Travel Spend Management for Government Contractors/Agencies

Government contracting is a complex activity that can require significant investments in time, people and funding. From large scale, multiple year programs that involve dozens of suppliers to simple, one off projects for a local agency, there is no such thing as a "simple" government project. The same is true for government travel spend management. Think about all the levels of approval. All the rules and regulations. It can be a headache every time you plan a trip. Whether you work for an agency in a county, state or federal level of government, it helps to know that there are vendors out there that specialize in travel spend management for the government.

Lets face it; you know how important the amount you spend on travel as well as the logistics of travel is to your organization. What you don't know is just how much you can save when you partner with a top travel management firm.

One thing that has become very popular is the idea of running a government agency or entity like a business. Many public agencies and entities have had success by applying successful private sector practices to ensure better value for the tax dollars used.

At Atriis, we have found that the way private companies manage travel programs can many times be far more efficient than those of a public organization, or even those that have the government as their major client. Everywhere we turn, there are reduced budgets, increased compliance requirements and new pressures to perform more with less. And the way we manage travel programs is no exception.

So what are the issues faced by those companies that serve the government or by government organizations themselves?

The first issue that is routinely discovered involves purchasing. Successful private businesses never allow multiple departments or divisions to purchase an identical product at varying prices from the same vendor. Yet, government organizations often operate in violation of this principle, largely because agencies and institutions purchase as independent entities. There is no communication between them. At best, you find out after the fact, but it's too late to do anything about it.

And then there are discounts. Many of the companies that serve government as well as government agencies themselves have the market power of a Fortune 100 company but do not take full advantage of the discounts that vendors offer to clients with large demand for the vendors' goods and services. The good news is that you can achieve best-in-class pricing and service quality by utilizing advanced travel contracting technologies and processes. How?

The first step is to perform a spend assessment and analysis, followed by implementation of strategic sourcing for some of the key categories of spending. Next is a compliance and monitoring system. Absolutely essential. Finally, you want to focus on knowledge transfer as well to ensure that your procurement team gains important process expertise and knowledge to apply these techniques to existing workstreams.

In the end, you'll see savings achieved by improved pricing and by transforming procurement practices to seek best value - a combination of price, quality and service levels. You'll also be able to synchronize user profile information and leverage families of booking sites. But you may need help.

Running a state, city, or government agency is challenging as it is. You don't need the added complexity of not being able to outsource certain functions. After all, if it works in the private sector, it should be able to work for you as well.

No matter what your internal issues may be, we are here to help bring accountability and efficiency to your processes. We have worked with hundreds of companies, all around the world to improve travel spend and other travel procurement needs.

Travel spend management is possible for the government. Like any other sector in business today, it involves many steps of analysis, planning and implementation, but it can be a reality. And when the public finds out how much tax dollars were saved through your new travel program, you'll have a much easier time trying to sell your next program to them...

About the Author:
Yaron Perlman is a Director at Atriis Technologies, a developer of on-demand software solutions for the corporate travel industry. Their enterprise travel spend control system enables corporate clients to reduce overall travel spend by 10-20%. Find out more at http://www.atriis.com/index.php

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 305
Date Published : Dec 6 2010

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