Policy compliance could save 'up to 15 per cent': new study

A white paper from Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s (CWT) Solutions Group suggests companies that enforce travel policies more firmly will reduce overspend. Further, it suggests scorecards and gamification can help.

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With mobility managers regarding cost-containment as the new normal and focusing on flexibility and more tiered approaches, the new white paper from global business travel, meetings and events manager Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) offers a useful perspective on balancing budgets while maintaining adaptability.

Reducing business travel over-spend

Researched by CWT’s Solutions, Behaviour Management: A new way to think about an old problem, suggests companies that more proactively manage their travel policies through managing behaviour changes, and embedding their approach in culture and practice, have the scope to reduce over-spend by up to 15 per cent.

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Acknowledging the interplay of personal preferences and commerical drivers for business travel and mobility, and the tension between this and budgets, Katie Raddatz, head of the CWT’s Solutions Group Americas, said:“Travel departments spend significant time and resources getting the best corporate deals to keep costs down. But often travellers think the policy might not apply to them or they just don’t know the policy.“Effectively enforcing compliance is often one of the hardest parts of travel management, but also the area with significant missed savings.”

Managing booking behaviour

CWT’s Solutions Group is suggesting a four-stage targeted approach for companies, mobility teams, finance departments or line managers actively to manage traveller behaviour.
  1. Analysis: Start with an analysis of the potential savings and the different traveller segments to uncover non-compliance issues.
  2. Educate: Create traveller scorecards to educate stakeholders in language and terms familiar to them and in a format that can be immediately executed.
  3. Engage: Send traveller scorecards, containing individualised reports, directly to the traveller. The clear information in the reports makes it easier for managers to speak to employees about their booking behaviour.
  4. Compete: Gamify the traveller programme by introducing motivating, game-like elements that provide incentives to travellers to stay compliant and promote the required actions.

Ensuring cost compliance

“There’s pressure to reduce costs from every direction. Making sure people stick to the rules is an easy way to cut spend,” continued Raddatz. ”We want to make sure we’re increasing compliance as much as possible. When it’s done properly, you can see the percentage of missed savings fall almost immediately.”

For related news and features, see our Business Travel section.

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