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So, what does the role of a corporate travel manager entail, exactly?

By 12 February 2016March 3rd, 2022News

Carine Ernest – corporate travel manager, or, partnership manager, at CT Connections, details her role, and how important it is to our clients’ travel management requirements.

corporate travel managerFriends often ask me what exactly it is that I do for a living; but my job is so multifaceted that it is really hard to explain in a nutshell.

So, here’s the more detailed version:

As a corporate travel manager, or, partnership manager in the corporate travel industry, it is imperative that I am a business partner for my clients and not just another supplier. It’s my role to both assist in driving hard dollar savings in this category, as well as manage the end-user experience.

For most procurement and supply chain managers, travel is sometimes the smallest category that they manage – in terms of dollars, but it is definitely the most emotive. Just ask any procurement manager who has had to deal with a senior manager who didn’t have a frequent flyer number in their booking more than once. As a corporate travel manager, it’s my role to both assist in driving hard dollar savings in this category, as well as manage the end-user experience so that the noise is reduced.

If all your corporate travel manager does is provide you with reporting data every month or quarter, then you should consider looking at what other travel management corporations can provide to you. An experienced corporate travel manager should know what your business goals are for the next three years, analysing your travel data to advise on how your travel program will help you achieve them.

I work with closely with my clients to create robust travel program objectives that are in line with business objectives; the travel program objectives also have a list of SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound, actions detailing exactly how we will achieve these goals in order to keep everyone accountable. There is no use in putting forward a goal of 90% online booking tool usage, without a clear roadmap to how this will be achieved.

A corporate travel manager should analyse travel data, probing deeply for the source of a problem and more importantly – a potential solution. Sometimes there could be many solutions for the one problem, but a corporate travel manager should assist in comparing the solutions and weighing them against actual business and end-user needs.

In some cases I have a client whose travel program objectives have been achieved and their travel program is running smoothly with maximum cost savings, but that doesn’t mean my work as their corporate travel manager is over.

In addition to ensuring their travel program objectives continue to meet their business needs, as a corporate travel manager, i’ll start to assess their travel program holistically, determining whether there are ancillary services that can assist their business. These might include a complete traveller to procurement (T2P) process – linking their online booking tool to their EMS is one example, assisting their finance team with quicker reconciliation of travel expenses – so that their time can be better utilised elsewhere, consolidating their conference and incentive spend so it can be added towards volume, as well as informing them of new technology in the market that can promote compliance as well as enhance the overall travel experience of their travellers.

Find out how a corporate travel manager can help you better manager your travel requirements – Connect with CT Connections