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Travel Management

 May 27, 2008
CWT Products Help Clients Optimize Travel Policy and Compliance

 The latest in-depth research by the CWT Travel Management Institute shows that most companies can improve their travel policy and traveler compliance, and by doing so, save on average 20 percent of total travel spend. To that end, Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) offers a range of products and services to help travel managers optimize policy design, raise traveler awareness of the policy and drive compliance.

The following solutions highlight the products and services available:

- CWT Policy Builder helps companies build the foundation for improved compliance by enabling them to create an effective, easy-to-understand travel policy from scratch or improve their current policy. Companies can assess the effectiveness of their current travel policy in terms of freshness (i.e., how current it is); scope of coverage of processes, booking channels and preferred suppliers; level of detail with which rules are defined; control over traveler behavior; permissiveness (i.e., mandates versus recommendations); and flexibility or traveler options. They can also benchmark their policy vis-à-vis those of peers in their industry with similar travel spend. Policy updates and changes can be easily made as often as needed.

- CWT Policy Messenger helps companies improve compliance with travel policy by automatically emailing travelers and/or their supervisors when an out-of-policy booking for air travel, hotel stays or a rental car is made. Travel managers can customize their messages, apply selected policies to specific business units and exclude certain travelers such as VIPs from notifications. Statistical reports and graphs indicating the number of emails sent, the individual recipients and their business unit, as well as the type of policy violation for each supplier segment provide the data travel managers need to take targeted action and increase compliance. This solution is fully integrated into the CWT Program Management Center.

- CWT Program Management Center is an award-winning, Web-based, central gateway for travel management professionals, providing performance dashboards and detailed reports on a local to global scope. The key performance indicators include, for example, compliance with advance air booking rules, the use of restricted airfares, class of air travel and hotel category booked, missed savings and the reasons for such, as well as the number of relevant air bookings without accompanying hotel reservations.

- CWT Agency+Card Reporting helps travel managers optimize total travel spend, increase traveler compliance with the corporate policy on preferred agency and corporate credit card usage, and enjoy greater leverage during supplier negotiations. The tool matches data from CWT and the client's preferred card vendor to measure the percentage of compliant air, hotel, rail and rental car transactions and highlight non-compliant travelers. CWT Agency+Card Reporting uses customized reports and dashboard technology to track key performance indicators in each spend category. The data and reports are accessed through the CWT Program Management Center.

In addition, CWT program optimization specialists can work closely with companies to calculate the financial impact of revising their travel policy and enforcing new traveler behaviors. To help increase compliance, CWT also offers change management programs and a full range of solutions to define and implement an online booking policy, select the appropriate online booking tool and boost adoption.

To increase preferred hotel bookings and drive compliance at the point of sale, CWT travel counselors use CWT Harp, a worldwide database of 160,000 hotel chains and independent properties that includes the negotiated rates of all CWT clients. Research shows that the rates obtained through CWT are on average 20 percent lower than those obtained by contacting hotels directly or using Web booking sites.

"A well-designed, widely communicated travel policy, coupled with initiatives that successfully drive compliance, are the cornerstone of effective travel management," said Cathy Voss, executive vice president, Global Program Solutions. "At CWT we are committed to staying on top of industry best practices and providing our clients with actionable recommendations and concrete solutions to help them optimize their travel program in a complex, fast-changing business travel market."

The CWT Travel Management Institute

The CWT Travel Management Institute conducts in-depth research into effective travel management practices to help clients worldwide derive the greatest value from their travel program. Drawing on the global resources of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), the institute aims to provide a regular flow of business intelligence and best practices, offering actionable insights into what CWT has identified as the eight key levers to effective travel management. To this end, the CWT Travel Management Institute publishes original research, white papers and case studies, as well as the periodical CWT Vision, published three times a year. Recent research publications include Global Horizons: Consolidating a Travel Program (2007), Toward Excellence in Online Booking (2006) and Effective Travel Management: Key Planning Priorities in Today's Dynamic Environment (2005).