Companies’ entrenched travel cultures don’t always align with business objectives. Travel teams can use demand management to change the culture, creating significant savings and happier employees. Here, business travel consultancy Advito offers three tips for demand management, and its client, LinkedIn, offers a how-to on launching a successful strategy.
Get more advice from Advito and on-the-ground experience from LinkedIn by downloading a recent joint report, “Achieving Breakthrough Savings with Traveler Demand and Behavior Strategies.”
- Know why employees travel. Advito finds travel teams that examine why people travel are better able to identify and reduce travel that doesn’t drive revenue. But the reasons employees travel are not always evident in existing traveler information—travel teams must build and analyze richer data to understand who travelers are, what they are doing and why. Capturing reason codes for travel is a great starting point for determining which trips might be ripe for reduction.
- Promote travel alternatives. Virtual technology has improved significantly in recent years, and companies are upgrading solutions that enable employees to connect productively without traveling. With the right Total Collaboration Management program in place, employees can work together across countries and time zones at a fraction of the cost.
- Tie travel reduction to broader goals. Companies should link fewer trips to organizational goals around sustainability, employee work-life balance and financial improvements. The upside for employees is less stress and increased productivity. The benefits for companies include a smaller carbon footprint, greater employee satisfaction and reduced costs.
Tips in action: How LinkedIn launched a demand-management transformation
LinkedIn made its first investment in demand management with a survey that helped the business-oriented social networking company better understand travelers’ habits and needs. LinkedIn’s Global Travel and Event team analyzed the survey data and divided types of travelers into focus groups.
Each group gave the LinkedIn team—as well as their preferred suppliers—a better understanding of why travelers go on the road and what their experiences are. The travel team gained greater transparency into the benefits and shortcomings of LinkedIn’s program.
It was a great first step toward crafting a demand management strategy to engage travelers; understand what drives their trips; and influence their behavior to change LinkedIn’s travel culture.