Return to Travel Framework

With vaccine distribution on the rise, many companies have — or are in the process of — returning to travel for business.

The forecasted U.S. economic boom, an increased willingness to travel, a decrease in trips canceled and greater business optimism are all helping to drive the recovery. In fact, according to a recent GBTA survey, 72% of companies have either already resumed non-essential business travel, have a travel-resumption plan in place or are working on one.

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

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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.
With the overwhelming success remote working has brought to organizations across the globe, companies today are struggling to figure out if it’s sustainable long term. Download our white paper below to see the impact of remote working on corporate success and the future outlook of business travel.

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.
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.
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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. 

We’re simplifying everything NDC, breaking down the latest trends and helping you navigate like a pro. Check out our guide to learn more about the developments within the NDC space and its impact on your travel program.
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.
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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. 
Charles River’s objectives included cost savings, establishing strategic supplier relationships, improving program compliance, and strengthening service and convenience to travelers. See their full story here.

Ready to resume your travel program? We can help.

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