Madrid, Spain, May 24, 2007: Amadeus, a global leader in technology and distribution solutions for the travel and tourism industry, and the Business Travel Research Centre at Cranfield University, recently conducted a study on the adoption of online travel management tools, with the aim of helping companies to get more out of their self booking tools (SBTs) and to reduce travel expenditure.
SBTs can benefit companies of all sizes. The following top ten tips to help companies increase adoption of SBTs, have been compiled based on the survey responses of more than 400 organisations in Europe; North America; and Asia Pacific.
1. Don´t be put off by the size or location of your company
· All companies have the potential to benefit from an SBT, regardless of location; size of business; size of travel spend; or the number of trips taken per year. These factors appear to have no impact on the rates of adoption.
2. Develop a clear corporate travel policy
· One of the most important factors in driving SBT adoption is to provide clear policy guidance to company Directors and the HR department, so that decisions about travel management are well informed.
3. Mandate the use of an SBT
· Companies that comply with mandatory usage improve their adoption rate from 41 per cent to 65 per cent.
4. Encourage employees to ´do it themselves´
· Create a self-service mentality where employees are more willing to manage online. A flat structure and shorter reporting lines enable a quicker adoption rate.
5. Boost content so that users can access a variety of options, including access to flights and fares from low-cost carriers.
· Travellers who feel empowered to make the right travel choices based on a range of available options are more enthusiastic about using the SBT
6. Lead by example
· Companies where Directors and managers buy-in to using the SBT and ´preach by example´ tend to have the highest adoption rates at nearly 70 per cent.
7. Cut the red tape
· Complex bureaucracy can hinder adoption of online travel management tools, slowing down the rate at which communications reaches all parts of the organisation.
8. Keep the momentum
· The highest adoption rates (40 per cent) are usually seen in the first year of implementing an SBT, but thereafter it can be harder to achieve cumulative growth. Once a Self Booking Tool is established with in the company, ensure that adoption does not ´tail off´, by incorporating training into the company´s induction procedure, or offering ´refreshers´.
9. Keep abreast with new technology
· As updated versions of online solutions come on to the market, look for improved functionality and features, for example the use of handheld devices that make the booking and approving of travel more efficient and user-friendly.
10. Integrate IT systems
· Increasingly, corporates are looking for solutions that integrate seamlessly with other back office systems such as accounting software and document management.
Jerome Destors, Commercial Director, e-Travel, Amadeus, commented: "Travel is one of the largest areas of expenditure for many companies, yet huge savings can be made in time, money and improved efficiencies through the successful adoption of a SBT. It is clear that many corporations have real opportunities to improve the way these are used across the entire organisation. At Amadeus our aim is to help businesses to approach online adoption solutions for booking travel arrangements in a strategic and effective way".