Travel Managers should establish and closely monitor important key performance indicators. What travel management KPIs are most relevant? Find out in our guide to corporate travel program metrics.
Is your travel program thriving or just barely surviving? Without the right travel management KPIs in place, your answer to that question is just an opinion.
But what metrics should matter? In many cases, businesses are awash in data that can be hard to sort through and leverage for actionable insights. If you’re trying to establish or rethink your travel management KPIs, focus on the following 10 metrics.
10 Travel Management KPIs:
1. Existing Contracts
Every year, Travel Managers should evaluate all existing contracts. Sometimes contracts are great for your company — they deliver locked-in, below-market rates. And sometimes contracts are not-so-great for your company — they keep you paying higher rates than what you could get through other suppliers and vendors.
Spend time annually assessing total travel spend under contract and the competitiveness of those contracts. Also, actively anticipate the expiration of contracts as an opportunity to re-up with the current vendor or to find a better deal with the competition.
If you wait until the last minute to think about expiring contracts, you may be tempted to stick with the status quo — even if that’s not what’s best for the bottom line. Keep in mind that your contracts will heavily influence several travel management KPIs, which is why it’s important to get them right.
2. Savings Negotiated
Make sure you’re able to quickly report the total amount your travel program is saving through negotiated rates. Then, break up those savings by vendor type. How much are your negotiated rates saving on air travel? On hotels? On car rentals?
Reporting total savings is a great way to demonstrate your travel program’s effectiveness. Breaking those savings down by vendor type allows you to find opportunities for improvement.
For example, you may find that you’re saving twice as much on hotels than on car rentals. When your car rental contracts are close to expiring, you can seek out a new vendor who can help you save at a rate closer to the one you get with your hotel vendors.
3. Spend Concentration (and Related ROI)
Break your company’s total travel spend into spending per department, per region, per country, per route, per city, etc. You may be surprised to find that the business is spending a disproportionate amount of money on traveling to one place.
That’s fine — as long as concentrated spending is delivering a strong ROI. If you find, though, that spending is overly focused on a single team or destination that isn’t delivering revenue, it’s time to reevaluate that investment.
4. Traveler Experience
Also keep in touch with your Travelers. It’s important to understand how team members are feeling before travel (planning, booking, approvals), during travel (vendors, trip disruptions, communication) and after travel (expenses). Your traveling employees are your best source for ideas on how to improve the travel program.
How should you stay in touch with them? Try a quarterly survey that helps you track sentiment. You can also hold a yearly training or travel town hall with ample question-and-answer time. Travel experience is one of the most important and most overlooked travel management KPIs.
5. Risk Management and Duty of Care
Your company should be able to live up to its duty of care obligation for every employee at any given time, no matter where your team members may be traveling. Risk management is a hot topic in the business travel industry, and executives will expect that travel managers have in place a plan to effectively manage risk when necessary.
The larger your company gets, the more outside help it may need on the risk management and duty of care fronts. If your company is traveling at scale, consider a third-party risk management/duty of care provider.
6. Booking Tool Adoption
Booking tools are designed to streamline processes, ensure compliance and deliver savings. How many of your travelers have adopted your company’s online booking tool? This percentage will go a long way toward demonstrating the ROI your company is enjoying for its investment in travel technology.
7. Advanced Bookings
Last-minute travel happens. It’s a reality of doing business. But, for the most part, advanced bookings are preferred because they deliver more options and lower costs. What percentage of your company’s bookings fall outside the time frame requested in your travel policy? What are the reasons for these non-compliant bookings? And how can your travel program minimize these last-minute bookings in the future?
8. Travel Program Compliance
Travel programs and policies exist to help both travelers and the company. They are meant to make the travel management process easier while also saving the company money. But how often are your travelers making arrangements that conflict with your policies?
Do some travelers think they are saving money by booking outside of approved channels? Do they want to use a non-approved airline, hotel or car rental company? Is it simply that they are reluctant to use new travel technologies?
It’s important to get to the bottom of why your Travelers are making non-compliant arrangements. When they do, it undermines the goals of making travel management easier while also saving the company money.
9. Travel Re-Bookings
How many re-bookings do your traveling team members make? What are the reasons for those re-bookings? And how can re-bookings be avoided in the future?
Re-bookings are expensive, of course, and they should be avoided if and when possible. American, Delta and United all charge $200 for re-bookings of domestic flights. Evaluating re-bookings is also an opportunity to look at travel waivers available to your company — and to ensure that they are being used to minimize the impact of re-bookings.
10. Future Expansion Opportunities
If your team members are traveling at a global scale, you may find that it’s time to establish travel management services in specific countries. For example, if your company often sends team members to the United Kingdom, you may unlock significant savings by engaging a UK-based travel management company.
Look again at how your travel spend is concentrated geographically. If you’re spending a significant amount in any given country, assess opportunities to more formally expand your travel program to that country.
We Can Help With Travel Management KPIs
It’s not always easy to establish and track the right travel management KPIs for your company. At JTB Business Travel, we provide comprehensive travel management services to companies large and small — including spend management tools, travel technologies and more. Behind every service we provide is a common sense approach to business travel. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your KPIs.