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United MileagePlus programs is changing dramatically in 2020 to focus more on high-spend rather than high-mileage travelers.
BTN Assistant editor Dwait Habtemariam gathered two small and midsize enterprise travel managers-Mapfire Insurance travel buyer Curtis Cleaves and Diamond Offshore travel manager Renee Gannaway- to wade through the challenges of travel risk management for SMEs.
What does travel contribute to business strategy? That’s the question travel managers need to ask themselves as they approach the most senior leadership in their organizations. Aside from that, nothing matters. As easy as that sounds, it isn’t. The partners, presidents and chief executives BTN spoke to instinctively viewed travel asa business enabler.
About three years ago, UBS’s travel program did something drastic. The group stopped sending reports to stakeholders. For two months, zero reports. Of the business unit managers and the executives who had been on the recipient list, “only about 30 percent came back and said, ‘Where’s my report?'” noted global travel head Mark Cuschieri. “It spoke volumes. We’re sending all of these reports. We think that’s driving value, but actually, no one’s looking at them.”
For many years cost savings has been the main focus for many finance departments, however, changes have been brewing. Some of that is due to increased efforts for collaboration and awareness from the travel industry. At the same time, the finance field is undergoing its own shift, which could mean a less antagonistic relationship between travel and finance when the next recession inevitably arrives.
Business travel is filled with hassles and stress, whether it be airport security lines, long flights, or time away from family and friends. Meanwhile, bleisure is on the rise, as employees tack extra days onto their work trips to step away from the grind and explore new destinations.
Expensify is launching a corporate card that links directly to the company’s expense system, obviating the need for corporate clients’ employees to submit receipts for reimbursement.
Amex is opening its corporate card line to startups typically considered too small for corporate programs but too large and well-capitalized for small business card programs, said American Express Global Commercial Services president Anna Marrs.