Climbing Mt. Consolidation: Which Path Should You Take?

INSIGHT

Climbing Mt. Consolidation: Which Path Should You Take?

Hiker
When you’re faced with consolidating your corporate travel program, you may feel like you’re standing at the foot of a giant mountain, with the top obscured by clouds; and when you can’t even see the summit, the climb may feel all the more impossible. 
We’re not here to claim that consolidation is simple, but we are saying it doesn’t need to be chaotic or overly stressful. It’s all about defining your goals for consolidation, and then identifying the correct path to meet those goals. 
We’ve narrowed corporate travel program consolidation down to three general categories, each with their own specific tips for success and key points of overlap. Let’s take a closer look.

Path 1: Knowledge Consolidation

Are your main concerns focused on cleaning up your data, traveler profiles, and integrations? Then you may be looking to complete a Knowledge Consolidation.  

When customers come to us with statements like “My reporting isn’t accurate” or “I can’t get the information from application A into my OBT,” we know we’re looking at rebuilding the framework of your travel tech stack. This involves honing in on things like your core travel management software, OBT, and third-party apps you integrate (or don’t) with, and your HRIT integrations (Workday, Successfactors, Oracle, etc.). Sometimes this involves looking closer at your software vendor agreements and seeing who has the agility to optimize and who may need to hit the road. 

Path 2: Effort Consolidation

Are you looking to focus on workflow optimization? Then your best bet is probably to complete an Effort Consolidation.  

Common pain points we hear related to effort consolidation are “We’re doubling our efforts” and “There are process inefficiencies.” Consolidating effort will require a closer look at your process and procedures, like approvals, team structures, and tech workflows. Reevaluating your service-level agreements with your TMC is also a crucial step – an effective TMC can help streamline process inefficiencies by building custom frameworks for implementation, change management, and process optimizations. A common misconception is that you need a separate “best-in-market” TMC for all your major regions. While this may sound efficient at first, it leads to fragmented communication and policies globally, leading to confused travelers and stressed travel managers. 

Path 3: Organizational Consolidation

Did you just merge with or acquire another company? Have you received instructions to restructure your business units? Then you may need to take Organizational Consolidation into consideration.  

The main problem we run into with organizational consolidations is due to mergers. Which TMC will you go with? What tech will you migrate to? How will you manage the confluence of all your data? Organizational consolidation is probably the heftiest form of consolidation since it combines a lot of knowledge + effort on a larger scale. It often requires redefining reporting lines, rebuilding teams, and merging different aspects of your travel program, such as transient and meetings and events. Organizational consolidation generally requires an agnostic supporter to guide you through, so your best bet is to hire a third-party consulting team to give you an accurate and honest picture of your travel program. 

Team planning

Getting to the Summit of Mt. Consolidation 

Choosing the correct consolidation path will get your journey off on the right foot; And don’t worry, just because you follow one consolidation path doesn’t mean you can’t go back and try the others! You’ll only be that much more prepared for your next consolidation journey after successfully completing your first.  So grab your hiking boots, choose your path, and get started on your consolidation expedition…and – if you need your help finding your way, FCM has the map to the summit. 

Let FCM map out your travel program. Talk to us today.

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