Rapid returns could easily be the theme of this issue of Procurement.travelas several stories detail the speed at which procurement buyers are transforming travel management policies, practices and programs. Business decision-making is moving at a faster clip than a decade ago, but the acceleration of complete program reconstructions and global expansions is remarkable when compared with such projects at the start of the decade or in the 1990s.
In our Cover Story, WellPoint's Cindy Heston and Tony Santiago explain how they have overhauled the company's outdated, inefficient travel program during the past year. While happy with their accomplishments, both made it clear that they have much work ahead.
The Case Study of Marsh and McLennan Cos.details the breakneck pace of the company's first-ever travel consolidation and its approach to corral the last 20 percent of its global spend.
Global consolidation at Kodakduring the past three years and the recent relocation of travel to global procurement from shared services are examined in another Case Study.
Economic conditions and the need to deliver savings are propelling the pace of change. But so too are emerging technologies--social media and iPhone applications among them--that open a new world of information and resources to travelers with the push of a button or two. This issue's Feature Story explores some of the implications of social mediaon managed travel programs.
The realities of new fees and surcharges piling up on car rental billsare highlighted in this issue's Supply Chain. The realities of data protection requirements for travel and meeting managersare addressed in Meetings. Potential challenges of new agent desktop "directional selling"applications on managed travel programs are discussed in this issue's Technology department.
As we mark the end of 2009, we wish you an unhurried holiday season prior to your speedy return to the travel dynamics of 2010.