American Express Offers Free Recession-Proof Assessment

To help companies recession-proof their travel programs and identify further opportunity for cost savings, American Express Business Travel has begun offering a complimentary travel program assessment to companies of all sizes in each region around the world. In 2007, American Express used the same proprietary methodology to deliver more than $1 billion in travel savings for its North American clients.

American Express Travel said that the program was previously only available to existing American Express clients. The assessment will use a proprietary solution to analyze key performance indicators, such as online booking adoption, non-refundable ticket usage and compliance to preferred vendors and travel policies.

“We understand that companies are walking a tough economic road right now, yet the imperative to travel has never been greater as companies seek to cement business relationships,” said Charles Petruccelli, president of American Express Global Travel Services. “Because travel programs represent the second highest discretionary cost a company incurs on an annual basis, smart travel policies are crucial in the current environment. By opening up access to our proprietary methodology through a free assessment, we will be able to help companies around the world identify greater savings opportunities. This approach can help ensure companies are realizing maximum returns on their travel investment.”

Companies interested in receiving the free assessment can log on to American Express’ corporate travel online community, Requests for a complimentary assessment should be received by January 6, 2009.

In addition to the free travel program assessment, American Express Business Travel also recommends several tools and strategies within its solutions suite to help companies recession-proof their travel programs, manage travel spending through this economic crisis and drive savings year round:

X-Ray Vision— A dynamic reporting solution that allows companies to use new technology to monitor traveler activities in new ways. From class of service traveled to how frequently they use company tools and programs to book trips, the use of non-refundable tickets and advanced purchasing, companies now have a magnified view into traveler behavior. With the collected data, companies have the ability to even go one step further and compare their travel spending to that of other similar companies and peer organizations within their industry.

An Incredible Expanding Policy— A technology solution to help companies manage travel spending beyond air, car and hotel costs. By implementing a single online platform and utilizing preferred vendors with negotiated discounted rates, companies can now manage restaurant spending, packaging and shipping costs, web-conferencing and black car service. These additional business services can account for nearly 50 percent of a company’s travel and entertainment costs and are currently not managed by most companies.

Aim to Reclaim— A service that identifies and tracks refundable tickets, allowing travelers to reclaim lost travel dollars by finding and processing unused e-tickets. While today’s environment necessitates that tickets be changed or canceled at any time in conjunction with business trips with constantly changing itineraries, managing these costs can lead to greater realized savings.

Confirm they Conform— Technology that can automatically confirm an employee has booked within company policy. This solution offsets countless hours spent offering travelers specific guidance for booking travel only to have them book outside company policy.

Calculate Savings Realized— Proprietary methodology to measure the effectiveness of the strategies and solutions implemented by a company. This tool is able to calculate the true savings a company has realized over a period of time, and goes hand-in-hand with the Opportunity Forecaster.

Peer Power— A social online community built for professionals who manage travel for their companies. The site gives members an opportunity to build relationships with their peers from other companies so they can share ideas and best practices about the role of travel management. Additionally, members will have access to a research library, message boards, blogs, live polling and live chats with key members of the industry.

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