In a November paper that otherwise favored optimizing indirect procurement over outsourcing it, McKinsey & Co. suggested companies consider outsourcing travel procurement. It's debatable whether outsourcing purchasing in indirect categories such as travel saves money. Nevertheless, some industry pros figured current cost pressures in certain industries would prompt more companies to look at outsourcing travel management or procurement.

Whether that's a good idea depends on so many factors that it's hard to generalize. Travel management itself is complex enough that an outsourcing endeavor is fraught with potential pitfalls.

Contributing to a possible . . .

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