Buying Travel Services in the Digital Age – Webinar on November 21st

Most of our webinars tend to be about general procurement good practice topics – supply chain risk, or perhaps contract management or managing stakeholders.  But later this month on November 21st we are going to delve into some of the latest thinking and issues around a specific spend category for a change – and we’ve chosen travel.

Travel and related services may be perceived as not particularly “strategic” by some procurement folk, but anyone who has worked in businesses that are strongly people-based will know just how important, sensitive and often huge a category it can be. It was really one of my favourite categories, being always interesting, varied and quite challenging, back in the days when I actually did procurement rather than pontificate about it.

Those industries where it is a significant area include financial services, business and professional services (big consulting firms spend a fortune on travel), media, entertainment and advertising.  I remember a friend of mine being CPO for a large well-known music business years ago and she told me that hotels were right at the top of her priority list, for a number of reasons, some good and some less so.  “Try telling Michael Jackson’s people he has to stay in a particular hotel on our approved list and see what happens”, I remember her saying!

But it is also a major spend for less glamourous businesses who have a lot of staff or contractors out on the road, so that brings industries such as utilities, transportation, maintenance management and similar into the picture too.

Anyway, with the title of "Buying Travel Services in the Digital Age", we’re going to be looking principally at how digitalization has affected and is affecting the travel industry and what that means for travel managers and category managers.  Actually, when you think about Airbnb, Uber, the plethora of hotel booking sites, TripAdvisor, we might argue it has affected it more than most business sectors. None of those tools even existed back when I was negotiating route deals with BA or hotel deals with Hilton. Ah, that was in the days when BA was our “national carrier” – there’s another concept that has pretty much gone out of the window too!

I’ll be joined by Julian Kulkarni, VP at  Roomex, a firm that is providing a useful on-line platform for corporates in the hotel and lodging area, and I’ll be asking him questions such as - should you let your staff stay in Airbnb properties? What exactly is the “duty of care” that the firm owes to its staff? Can I get a better deal booking flights or hotels myself than I will through the global corporate deal? And why do I always get the poky room directly over the air vent from the kitchen or the one next door to the guys doing Karaoke at 2am ….

You can register here, and we hope you can join us on November 21st at 12 noon (UK time).

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