Optimising travel with strategic account management

White Papers 28 Sep 2015

Optimising travel with strategic account management

FCm Travel Solutions has been providing strategic account management to Australia's top organisations for many years.

Our account management program underpins our ability to provide client strategies for travel programs that challenge benchmarks, deliver thought provoking concepts and maintain a healthy return on investment (ROI) for customers. Our unique approach is based on expert business planning and comprehensive reporting, which is delivered by the most experienced people and backed by a service continuum.

While FCm clients have been leveraging our expertise in strategic account management for many years, a shift in the broader corporate travel market indicates a growing number of corporates are now looking for a travel management company, like FCm, with proven ability in this space.

The purpose of this whitepaper is to define strategic account management, explain our unique approach and demonstrate how we can increase your travel savings.

What is strategic account management in travel?

Strategic account management involves looking at your travel program from a big picture perspective and determining how every aspect of your travel from booking to buying, procedures and policy can be enhanced. The focus is on delivering immediate savings through the rates and fares you are booking as well as savings through best practice travel management over the long term. Strategic account management is about taking a holistic rather than ad hoc approach where all of your company's travel and entertainment activity is planned and measured to reduce costs.

In corporate travel the hallmarks of effective account management include:

  • a dedicated account manager who has extensive experience in all aspects of corporate travel management
  • effective and ongoing assessment of your spend, existing travel patterns, culture and travel behaviour
  • a strategic business plan that is a 'living and breathing' document
  • supplier negotiations
  • benchmarking
  • compliance measures to maximise the savings from your policy
  • advanced management information reporting tools.

Account management specialists

FCm is renowned within the corporate travel industry for having a strong account management program. Our people work within a value-adding service continuum, which ensures ongoing development and management of your travel program in line with your core company objectives. These performance drivers enable FCm with input from your organisation to better manage, control and improve your return on investment from travel.

FCm's business plan continuum:

Assess your company's travel behaviour and benchmark your performance

Identify opportunities and potential savings.

Design a central travel policy and tailor business plan solutions to match your company's objectives.

Communicate the benefits of the travel policy to boost compliance and drive savings.

Negotiate with suppliers and providers.

Measure your performance with tailored reporting.

Control the strategic plan with your input and adjust when required.

Maintain performance and savings.

The tools of strategic account management

People

As an FCm client you'll receive a dedicated account manager with extensive experience in travel management and business planning. Our people have an excellent understanding of travel products, services and industry markets. They will analyse your travel program expertly and use the analysis to effectively plan for the future.

Business plan

Your FCm account manager will create a strategic business plan, which maps out a path forward for improving the key travel management areas, known as the 'five Cs' – consolidation, cost management, compliance, corporate social responsibility and customer satisfaction. The plan will detail what the focus is, how this will be actioned, a timeframe and whose responsibility it is to ensure progress is achieved. Your business plan also provides a roadmap of your travel program achievements.

Key travel management areas:

Cost management: supplier arrangements, policy, technology, buying behaviour, ROI, non-core work and expense management processes

Compliance: policy suitability, mandates, visibility, metric and suppliers Corporate responsibility: traveller tracking, risk management, greeness and traveller wellbeing

Customer satisfaction: feedback, service level agreements, relationship management and performance metrics

Consolidation: expense visibility, leakage, policy mandates, expense processes and suppliers.

Management information reporting

Strategic account management relies on having a comprehensive and accurate view of your travel spend and patterns. Using management information reporting your FCm account manager has the right data to see where changes need to be made. Travel reporting is the visible platform of your travel program, which enables compliance audits, exceptions, supplier management and program trending.

Travel savings opportunities

By using strategic account management FCm has been able to deliver amazing results for customers. The chart below shows a range of savings FCm can lead your organisation to achieve through advanced account management strategies.