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Report examines implications of tech on sourcing

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A new report by global travel management company BCD Travel examines the impact of emerging technologies on corporate travel sourcing.

Taking a buyer’s point of view, BCD Travel says the report is meant to “close a knowledge gap” in the industry when it comes to the implications of new technology. It looks at tools such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, machine learning, chatbots and artificial intelligence.

It is the first in a six-part series of reports focused on key areas of corporate travel programme management, including policy, communications, duty of care, payment and expense, and performance management.

BCD Travel has named the series ‘Inform’, which is published by the TMC’s Research and Intelligence team.

Areas of influence on sourcing explored in the report include:

  • The ability of blockchain to allow smart contracts, as well as redemption and exchange of rewards points across hotel programmes
  • The role of machine learning in automatically lowering rate caps and giving preference to less expensive hotels to save money
  • The role of virtual reality in meeting room configurations and the replacement of face-to-face meetings
  • The role of bots beyond chat into automating routine tasks such as spend analysis, catalogue management, purchase order creation, invoicing and payment processing.

The report also includes tips for executives and travel managers to drive innovation, such as joining beta test groups and consolidating data and systems ahead of introducing new technology.

Miriam Moscovici, director of emerging technologies and leader of the Research and Intelligence team at BCD Travel, commented: “Given that corporate travel buyers are now headed into annual supplier negotiations, we thought the sourcing topic would be a good one for our debut paper in the Inform series. The paper helps travel buyers better understand how to use digital technologies – like AI and chatbots – in sourcing scenarios. This is real-world information for real-world programmes.”

The second Inform report, focusing on policy, will be published in October. To receive all six reports as they are published throughout the remainder of this year and the first half of 2019, visit bcdtravel.com/inform

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