German firms fail on savings
A new survey of business travel in Germany has found that 20% of companies make no effort to achieve savings and that nearly 90% of them do not use deals with suppliers to cut costs.
While firms with more than 2,500 employees did make some attempts to tighten budgets, savings potential among SMEs “is not fully recognised,” the survey found.
The situation among some public institutions was worse with many having “hardly any awarenessâ€¦of further potential for savings.”
The VDR Business Travel Report Germany 2004 was carried out by consultants BearingPoint for the Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement, the business travel association of Germany (VDR).
It questioned 512 companies split equally between those with 10-250 workers, 251-500, 501-2,500 and more than 2,500.
But the survey found there was a greater awareness among larger companies with more than 2,500 employees that there were other ways to save money than by cutting travel or going in economy.
More larger companies now had travel managers (58%) and 63% of these companies were likely to have some electronic input in the travel process.
But it also found that 66% of companies with 501-2,500 employees did not have a travel manager and that they used electronic processes mostly to settle expenses.
Project manager Ms Kirsi Hyvaerinen said: “Handwritten procedures based on paper and e-mails and the telephone are nevertheless fairly widespread, even in the larger companies.”
She added that compared with the 2003 report, “it seems at least that the awareness for travel management issues, like travel policy as a set of binding rules to enable both direct and indirect cost cutting and the consolidation of data, has grown. On the other hand, the current cost cutting measures are not always the most sophisticated ones.”
* For a fuller look at the VDR report, see BTE Analysis.