Using Data to Help With Duty of Care Compliance

how to use your travel data to help improve the traveller experience

A survey conducted by Wakefield Research between May and June, of 500 UK business travellers and 100 UK travel managers, found that 44 per cent of travel managers are planning on implementing enhanced duty of care solutions and services – this as a direct consequence of COVID19.

Our Consulting Manager at Gray Dawes, Aman Pourkarimi, shares his tips and tricks for using data to help both companies and travellers implement and comply with an effective Duty of Care solution.

Like all strategic goals, success is underpinned by data. Because only what gets measured, ever truly gets managed.

Travel data involves:

  • The collection
  • The cleaning
  • The interruption
  • Incorporating them into your policies and systems
  • And repeat.

All steps are important, of course. For example, if you rely solely on data from your travel management company, you’ll fail to spot any non-compliant spend which would appear on credit card, expense systems or direct from the supplier.

As travel data comes from different sources, it will need to put into a uniformed standard in order to be accurately analysed. I spent many a night consolidating the numerous names attributed to London on various data sources. From LON, LOND, LONDON. London. Thankfully, smart formulas have made these far quicker to clear out. This is important, as if you used that data to negotiate your preferred hotels, you could be neglecting volumes which would play a part in leveraging discounts.

Which leads me onto interrupting data. This should be built around key metrics which you choose to assess performance. There is no one size fits all approach. What success looks like varies from business to business, but I’m going to talk through some KPI’s we recommend, relating to duty of care, which will allow you to take positive action to maintain the safety, security and wellness of your travellers.

In another Business Travel Bitesize Consulting Session, we discuss processes you can take to facilitate duty of care during the three stages of travel: Pre, during and post trip. The driver throughout these phases is booking through a preferred vendor i.e. a travel management company.

So, compliance to approved vendors is an essential KPI. However, on average, half of business travellers don’t actually use the travel booking solution provided by their company!

The measurement is relatively simple:

%age of number of transactions via preferred vendors vs non preferred – i.e. a hotel stay booked directly with the supplier.

However, the working out is a little trickier.

In order to establish compliant spend, you will need to access travel management company reporting for all travel segments for a minimum period of 3 months, preferably on Excel. Remove all refunds, cancellations, exchanges, etc. so you’re looking at fulfilled bookings only.

Then you’ll need to sort the data by routes (for rail and air) and destinations/pick up points (for hotel, car and ancillary).

I recommend ranking by total spend, and then dividing the total number of transactions to derive the average transaction value. For hotel, it’s advisable to use the number of room nights rather than transactions.

I advise doing this for the top 80% of spend and applying the metric across the remaining 20%. That’s because the long tail end of spend is often non-recurring from year to year and the volumes are too low to establish an accurate average. I recommend a minimum of 10 transactions.

In order to establish the non-compliant bookings, you’ll need to consolidate expense, credit card and supplier data for the same period as the compliant report you built earlier.

Now let’s look at your expense and credit card data. You’ll be provided with transaction type, destination and total spend, but these will need to be cleaned so destinations and transaction types are consistent. For example, for transaction type car rental could be stated as merely car, car hire, car rental etc. Same for destinations. I recommend choosing the same name formatting as the compliant spend. Usually, non-compliant air spend is rare, as the transaction value is relatively high to be absorbed by travellers. So your focus will be ground transportation, accommodation and incidentals such as parking.

For hotel, the complication with credit card data is that you’ll not have the number of nights. You can either use your vendor data to apply your actual average daily rate for that property to your total spend, removing any extras as incidentals, or contact the hotel directly for information.

Congratulations! You can now determine the variance between compliant and non-0compliant data. This will give you the ability to not only budget travel spend, assess travel policy compliance and leverage for negotiations but, critically, the opportunity to address non-0compliant spend by speaking to the travellers and bookers involved.

Which leads me to traveller satisfaction and wellness, which is linked to duty of care. Here are some of the metrics we use to manage this:

  • Number of nights away on business – compared to and as a percentage of 261 working days in a year
  • Average days between trips – the breaks between trips for your top travellers
  • Number of supplier-led cancellations and delays vs total flights
  • Number of long haul and/or overnight flights taken and class travelled in
  • Fixed satisfaction from top travellers – scores for vendor and suppliers – conducted anonymously. A key question should be ‘did they feel happy to travel or did they feel pressured to do so?’
  • Comparison of number of trips taken by top travellers year on year – to understand if significant reductions (-20%+) relate to dissatisfaction

Combining analysis from the ‘traveller experience’ will give you a strong platform to fulfil Duty of Care legal requirements and make travelling a safe and rewarding experience for your staff.

 

We hope you found this brief insight into how to use data to support of duty of care programme useful. Here at Gray Dawes Consulting these are just a few of over 28 metrics we employ in the field of Duty of care, Cost Control, Process Efficiency and Corporate Social Responsibility to deliver a best in class travel programme.

Click HERE to find out more about Gray Dawes Consulting and how Aman can help your business with his 28 KPI levers!

To help you navigate the changes of business travel, we’ve created the brand-new Traveller Toolkit. This invaluable online resource is packed full of easy-to-use guides and checklists for every stage of every journey. We detail exactly what you need to know and do before, during and after your trip.

You’ll also find innovative and interactive virtual trips, which walk you through each step of  being at the airport, on the train and in the hotel. You can even check the travel restrictions and health status of your destination with our comprehensive COVID-19 Country Tracker, updated five times daily to ensure you have the very latest information to help keep you and your travellers safe.

Travel is changing. With common sense and a good TMC behind you, travellers can have the confidence to once again take to the skies. It’ll soon be back  business as (un)usual.