Return to Travel Framework

It’s a new year, and a new opportunity to assess the status of your business travel program.

While there are still many unknowns surrounding COVID-19, it’s important to continue to identify opportunities for enhancement within your program so that when travel resumes, you’re ready. 

FCM is here to keep you informed, educated and prepared for what’s next. Focusing on 4 key areas below, our aim is to provide a clear direction for your business travel program, eliminating any guesswork and empowering you to take action confidently.

SUM Green policy tool airplane Section 2

Travel Policy

Taking the time to review and refine your travel policy in line with the current environment will strengthen a confident return to travel. This is also the time to leverage the opportunity to address legacy leakage and compliance issues. 

Check out some of our key considerations on approaching your travel policy this year, and take a look at our additional resources below for further insights.

Suggested actions: 

  1. Redefine permissible travel and ROI with targeted approval workflows. 
  2. Close the gap on leakage. Enhance traveler usage of preferred suppliers. 
  3. Consider mandatory booking channels and apps. 
  4. Draft a COVID addendum for travel policy. Add regional versions where needed. 
  5. Launch interim travel policy and expanded communication plan. 
Is your travel policy ready for 2021? Let's find out. By answering just a few simple questions, we’ll let you know where your travel policy ranks against others in your industry and show you data that helps you visualize what areas to improve on first.
FCM’s partnership with Shep can help companies educate travelers on real-time conditions, restrictions, and limitations of travel to certain areas due to COVID-19, visas, border closures etc. Enforce your policy while keeping travelers informed and safe.

Safety and Well-being

Did you know that 88% of business travelers will look to their employer for reassurance in deeming it safe to travel again?*  

Now is the time to start formulating a concrete approach to business travel in the year ahead. With safety and duty of care continuing to stay top of mind for companies and TMCs alike, implementing a strategy to ensure you are minimizing the risk to your traveling employees is essential. It’s also important to provide your travelers with access to the information and tools they need to feel confident returning to travel. 

Take a look at some key considerations on keeping safety and well-being approach top notch along with some additional, relevant resources below. 

Suggested actions: 

  1. Assess traveler readiness and sentiment. 
  2. Equip travelers with information and resources to support their trip. 
  3. Implement traveler tracking, notification, and communication tools. 
  4. Ensure alerts and situational monitoring are in place. 
  5. Review/create documented travel risk management strategy.

*FCM State of the Market Report, available for download. 

Our Travel News Hub helps keep you and your travelers informed on the latest updates, news and happenings in your region and across the globe.
See how FCM has been fast tracking our technology developments to ensure our clients always have the latest COVID-19 information at their fingertips to support their safety and well-being.
Not sure if your employees are ready to hit the road again? No worries – we’ve created a Traveler Survey that helps you assess how they’re feeling about returning to travel.
Get the right support

Vendor Management

In an environment where business travel conditions have changed dramatically, the need to review, reconfigure and renegotiate with your key suppliers is on the rise. With many operators dramatically impacted, you may also need to source new partners for your re-emerging program. 

Suggested actions: 

  1. Generate supplier viability report and operational status update. 
  2. Review supplier audit and certification of hygiene protocols. 
  3. Define unused ticket/credits-on-hold management strategy. 
  4. Perform Rate audits and renegotiation where applicable. 
  5. Evaluate benefits of new contract negotiation and sourcing. 

We’ve put together some key considerations on approaching vendor management, plus some additional insights below. 

Are you considering going out to RFP this year? If so, check out our white paper to ensure you’re asking to right questions to build a modern travel program. This includes cost savings through supplier negotiations and much more.
To help our customers make informed choices when it comes to accommodation, we’ve rounded up some of the key ways FCM and our preferred hotel partners are working to support travelers and how you can best manage hotel stays during COVID-19.
Supplier sourcing is an ongoing program, not a one-off event. FCM Consulting takes a strategic approach, starting with multi-source data consolidation, incorporating up to a dozen or more sources to provide a truly comprehensive picture of your actual activity.
iPad displaying the TW reporting dashboard

Cost Considerations

While safety and well-being ranked as the number one consideration in our global research, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business in general means that cost management will also be an integral strategy in what will, in many cases, be a tentative return to travel. 

Keep these key considerations in mind when evaluating your budget in the year ahead, and take a look at some of our supporting resources below that could be useful when trying to identify opportunities for costs savings. 

Suggested actions: 

  1. Establish proactive demand management and travel ROI assessments. 
  2. Evaluate policy changes including cabin choices, advance purchase, day trips, rate caps, and more. 
  3. Drive smart OBT adoption which incorporates COVID advice. 
  4. Use historical benchmarks and future forecasts to establish new budgets. 
  5. Revisit supplier category plans to shift costs and optimize savings. 
As a business, you may be in the midst of budgeting or reforecasting for the year ahead. When taking a look at your travel budget, check out these five tips for guidance on where to start.
The key to making smart commercial and operational decisions relating to your travel program relies on meaningful data and analytics. FCM’s AI Reporting platform goes beyond static reporting to deliver actionable business intelligence and analytics that will help to deliver significant savings in your program.

Ready to resume your travel program? We can help.

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