OMNIA Partners Blog

Aligning Travel with New Initiatives to Keep a Seat at the Table

Posted by Enterprise Holdings on October 04, 2022

Business disruptions due to the global pandemic over the last two years fundamentally altered business travel while also elevating the role and visibility of travel managers within their organizations. Faced with advising senior leadership about employee safety regarding domestic and international environment in a time of rapidly changing guidance and restrictions, many travel managers were called to the decision-making table for the first time to provide strategic input on how travel could support organizational goals.

2022.08  PRIVATE  EHI  Aligning Travel with New Initiatives to Keep a Seat at the Table - Blog

While all of that is still playing out in real time, the collective impacts of the pandemic on business and business travel upended the traditional role of travel managers, shifting the focus from a primarily procurement-led position with a heavy emphasis on cost savings and transactional components to a more strategic and advisory position.

As procurement leaders work with travel managers to solve the challenges of business travel, procurement teams can leverage the power of a group purchasing organization to provide solutions for your organization’s travel needs.

OMNIA Partners supplier Enterprise Holdings can provide your organization’s procurement teams with total transportation solutions that are streamlined, cost-effective and strategic to your organization’s growth.

As travel managers are shifting from transactional to strategic roles, let’s explore key strategic functions that procurement can help travel managers emphasize to capitalize on this historic opportunity.

Recognize the Opportunities

Travel managers are not only being presented with the opportunity to be more strategic in their elevated roles, but leadership within organizations are looking at the value of travel as it returns

Identify Key Strategic Functions and Skill Sets

Collaboration and Communication. Over the last two years, the focus on collaboration and communication across stakeholders has increased. Finance, human resources, legal, and procurement in travel-related decisions are now involved in revising both current and post-pandemic travel rulebooks.

Duty of Care and Employee Safety.  Travel risk management has evolved into a strategic function for travel managers that includes supporting risk management, legal teams or taking the lead for the company. 
Define Essential Business Travel. As business travel continues to resume, travel managers are in an advisory role that focuses on the value that travel adds to their organization as well strategically mitigating risks. 
Curating the Employee Experience. Travel managers have taken on more of a strategic role as curators of the employee experience for both virtual and hybrid meetings.

Focus on Environmental, Social and Governance

Sustainability Reshapes Corporate Travel. Travel policies are being revised to implement sustainable business practices. 

Remote Work and Workplace Flexibility. As the trend for remote work has become a permanent fixture, many organizations are reevaluating working arrangements that include, when, why, and how employees should travel. 

Keeping a Seat At the Table

Reimagine the Travel Manager's Role. As tactical and transactional functions will remain a part of travel managers roles, specifically for small and midsized businesses, companies can reframe travel as a long-term investment in prosperity and culture versus a commodity.

Don't Waste the Reset Button. Travel managers have the opportunity to take a seat at the table and bring their expertise to align travel with company goals when building travel strategies.

Download the full KEEPING A SEAT AT THE TABLE: Aligning Travel with New Strategic Initiatives White Paper to learn more about the strategic functions that travel managers need to emphasize to align travel with business growth.

About Enterprise Holdings and OMNIA Partners

Members of OMNIA Partners have access to transportations solutions through Enterprise Holdings. Through their global car rental network and the value of OMNIA Partners, members have access to cars, vans and trucks at competitive rates with integration to travel management tools. This contract includes both nationally recognized brands Enterprise and National.

Topics: Group Purchasing Organization, Car Rental, Travel Management, Supply Chain Management, Procurement, gpo