SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

November 06, 2007 16:57 ET

Travel and Procurement: The Convergence

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - November 6, 2007) - According to a new benchmark report by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks company (NYSE: HHS), enterprises are increasingly turning to procurement departments to not only help cut costs but to apply various procurement principles in order to improve the management of this area of spend. Business travel is often considered to be a vital part of any organization and is thought to be a cost of doing business, however, not always as a category of spend that can be controlled and reduced.

The recently published report "Travel and Procurement: The Convergence" draws from the insights and strategies of 370 enterprises. Over half (53%) of survey respondents stated that there has been a significant increase in the two departments working together over the last few years. Half the respondents reported that this collaboration has resulted in improved compliance to policies and to preferred vendors, both key factors in negotiations and achieving discounts.

Best-in-Class enterprises, while outperforming their peers, have seen a variety of benefits from collaboration between procurement and travel with an effective utilization of various T&E technologies and services. These enterprises have:

--  an average compliance rate of 90% to corporate travel policies and
    procedures
--  place 87% of their T&E spend under management
    

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Best-in-Class enterprises either have the travel department fall under procurement or work closely with them, contributing to their impressive T&E performance metrics.

"Procurement should really not be seen as the bad guy; they are becoming more strategic in nature and can add significant value in a category such as T&E," said Vishal Patel, senior research analyst at Aberdeen.

The sourcing and negotiating side of procuring travel and travel services is meaningless without clear visibility into the measurement of internal travel processes, compliance to travel policies, and performance metrics. Therefore, Aberdeen made recommendations that may help enterprises improve their performance, some of which include:

--  Consolidation of enterprise-wide T&E data
--  Establish key performance metrics
--  Establish SLAs where appropriate, with travel management companies,
    travel suppliers and / or technology providers
--  Improve T&E reporting and data analytics capabilities
    

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Concur Technologies and TravelMaster Technologies. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4187

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2007 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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