In an industry that’s known for providing cutting edge transport and modern logistics solutions for others, companies can often overlook the importance of optimisation of their own travel programmes.
But that’s about to change.
The transport and logistics industry is at a critical point. Companies have weathered the pandemic in recent years – many of them playing essential roles – and they’re ready to move past recovery into growth.
As these companies look to scale fast, the challenge they’ll face today will be how to keep up with the rapid pace of change.
Why modernise your business travel programme?
The concerns of a modern transport and logistics company look different today than they did just a few years ago. Instead of just cutting costs, smart companies are now looking to balance business-building initiatives with strategic cost management to optimise margins. Speed and ease of adoption are more pressing than ever, and high rates of turnover and sustainability now top many companies’ agendas.
Here’s how a modern business travel programme can play a critical role in driving the success of these new priorities across the transportation industry:
In a tight economy, it’s crucial to keep an eye on both measures driving profit margins – taking advantage of every opportunity to grow revenue while implementing systems and processes that strategically rein in costs.
A modern business travel partner like Amex GBT Egencia (Egencia™) can move the needle on both.
For many companies in the transport and logistics industry, travel is directly tied to revenue. The more shippers and truckers hauling goods, the higher the revenue. The more pilots shuttling crew and supplies, the greater the sales.1
So, the question becomes, how to minimise friction to enable smart travel throughout the organisation?
The answer lies in advanced technology coupled with world-class customer support, delivered through an easy, enjoyable user experience. Because travel programme adoption is key to managing the other piece of the profit equation – costs.
Ease of adoption and speed of implementation
Many companies in the logistics and transportation sector wonder how, exactly, a Travel Management Company (TMC) can support their business-building activities to help them scale.
It starts by working with your TMC to assess your company’s needs and any unique needs of specific traveller groups. Are there segments of your workforce that can’t access a mobile app, for instance, or groups who need additional flexibility when it comes to real-time itinerary changes?
Egencia customers get a dedicated account manager to walk them through this assessment stage to customise a solution that will serve the company best.
So how complex of a process is it to transition to a modern business travel platform from a legacy system or weak performing digital solution?
Easier than you might think.
One new Egencia customer looking to shift from a legacy travel management system to an integrated digital and offline model worked with their Egencia onboarding and account managers to complete the migration of travel booking and expense reporting in just two months. Even better, the Egencia solution fit right into their ecosystem, and they achieved 93% adoption rate right out of the gate, with travellers reporting a much better experience overall.
How to deal with high turnover?
A modern business travel programme can help with turnover in two ways. First, the right system will give travel managers and arrangers easy tools for adding and deleting traveller profiles, either individually or in bulk. And traveller groups make it easy to quickly add travellers to the system without needing to complete an entire profile.
But a modern business travel programme can do more than that. It can also play a part in creating a corporate culture that attracts and retains the employees you want. A robust travel programme that provides flexibility (especially important in this new era of hybrid workforces) and prioritises responsible care for traveller wellbeing can give companies an edge over competitors when courting new talent.
What about sustainability?
These days, sustainability is more than just a checkbox for many companies across sectors. But for the transport and logistics industry, which is so heavily reliant on energy, it’s an especially salient consideration.
So, what do you want to look for when choosing the right TMC for your sustainability initiatives? First, you’ll want to make sure that the TMC can provide measurements that will allow you to track progress towards your sustainability goals. And second, you’ll likely want to look into whether they’re practising what they preach as a company, since they’ll be representing you as your vendor.
With Egencia’s carbon emissions workspace, companies can track specific metrics on emissions. We’ve also built greener options right into the booking path, like suggesting train travel (which has much lower carbon emissions than air travel) when a traveller is looking at a short haul flight along a route where rail is available. Travellers can also build side-by-side itineraries to compare the carbon footprint of each.
As hard as we work to provide travellers with tools to make smart, sustainable choices themselves, we’re also committed to making an impact on the industry by being a leader in sustainable initiatives. Egencia has been carbon neutral since 2017 and proudly supports 8 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).2
The transport and logistics industry has proved its mettle by weathering the storm of the pandemic. Yet the challenges continue, with inflation, economic instability, and supply chain disruptions. The key to succeeding in today’s environment is having a robust digital-first approach that fosters flexibility, resilience, and efficiency. Your TMC can play a critical part in your business growth over the next several years, so be sure to choose wisely.
Interested in learning more? Check out our blog, “Tackling tricky travel for the freight and logistics industry” for a glimpse into what it’s like for a freight and logistics company to partner with a Travel Management Company (TMC).
1Results vary by size and complexity of company set-up.