travel management.. By going beyond the actual cost of business travel and by looking at what travellers want, how the booking process needs to work and the effect of this on productivity and duty of care, corporations are able to better shape their travel programmes and create better journeys for their travellers.”

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