COVID-19: Preparing for what comes next
With airline fleets across the world grounded and a lot of people now working from home, to describe the current global situation as challenging, would be nothing short of an understatement. With most travel programmes at a standstill due to the COVID-19 crisis, there are lots of things that you can start to think about and plan ahead to mitigate some of the issues you may face when the world starts to heal and everybody gets moving again.
We’ve highlighted some key areas to think about when planning for the next three to six months. By taking the time to re-evaluate and implement changes will help benefit you and provide a more detailed oversight of your travel programme.
1. Cost of change
At the moment, every organisation wants to know the cost of change. The financial impact to business travel cancellations and rebookings, delays and repatriations. Not knowing this in the immediate term due to invoicing and lead times makes it very difficult to look ahead financially but scenario planning can help. It can be useful in managing internal expectations, reporting back to stakeholders, and also allowing you to make decisions more quickly, once you have the information in hand. Rest assured that CTM will be here to support in the way we always have and will work through these changes with you.
2. Auditing practice
We always encourage clients, in the same way that we do our internal teams, to audit practices and programmes regularly. It’s going to be imperative moving forward that you look at your end-to-end processes and policies, as well as establish what worked and what didn’t in managing the coronavirus crisis. It will afford your business a wealth of information and allow you to mitigate against anything like this in the future.
A deep dive into your group security processes with the possibility of introducing pandemic training may well be a useful place to start. This retrospective analysis should look at the biggest picture possible for your organisation.
Based on that audit analysis, it’s vital to update your company policies. This is likely to be an ongoing measure over the coming months while a new normal is established but understanding what has worked and what hasn’t will be critical. When working with CTM, these policy conditions can be built into our client’s travel programme and reflected across the online booking tool, as well as bookings via a travel consultant.
4. Supplier programmes
Reviewing your supplier programme will be a very sensible move over the coming months. There will undoubtedly be lots of changes and we anticipate some businesses will want to re-evaluate their preferred supplier relationships.
For larger businesses that hold more leverage with suppliers, ensuring your programmes are well sewn together will allow you to move most quickly when things become more operationally ‘normal’.
For smaller businesses, there has never been a more critical time to lean on CTM as your TMC partner. Lacking leverage with suppliers at a time when there is so much noise and challenge will be tough.
Negotiating the most cost-effective supplier agreements is just one way that CTM delivers unbeatable value to its clients.
5. Information sharing
Whatever the size of your organisation, information sharing over the coming months is going to be paramount. It’s also going to be a huge hurdle. Things will continue to change at such a pace, it will make understanding the business travel landscape extremely taxing. Establish processes now for reporting, updating and strategising your business’s next steps.
WE’RE IN IT TOGETHER
Governments and communities the world over have used the phrase ‘we’re in it together’ to help people and businesses know we will come through these challenging times; there will be great times again – and that’s certainly true of travel. Taking the time now to step back and re-evaluate will let you move your programmes forward more easily when that time comes. We at CTM will be here to help you through every stage.