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WORDS GREELEY KOCH


OPINION


ARE YOU FEELING THE HEAT YET?


As we start a new year, get ready to face new challenges – but don’t forget the progress made over 2018


what needs to happen in the upcoming year.


T


One list you should add is your accomplishments in the past 12 months. This reality check will serve as an encouraging reminder that you were in this same overwhelming spot a year ago – albeit with different issues. And you hopefully emerged with your company, your department and yourself in a better place. Perhaps you figured out a way to allow extensions of business trips for leisure purposes? Or you made headway on alternative accommodation choices or acceptable uses of app-based ride-sharing. Maybe you pinned down your company’s senior leadership on duty-of-care and traveller safety coverage. And, even if you didn’t nail how to measure traveller productivity and well- being, you’re probably ahead of where you were 365 days ago. Next year, when you go through this exercise, new distribution channels and


buyingbusinesstravel.com


HIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR for lists – financial to-dos, summer holiday planning, and don’t forget the Post-Its with


quality management likely will loom large.


DOUBT ABOUT NDC ACTE has found that while many global travel managers are optimistic that NDC will help in airline negotiations, a far greater number remain sceptical, fearful of lower functionality, higher costs, less fare transparency, compliance and duty-of-care. But what to do and when to move forward are difficult given that policies are still being sussed out.


A REALITY


CHECK WILL SERVE AS A REMINDER THAT YOU WERE IN THIS SAME SPOT A YEAR AGO – ALBEIT WITH DIFFERENT ISSUES


Better quality management is an area we’ve long avoided, pushing it into the future. For years we measured progress by financial results and compliance. While we’ve always known these metrics don’t reflect traveller productivity, we’ve never figured out a better option. The time is nigh. According to a recent survey


of ACTE members worldwide, 80 per cent want a standard system of measurement. But what is the best way to measure actual traveller satisfaction or trip success rate? How do we incorporate factors such as traveller friction, trip success rate and HR information? Survey respondents also agree on two things. One, these are important indicators of quality. Two, very few organisations measure them.


Quantifying such vague issues is like figuring out temperature. For a million years, humans knew the information was important; we just didn’t know how to quantify it. But once Gabriel Fahrenheit invented the mercury thermometer in the 1700s, it became obvious enough that even a ten-year- old trying to dodge school could do it.


SEEING THE OBVIOUS Basically, it comes down to this – everything is hard until it’s obvious. And the only way


Greeley Koch is executive director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (acte.org)


2019 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 155


to get to obvious is through hard work. To keep yourself on track and accountable this year, consider making a deadline calendar at the beginning of the year for certain benchmarks. As you make your 2019 list, remember to think about the stuff you didn’t quite resolve in 2018. And also recollect what you did accomplish. I guarantee the list will be longer than you think.


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