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Digging For Gold – Revealing unmanaged expenses

If you have been in travel management for a while, you have probably redefined your travel program to a state-of-the-art level – trimming traditional travel expenses like air, hotel and ground transportation to perfection.

By now, you know it all: How to leverage your buying power with suppliers, how to combine your transient travel with your meetings and events spend, how to adjust the policy so travelers book well in advance, how to negotiate the best deals…

However, are you sure you are getting the full picture of your travel and expenses (T&E) spend and supplier usage? A lack of visibility can lead to decisions being made based on incomplete and incorrect information often leading to missed saving opportunities.

Fortunately, we launched a tool that allows you to see the goldmine more easily, and keep all expenses under your radar: CWT Travel Consolidator.

This web-based platform combines air, hotel and ground transport transactions booked regardless the channels – with credit cards, expense and HR data. By revealing the hidden costs of business travel and off-channel spend, the tool enables you to identify missed savings opportunities, improve compliance and increase your organiza

tion’ negotiating power with suppliers.

It also allows you to discover unmanaged expenses. For instance, one of our clients saw her company was spending on meals an average of $6.5 million with Starbucks and Hilton Hotels. She also discovered that three of their ten top meal suppliers were hotel chains, something that allowed her to negotiate better prices with suppliers.

Meals are not an expenditure to be taken lightly. According to a recent survey produced by the BTN Group, dining alone typically has comprised about 11% of an organization’s travel and entertainment spending.

Some buyers also said meals were their third-largest travel expense, after air and hotel and, for pharmaceuticals, meals can represent nearly half of the T&E budget.

But meals are not the only hidden cost. Another client discovered they were not tracking 50% of their total $110 million T&E spend: $23M on air, hotel and car rental booked outside CWT; $16.5M on meals, $6.5M on transportation and $10M on other expenses.

As you can see, there is a lot of money on the betting table, so make sure you track all the different expenditures to make the smart moves needed to save on your travel program.

Blog author: Christophe Renard, Vice President, CWT Solutions Group