17 experts advise on what’s to come this year. Spoiler: Data factors big.
The Innovate Conference for the Advancement of Business Travel offered business travel executives the opportunity to articulate priorities and recommendations.
At the Global Business Travel
Association conference in Boston, Business Travel News recognized Siemens Corp.
director of mobility services for the Americas Steven Schoen as the 2017 Travel
Manager of the Year. BTN editor-in-chief Elizabeth West announced the winner, chosen
by BTN from nominations submitted by the industry.
“BTN’s 2017 Travel Manager of the
Year encapsulates what it means to integrate corporate travel at the highest
strategic level within the organization," West said. "Steven Schoen has won over multiple
executive leadership teams, and partnered closely with human resources, with his concept to
transform travel management and the traveler experience within Siemens.”
Multiple industry peers nominated
Schoen for his strategic partnership skills across the board—showcased in partnerships
with Siemens leadership, with preferred suppliers and with colleagues who look
to him as a bellwether of what can be accomplished with their travel programs.
BTN recognizes that Schoen has driven ownership and stewardship of the travel
program down to the travelers and to their direct managers. Rather than
micromanaging down to that level, however, Schoen has gone the other way: He lifted
barriers like pre-trip approval; he virtually eliminated paper receipts from
expense reporting with the help of technology; he redefined travel program
compliance not as rule-following but as a decision the traveler and manager make
to meet a business goal; and he did all that while reporting back to the
business when "best practice" rates and values are not achieved.
"Over the past three years,
Steven has touched all the disparate parts of the travel program and brought
them underneath a more cohesive, strategic umbrella that keeps traveler
experience and productivity at the top of the priority list while driving
business value to the organization," said West.
“We are honored to recognize Steven
Schoen on his dedication to the practice of travel management. He continues to
point the way—especially for mature programs—toward the next step,” said BTN
Group VP and group publisher Louis Magliaro.
Travel Management Best Practitioners
BTN also recognized its 2017 Best
Practitioners during the conference. Each was awarded for excellence in a
single practice within their overall program:
Parexel International director of
procurement and travel Benjamin Park created a small meetings program that
incorporates virtual payment and touchless bookings for meetings of 50 people
or less. By focusing on adding value and not just process, Park packaged
services to streamline simple meetings in a way that drives adoption, improves
service and reduces costs. He has launched the program in Germany and will soon
roll it out to the U.K. and North America.
Dycom Corp. manager of corporate travel
Jennifer Steinke has been deploying mobile strategy for travel management for
more than a decade. She manages what she coined "the consumable
portion" of the trip and deploys tools that guide and influence travelers
while they're on the road. Her current achievements include working with her travel
management company to bring its mobile tool to market, driving mobile travel
services to her travelers and enabling that strategy with virtual payment
Microsoft employee experience lead Julia Fidler
and global travel business intelligence and analytics manager Marta Rodriguez
Martinez have personalized the Microsoft corporate travel experience through
data analysis and customer service, and BTN recognizes their collaboration. More
than the work of one person, their efforts to mine traveler data, create unique
traveler personas and then target those personas with customized program
communications and solutions points the industry forward, showing how
corporations can utilize their travel data in new ways to realize traveler
satisfaction and program utilization.
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