The Knowl­edge: Stream­line a ho­tel pro­gramme

The Business Travel Magazine - - Contents -

A Uk-based cor­po­rate wanted to au­to­mate its ho­tel pro­gramme and iden­tify sav­ings but was lack­ing the re­sources to do so. Find out how it achieved its goals.

THE BACK­GROUND

Uk-based Im­pe­rial To­bacco Group (ITG) has a com­pre­hen­sive world­wide travel pro­gramme cov­er­ing more than 55 coun­tries. It has global ser­vice stan­dards and works with a sin­gle travel man­age­ment com­pany. The in­ter­na­tional to­bacco gi­ant was seek­ing a more dis­ci­plined ap­proach to its ho­tel pro­gramme and was tar­get­ing both time and cost-sav­ings on its ex­ist­ing pro­cesses.

THE CHAL­LENGE

ITG lacked the re­sources to man­age its RFP process and its man­ual ho­tel sourc­ing pro­ce­dures were con­sum­ing up to six months of the year.

“We had a lot of ideas, but we didn’t have the re­sources on our own to thor­oughly as­sess our ho­tel strat­egy or up­date and au­to­mate our ho­tel sourc­ing pro­ce­dures,” says Julie Iliffe, Travel and Fleet Man­ager at Im­pe­rial To­bacco.

“We needed best-prac­tice guid­ance from ex­perts who un­der­stood the ho­tel mar­ket and had rolled out strate­gies that worked at other com­pa­nies. We needed ex­pert knowl­edge about what was work­ing in other sec­tors,” she adds.

THE PROCESS

The com­pany turned to Ad­vito, the con­sult­ing branch of its long-term travel man­age­ment com­pany, BCD Travel, which meant it wasn’t deal­ing with an un­known en­tity. “We were com­fort­able shar­ing our in­for­ma­tion and data with them,” says Iliffe.

Ad­vito un­der­took a com­pre­hen­sive anal­y­sis of ITG’S spend and vol­umes as well as its over­all pro­gramme struc­ture. It be­came clear that the com­pany’s great­est needs were in­creas­ing ho­tel pro­gramme ef­fi­ciency while re­tain­ing lo­cal mar­ket in­flu­ence over pre­ferred ho­tel choices.

“Our coun­tries ab­so­lutely know the best ac­com­mo­da­tions in their own mar­kets and we didn’t want to lose that in­put,” says Iliffe.

Cost-cut­ting was im­por­tant to ITG, but the com­pany also wanted Ad­vito to pri­ori­tise lo­cal mar­ket specifics and re­quire­ments as it cre­ated the strat­egy and mea­sured re­sults.

Ad­vito helped make more ho­tel con­tent avail­able to ITG by look­ing be­yond GDS chan­nels, and it de­signed and im­ple­mented a global RFP process for pre­ferred ho­tels.

It also im­ple­mented BCD’S Trip source plat­form to sim­plify book­ings and pro­vide en­hanced data through De­ci­sion source, BCD’S busi­ness in­tel­li­gence plat­form. In ad­di­tion, Ad­vito con­ducted au­dits to en­sure ITG was get­ting the rates it had ne­go­ti­ated with ho­tels.

THE RE­SULT

Im­pe­rial To­bacco’s ho­tel pro­gramme has been fully mod­ernised and au­to­mated. It now has ac­cess to more ho­tel con­tent, en­abling trav­ellers to make the most ap­pro­pri­ate choices.

ITG has also im­proved spend vis­i­bil­ity and data, giv­ing it a stronger ne­go­ti­at­ing po­si­tion with ho­tels and help­ing it make more in­formed de­ci­sions.

The changes have helped re­duce an­nual ho­tel spend through time sav­ings and cost avoid­ance, de­liv­er­ing six-fig­ure sav­ings an­nu­ally. Up next for ITG is a de­ci­sion on MICE con­sol­i­da­tion.

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