Author Archives: The Company Dime

Teleconference 9: Payment

Payment
May 11, 2017, at 12 pm EDT
Register here.

Payments underpin travel management. Ease-of-use for travelers and data for employers are vital. Join us for a live, multi-part discussion about the latest in corporate travel payment. We’ll talk one-on-one with Citi managing director Gonca Latif-Schmitt, head of the bank’s commercial card business in North America. Next we’ll examine the complicated, high-potential world of virtual payment. A roundtable discussion will feature Conferma co-founder and CEO Simon Barker, CHG Healthcare travel manager Gordon Cowley and U.S. Bank head of corporate payment systems emerging markets and strategy Nicole Schrader Tackett.

Reserve your dial-in spot now for only $10 (price subject to change). Limited tickets available!

Register.

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Questions or concerns? Got ideas for what we should ask the speakers? Email us.

Find information on other upcoming Teleconference episodes and download previous ones here.

More On Teleconference 9:

For the first time in our Teleconference series, we’re happy to conduct an executive interview. A leader at one of the world’s largest issuers of T&E payment solutions, Gonca Latif-Schmitt oversees market, product, sales and account management for corporate and public sector clients. We’ll chat with her about what’s on clients’ minds and what’s new with T&E payment.

tcd-teleconference-featuredAfter that, Conferma’s Simon Barker, CHG’s Gordon Cowley and U.S. Bank’s Nicole Tackett will take us through the still-emerging technology, process and opportunity of virtual cards.

We’ll look at use cases. We’ll consider the challenges of bringing together financial and operational parties in a corporate environment. We’ll discuss the role of the travel management company.

What will it take to push these solutions over the edge to mainstream? Perhaps a huge government contract.

It’s our ninth Teleconference, May 11 at 12 pm EDT. Join us.

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Teleconference 8: NDC In Corporate Travel

NDC In Corporate Travel
April 13, 2017

Download the recording here.
Gift the recording here.
Get the slides here.

Many in the business travel community know the general idea behind the International Air Transport Association’s New Distribution Capability. It’s not only for direct channels. It could improve access to airline services. What else does NDC mean for corporate travel providers and programs? When is it coming?

tcd-teleconference-featuredTackling these and other questions were Festive Road managing partner Caroline Strachan with NDC Travel Manager Advisory Group members Pascal Struyve (Ingersoll Rand global travel, fleet and meeting services director) and David Weaver (Bechtel Corporation manager of travel procurement).

Strachan delivered a primer on what NDC is and what it’s not. It’s not another distribution channel, she said. It’s not a new technology. Rather, it is a standardized language and an enabler of efficiency, differentiation and even corporate recognition.

For Struyve and Weaver, NDC is about traveler service, refined airline relationships and a level playing field among distribution channels. They said it would prod travel management companies, online booking tool providers and other partners to move past transactions and on to “service intelligence.”

Find information on other upcoming Teleconference episodes and download previous ones here.

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ASTA, The Company Dime Partner To Study Transition From Unmanaged Business Travel

Last week the American Society of Travel Agents and The Company Dime announced a research partnership to learn more about the barriers and opportunities related to converting “unmanaged” business travel to managed travel. Why do businesses large and small implement travel management practices? What role do travel agencies play in that, and what other services are crucial to the shift?

As we have pointed out a few times on this site, there are a number of new options for companies looking to apply some level of consolidation to otherwise unmanaged travel spend. These tend to be tech-driven startups focusing on a new approach to one or more tools in the kit. Often these newbies seek the expertise, support and/or services of a travel management company to round out their appeal.

ASTAASTA president and CEO Zane Kirby described the collaboration as part of the group’s efforts to help members grow their business. Working with ASTA affords The Company Dime an opportunity to study an interesting part of the market that traditionally attracts less attention than do mature corporate travel programs.

Our joint announcement has more details. If you’re a travel management company executive, your company is likely to hear from us soon.

We’d like to thank ASTA for this opportunity, particularly its Corporate Advisory Council which is helping shape the project. Its members are Gloria Bohan (Omega World Travel), Craig Carter (Luxe Travel Management), Marc Casto (Casto Travel), Chris Dane (Hickory Global Partners) and Denise Jackson (Balboa Travel Inc.).

We look forward to sharing our findings during ASTA’s Premium Business Summit in June.

Related

Teleconference 5: Inside TMC Economics

Why The Midmarket Is Gold For Travel Management Companies

Meet The People Behind The New Virtual Agents

Latest Startups Try Texting, With Agent Or Bot

NexTravel, W Travel Partner To Take Midmarket Firms Across Borders

All The Rage: Rewards

Upside Enlisting Travel Management Companies To Support ‘Self-Managed’ Service

SR Travel Takes Action To Manage The Unmanaged

Pana Downplays Commissions In Unmanaged Business Travel Service

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Before We Break, An Appeal

Dear Readers,

The Company Dime turned two last month, which could mean we’ve entered a new phase of maturity. More likely, we’re ready to break more stuff — hopefully news!

That requires hard work. We’re happy to bust our tails for you, but we also need your support.

It has come to our attention that the practice of sharing user names and passwords for our site falls somewhere between occasional and rampant. This hurts our business and jeopardizes our ability to bust said tails. Our subscriber agreement indicates this practice is against our policies, but who reads the fine print? If you were not aware, we don’t blame you. Hence, this spanking post.

toddler

Image: Thinkstock

Perhaps it goes without saying, but copying and pasting or otherwise duplicating content without permission also is a major no-no. Copyright laws exist for a reason, so watch it, you rascals!

What we ask is to be fairly compensated for our work. If you’re using someone else’s account to access our premium content, please sign up. It’s really not very expensive. And if you shared your password before, please ask your friend to sign up. Heck, ask your friends to sign up anyway if you believe in what we’re doing.

We really appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to serve you as long as income exceeds expenses.

Best regards and happy holidays,
David and Jay
The Company Dime

P.S. Quick update on our biz. Our events work has produced mixed results. Stay tuned in 2017 for info about a new partnership. Our Teleconference also is rocking the ups-and-downs, after emerging from our Podcast, but we’re having fun with it and it will only get better. You should definitely sign up for the next one.

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Teleconference 7: Mobile Technology

Mobile Technology
March 9, 2017

Download the recording here.
Gift the recording here.
Grab the slides here.

It’s everywhere, so what’s next for mobile technology in corporate travel? Our expert panel discussed the status quo, keys to creating a mobile strategy, the possible impact of mobile self-service on jobs and operations, and emerging functions like chatbots.

This episode featured American Express Global Business Travel vice president Evan Konwiser, Festive Road associate Aurélie Krau, head of Sabre Labs Mark McSpadden, BCD Travel VP Will Pinnell and Roadmap CEO and co-founder Jeroen van Velzen.

Find information on other upcoming Teleconference episodes and download previous ones here.

More On Teleconference 7:

Mobile technology is part of everyone’s life. It’s crucial especially for traveling businesspeople. But it feels like it’s still in its infancy. The possibilities seem endless.

tcd-teleconference-featuredOf course, our devices now can handle planning, booking and itinerary management. And they’ll get better at it as providers — incumbents and plenty of new-entrants — fine-tune services. There’s also collaboration among colleagues, engagement between employers and employees, virtual payment applications, trip disruption services, risk management and on and on. It’s not hard to envision phones and tablets playing a role in pretty much every aspect of managed travel programs and an individual’s own travel experience.

When new developments like artificial intelligence and chatbots take hold, they’ll do so via mobile devices.

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Teleconference 6: Traveler Engagement

Traveler Engagement
Feb. 9, 2017

Thanks to all our attendees and speakers! This event’s recording may be purchased here or gifted here for $10. Grab the slides here.

A big part of travel management is traveler management, or it should be. Our sixth teleconference featured four practitioners discussing the tools, metrics, benefits and challenges of traveler engagement. Speakers: Festive Road associate Mia Andersson, Shire senior global travel procurement manager Mary Batal, Microsoft global employee engagement and user experience lead Julia Fidler and Advito principal and vice president Lesley O’Bryan.

Find information on other upcoming Teleconference episodes and download previous ones here.

Background On Teleconference 6:

We all have access to more information than ever, and we are as finicky as ever. For corporate travel managers, this presents a big challenge. Keeping travelers compliant, productive and healthy — and making sure they don’t jump ship for a job with cushier travel — requires two-way communication across various channels.

tcd-teleconference-featured

This gets into the culture of an organization and the methods it and its suppliers use to interact. Social networks. Mobile communications. Crowdsourcing. Surveys. Focus groups. Travel councils. Travel program marketing. A lot goes into effective traveler engagement. Once feedback is collected, travel program managers can do all kinds of things with it.

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Teleconference 5: Inside TMC Economics

Inside TMC Economics
Jan. 12, 2017, at 12 pm EST
Special 90-minute episode

Thanks to all our attendees and speakers! This event’s recording may be purchased here or gifted here for $25. Grab the slides here.

During the sold-out Teleconference 5 AmTrav CEO Jeff Klee and Short’s Travel Management CEO David LeCompte talked about the differences in how their companies generate income, as illustrated below. They also talked about expenses and pricing.

Meritor global travel manager Jack Reynaert detailed his travel management program which uses the ARC CTD model. CTBR managing director Don Swartz commented on the TMC data and offered his views on client pricing and RFPs. And Festive Road managing partner Paul Tilstone updated his own research from several years ago on TMC remuneration.

Find information on other upcoming Teleconference episodes and download previous ones here.

Background On Teleconference 5:

How travel management companies are compensated has been a focal point of industry change for decades.

Most recently, American Express Global Business Travel revealed a new fee to cover the costs of processing bookings with certain airlines. These airlines may be hard to book. Or they may pay less in incentives either directly to the TMC, or through the GDS in the form of segment fees.

tcd-teleconference-featuredNew information on GDS incentive fees paid to TMCs by Sabre reminds the veterans and informs the newbies about this normally under-the-radar revenue line.

Hotel revenue is a big part of the picture. So is the cost of labor. Tech partners including online booking tools are in the mix. New applications of artificial intelligence could play a role.

For corporate buyers, all this plays into the structures of contracts with TMCs.

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The Company Dime, Festive Road Partner On New Monthly Virtual Business Travel Event

The Company Dime and business travel engagement consultancy Festive Road are delighted to announce a media partnership to co-produce our new Teleconference series.

The relationship will see Festive Road partners Caroline Strachan and Paul Tilstone providing insights and content ideas to The Company Dime co-founders Jay Campbell and David Jonas for this new, monthly live and recorded format. In addition, Festive Road partners and their associates will act as subject matter experts, guest presenters and inquisitors throughout the series. Each episode includes an analysis of the news, feature discussions and industry pitches. You can listen to the beta episode on airline distribution here.

Festive Road“We have admired Paul’s and Caroline’s work in the industry for many years and our companies share the same spirit,” said The Company Dime co-founder Jay Campbell. “We are both straight-talking, independent and hungry for answers. This is a great example of a very special transatlantic relationship.”

Paul Tilstone, managing partner of Festive Road, agreed: “The word respect and David Jonas and Jay Campbell go hand in hand. We look forward to bringing the best of both of our work together for an exciting series and providing some in-the-thick-of-it perspectives to the magical work that business travel professionals do.”

Here’s more info on the monthly Teleconference.

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Teleconference 2: Hotel Buying

Hotel Buying
Oct. 13, 2016

Thanks to all our attendees and speakers! The recording from this event may be purchased here or gifted here for $10. Here are the accompanying slides.

On Teleconference 2, The Company Dime and expert guests examined the dynamics of the ongoing 2017 hotel rate negotiating season. ABC Global Services CEO Eric Altschul, Hilton executive director for business travel sales Maria Chevalier, Festive Road associate Lora Ellis, Anthem travel and events director Cindy Heston and HRS VP of the Americas Suzanne Neufang provided their insights.

tcd-teleconference-featuredSpeakers discussed virtual payment as a “path to the future,” but part of a journey that is only just beginning. They talked about the need for a simpler hotel RFP process. They said that while buyers have more data than ever, hotels are experimenting with more sophisticated revenue management techniques. Dynamic pricing, according to one, is gaining trust.

The call also got into the effect of book-direct programs, new hotel booking platforms and the potential impact of supplier consolidation, plus duty of care relative to chains versus independent hotels.

Find information on other upcoming Teleconference episodes and download previous ones here.

 

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Teleconference 3: Online Booking Tools

Online Booking Tools
Nov. 10, 2016

Thanks to all our attendees and speakers! This event’s recording may be purchased here or gifted here for $15.

Highlights of Teleconference 3 included Jay Campbell’s observations of the US Airways v. Sabre trial and Upside chairman Jay Walker taking questions about his business travel proposition for small and medium enterprises.

Microsoft global travel and venue group lead Eric Bailey, Dart Container travel services manager Cheryl Benjamin, Deem chief commercial officer Tony D’Astolfo and Travelport group vice president Scott Hyden discussed the productivity and monetization challenges for corporate booking tools.

Find information on other upcoming Teleconference episodes and download previous recordings here.

More On Teleconference 3:

Corporate self-booking tools get no respect. Some of that may be deserved. With greater investment in consumer systems, corporate applications look relatively clunky. They can be slow. They might lack content.

teleconference-logo-webThat there are legitimate reasons for much of that doesn’t always ease the communications and marketing burden for corporate travel professionals.

Perhaps there is reason for hope. It seems like activity in the segment is on the rise. American Express Global Business Travel is acquiring KDS. Amadeus is relaunching its offering. Sabre is revamping its approach with GetThere. Deem is new again. There are some new entrants.

On mobile, these companies and others have an opportunity to literally rewrite their purpose.

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Teleconference 4: Cost Vs. Comfort

Cost Vs. Comfort
Dec. 8 at 12 pm EST

Thanks to all our attendees and speakers! This event’s recording may be purchased here or gifted here for $10.

During Teleconference 4, Nvidia senior global travel manager Karoline Mayr, tClara managing partner Scott Gillespie and Carlson Wagonlit Travel Solutions Group vice president Christophe Renard discussed how to balance cost and comfort in business travel.

Other highlights included David Jonas reporting on the emergence of Basic Economy fares and DUFL co-founder and CMO Andrea Graziani taking questions about her company’s clothes laundering and delivery service.

Find information on other upcoming Teleconference episodes and download previous recordings here.

More On Teleconference 4:

In travel management, ’twas ever thus: “Yes we can save 20 percent, but we’ll have to fly in economy.”

teleconference-logo-webDuring the past decade, procurement put a laser focus on spending. But at what cost?

Given the emerging appreciation for wellness and productivity, corporations are assessing the potentially negative impact of their frugality. What are the limits of self-service? How far is too far for traveler centricity? What are suppliers doing to improve the experience?

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Teleconference 1 (Beta): Airline Direct Distribution

Airline Direct Distribution
Sept. 8, 2016
The Company Dime welcomes expert guests including American Airlines managing director for distribution and data commercialization Cory Garner, ARC president and CEO Mike Premo, WestRock corporate travel manager Karen Hatch and World Travel Inc. president Dee Runyan to decode the status quo on airline direct booking in business travel.

Music: “Funkorama” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
Here are the slides. Here’s info about upcoming episodes.

Thanks again to our speakers and attendees!


Airlines have been selling their own seats since time immemorial. Four decades ago, indirect distribution via travel agencies and reservations system technology took off.

teleconference-logo-webTwo decades ago, the Internet brought us both supplier websites and online travel agencies. Yet, the epic distribution showdowns that resulted haven’t toppled the industry’s framework for business travel distribution.

Nowadays, at least two serious efforts that support non-GDS distribution are underway. Lufthansa’s GDS distribution fee and Concur’s TripLink are programs that specifically impact business travel. Airlines are applying GDS bypass more broadly as well, such as AA’s NDC-compliant, Farelogix-provided direct connection with Priceline.

In the past we saw various airline programs fail to disrupt distribution. We saw would-be GDS competitors G2 SwitchWorks and ITA Software go by the wayside.

Is it for real now? Where’s it all going? How can business travel professionals prepare?

We discuss that and more in our beta Teleconference.

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Podcast 11: James Filsinger, Tom Botts, Chris Vukelich, Flo Lugli and Mitchell Stern

Join us as we talk to travel management professionals about business travel services, expense management and careers on The Company Dime’s podcast.

Our eleventh episode features the second installment of a panel discussion recorded last month on hotel pricing and the lodging request for proposals process. The first part is here. Our expert guests were Yapta president and CEO James Filsinger, Miraval Group SVP and CMO Tom Botts, industry veteran Chris Vukelich and Navesink Advisory Group’s Flo Lugli.

That’s followed by an interview Jay Campbell conducted in March with Mitchell Stern, manager of travel services at education company Pearson. They discussed the importance of communications, proving the value of the program, policy, service versus cost and tech integration.

Download the audio file here.

Here’s more on our guests…

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