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What Small and Midmarket Companies Want: Control Over Business Travel Costs


Posted by Kevin Iwamoto on 04/28/2014

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Don Munro, a Sr. Content Manager at Lanyon, listened in on BTN's recent webinar, “Small and Midmarket Best Practices.” Here is his account.

It was great tuning into Business Travel News’ webinar last week, “Small and Midmarket Best Practices.” It brought to life a lot of what I hear about small and midsize companies: many are using Big Data and travel management best practices to make strides in controlling costs and, despite their relatively limited buying power, cutting deals with hotels and airlines. Still, others aim to get their meetings and event spend under control.

BTN highlighted its new research, SME 2014, a study of 101 small and midsize companies, in the webinar. Small and midmarket companies cited cost control as both their top 2013 accomplishment, as well as their top goal for 2014.

Other 2014 goals for small firms (those who spend under $2 million annually on travel): managing hotel expenses and hiring a full-time travel manager.

Meanwhile, this year, midsize firms (those who spend between $2 million and $12 million in travel yearly) plan to implement duty of care programs (reflecting rising concerns about security of business travelers), as well as manage meetings.

The webinar featured some savvy travel managers who’ve implemented solid best practices at their organizations.

One is Cheryl Benjamin, Travel Manager at Dart Container Corp. The company, which recently bought Solo Cup, established a new, “mandatory” travel policy for the unified organization last January.  Also this year, Benjamin rolled out a new online booking tool across the company’s U.S. and Canadian offices. Her goal was to get consolidated data on travel bookings and increase bargaining power.

Another webinar participant, Yasuo Sonoda, Senior Global Manager, Procurement Analytics, Travel & Card Services at Verisign, revamped his company’s travel program in 2011. He produced 12% savings on his travel and entertainment budget. In another belt-tightening move, Sonoda extended the U.S.-Europe flight time requirement for business travelers seeking to book business class—from 6 hours to 9.5 hours. 

Are you a small or midsize company with some tips for controlling travel costs, negotiating with suppliers and managing meetings? I’d love to read about your best practices. Please share here, and check out some recent Lanyon intelligence on SMBs and sourcing:

Additional Resources:

Lanyon Survey:  Survey Reveals How Event Planners Manage the RFP Process & Seek More Efficiencies

Lanyon Infographic:  How SMB Event Planners Navigate the RFP Process: Then, Now & Beyond

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