Category Archives: Travel

Ask the Expert: Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Trends from Singapore and Malaysia

- March 25, 2014 6:03 AM | Categories: Ask the Expert, Procurement, Sourcing, Travel

This week's Ask the Expert webinar features Thomas Kase on his recent travels to Southeast Asia. He spoke at ProcureCon Asia in Singapore - and also travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he spent several days with a local procurement suite solution provider, MyBiz, and some of their clients. On the webinar, he'll share some of his observations on procurement and sourcing trends in the region in the areas of CSR, corruption, transparency, multi-tier challenges, talent development, and more. Plus/PRO members, join us this Friday, March 28, from 10-10:30am Central!

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Rant: Singapore’s Taxicab Problem and Lack of Modern Payment Systems

- March 7, 2014 9:04 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Travel

IMG_8698 Gleaming, polished buildings, well maintained landscaping, even slick subway stations with swipe cards that are a pleasure to use—the last one clearly not a Ventra design. You can find food from all over the world and see high-end fashion both in store display windows and paraded about on smartly dressed people everywhere. Singapore is a cleaner version of New York, with thinner people in a Tokyo designed setting with a bit of Hawaiian greenery incorporated. But expect to be frustrated if you need a cab between the hours of four and six in the afternoon.

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Rant: Customer Service on Domestic Flights Leave Much to be Desired

- February 14, 2014 1:45 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Travel

Greetings from the SFO Red Carpet Club. There were days, pre-marriage and definitely pre-kids, when I enjoyed flying, whether for work or for leisure. And the Star Alliance network, led by United Airlines (now United Continental Holdings) provided the widest reach. Fast forward a few years (after accumulating 200K+ air miles every year and joining the million miler program, not to mention marriage and kids), I now fly only when it’s necessary. So when I logged almost 50,000 miles in the last 60 days (no, I am not trying to reach two million miles), it was like learning a new trick all over again.

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Strategic Sourcing Meets the Hermès and Charvet Set: A Corporate Travel Vote Against US Airlines

- January 31, 2014 10:31 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Spend Management, Total Cost Management, Travel

Back in 2013, I met with a senior procurement executive for a global bank after we had both had a couple of drinks. I always find talking to procurement heads of banks to be a fun endeavor (especially on the investment banking side – since they must represent spend requisitioned by the biggest prima donnas in the business world with their own set of John Lobb, Andersen and Sheppard, Hermes and Turnbull & Asser preferences). And all the better once they’re sufficiently lubricated to result in more great war stories.

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Category Management: Missing Out on Travel Cost Savings

- December 7, 2012 8:12 AM | Categories: Category Management, Travel

Far too many procurement organizations fail to integrate travel procurement with overall sourcing and supply management efforts. Yet travel represents a fascinating category and overall cost management opportunity. In many industries (software, IT, consulting, financial services, etc.), travel can comprise a substantial portion of addressable spend overall. In other firms, it typically makes up a sizable portion of indirect spend. Attempting to manage this spend can be a chore. On the face of it, travel procurement would seem relatively easy. You start by establishing rules around who gets to stay at what kind of hotel, fly which level of service, […]

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Rearden Launches Deem at Work Platform and Suite For SMB Spend Control and Savings (Part 3)

- August 15, 2012 12:08 AM | Categories: Jason Busch, Procurement, Technology, Travel

Please click here for Part 1 and Part 2 in this series. Of all of the T&E applications we’ve seen over the years, the Deem at Work platform is among the most easy and quick to use, if not the easiest in the market for companies that don’t require all the bells and whistles of enterprise T&E solutions. Even for administrators, the application can be rapidly configured and gets users up and running quickly. The initial process for using the system requires just two steps (for registered companies on the Deem platform). First, organizations must review and confirm company details, […]

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Rearden Launches Deem at Work Platform and Suite For SMB Spend Control and Savings (Part 2)

- August 8, 2012 12:08 AM | Categories: Jason Busch, Procurement, Technology, Travel

Please click here for the first post in this series. When users log-in to the Deem at Work platform, regardless of whether it is branded as Deem or a partner site, they are greeted with a simple search interface with the ability to query a range of categories including office suppliers, IT hardware, building/construction, safety equipment, janitorial supplies, office furniture, office products, and specialty supplies (e.g., restaurant supplies). The Rearden team vets all of the suppliers in the system to make sure they can “deliver on the fulfillment side” in a high-volume environment. To date, Deem is not allowing partners […]

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Rearden Launches Deem at Work Platform and Suite For SMB Spend Control and Savings (Part 1)

- August 1, 2012 12:08 AM | Categories: Jason Busch, Procurement, Technology, Travel

Earlier this summer, Rearden Commerce launched its Deem at Work platform, targeted toward the small and medium-sized business market. Chances are, most Spend Matters readers have not yet heard of Deem at Work. This is not surprising. Rearden’s primary sales strategy for purchasing, travel management and expense management platforms and solutions is to sell the solution through channels in a private label manner. The unique component of what Rearden is up to goes beyond the SOA platform on which it is built. Rearden is also becoming a merchant aggregator and middleman, essentially serving as a GPO that presents negotiated pricing […]

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Big Data Meets Travel and P2P: Rearden/Deem Mine For Insight to Improve Shopping and Buying

- May 8, 2012 12:05 AM | Categories: Jason Busch, Technology, Travel

A few weeks ago, Richard Lee and I caught up with the analytics team behind Rearden Commerce/Deem’s travel solution and platform. On the call, we dug into ways that Rearden is beginning to inject a new set of useful predictive analytics into the business travel area. Their approach incorporates the level of quantitative and correlation analysis of historical data (both personal and publicly available) that makes even a CMU graduate’s head spin (Richard’s b-school alma matter). Among other dataset combinations/mash-ups layered with predictive analytics on top, Rearden is leveraging Bureau of Transportation statistics covering 67 million flights in the past […]

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United Airlines Should Be Ashamed at How Their Switchover to Continental Systems Has Failed Fliers

- March 16, 2012 1:03 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Jason Busch, Travel

The past two weeks have been a disaster for United travelers. Even though United is one of our larger suppliers at Spend Matters/MetalMiner and our general experience has actually improved in recent years, our entire team feels let down by how poorly United has managed its transition to Continental’s ticketing, web, upgrade and related systems. As background, at the beginning of March, United made the transition to the systems of its recently merged/acquired partner, Continental. And across the globe, frequent flyer chaos, even for top-tier flyers, has ensued as a result. The only saving grace has been the dozens of […]

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Of Cruise Ships and Commodities: What Matters Most When It's Full Steam Ahead

- January 18, 2012 7:01 AM | Categories: Jason Busch, Procurement, Travel

I must admit, we’re not big “cruise people” in the Busch/Reisman house. But we’re planning on taking our second Disney Cruise with the family this winter (if you’re on the fence, I’ll go out on a limb to say that Disney does everything right, even if you hate the whole concept of getting on a floating city with thousands of families and screaming kids). Yet of course like many others preparing for a trip in the coming months, the tragedy in the waters on the coast of Italy caught our attention as more than just another sad human-interest story. Rather, […]

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