< PrevNext > Karen Hutchings, EY Global head of travel, meetings & events The Magician Who Made Hotel RFPs Disappear By Julie Sickel / December 12, 2018 / Contact Reporter Share EY's travel, meetings and events program operates with a straightforward, yet radical-for-this-industry philosophy: Keep it simple and challenge the status quo. Perhaps that's why Hutchings is no stranger to BTN's Most Influential list. She also was named in 2015 for establishing a "co-opetition" structure with EY's three global travel management companies and earned the title of BTN's 2015 Multinational Travel Manager of the Year for the initiative.This year, Hutchings garnered yet another honor, BTN's Travel Manager of the Year, for applying the EY philosophy to the organization's massive global hotel program. Hutchings and her team deployed a new hotel sourcing process that tossed out the traditional RFP. The team redefined and put in place dynamic rates, introduced rate caps to almost 600 cities and more than 100 markets and used rate shopping technology to track EY's dynamic discounts along the way. The change has more than cut in half the length of time EY spends on hotel sourcing, taking it from an RFP process to a "renewal" process. The team's time is now freed up to negotiate more value adds for employees and to explore new ways to improve the program.Hutchings also has shown the corporate travel industry that an alternative to the traditional hotel RFP model of annually negotiating static rates annually and can save travel programs time and money in the process. At BTN Group's Innovate conference in October, Hutchings said travel buyers and hoteliers alike have started asking the question, "Are you going to do a traditional RFP or the EY RFP?" It's still a work in progress to get the industry to change. Hutchings said one of the biggest struggles has been to get hoteliers to truly believe that the process can be faster for them, too. "Our industry is struggling with the challenging of the status quo," Hutchings said in October. "But many of these things are coming at us like a freight train and, for me, you have to embrace it because if you don't, others will be around that are embracing it."