Many businesses use a procurement or purchasing process for the identification and selection of business travel or management products and services. Especially if the products or services account for significant outlay or require long term agreements before being accessible to business travellers. The problem is that the purchase of travel risk management products and services is leading to the termination of those making selections and exposing business travellers to avoidable risk.
Travel Risk Management
Travel risk management and duty of care have become popular travel industry expressions and frequently mentioned terms included in request for information [RFI] or request for tender [RFT] campaigns. However, they almost always fail to specific disclose or explain exactly what this “travel risk management” process is. When they do, it bares no resemblance to the international safety and risk management standards required by businesses when providing safe work systems. These expressions are often cut and paste from sales brochures without ever understanding what they actually mean and how dangerous the practice and pursuit of these standards means for the individual and business. If this was applied to other procurement and purchasing scenarios it would be called what it is….negligence. This gets travel and procurement managers fired when discovered and engages all business travellers.
A lack of safe work systems or individual risk management processes will lead to unnecessary risk to individuals and businesses.
Safe Work Systems
In order to actually manage travel risk, businesses are required to provide safe work systems. There are specific laws, procedures and compliance requirements in order to demonstrate this. Furthermore, there are also specific risk management norms and demonstrable processes required in order to demonstrate risk management. If neither of these conventions are adhered to, whatever the RFI or RFT claims, it is not a travel risk management support purchase. At best it is a misguided travel insurance purchase. When this error is discovered, travel/procurement managers are fired and business travellers are unnecessarily exposed to risk.
Lost Luggage Clause
We love and specifically look for the “lost luggage” requirement in request for information [RFI] and tenders [RFT] from businesses seeking travel risk management products and services. It immediately qualifies the buyer as not knowing what they are looking for, have no understanding of safe work systems as it applies to travel and are seeking a repurposed travel insurance product [at significant mark up] with countless buzz words and inclusions that they never use. It also telegraphs that they have no safe work systems or risk management specific to travel [despite what they may think/say] as lost luggage is a random, unrelated issue when it comes to travel safety management. When presented with an RFI or RFT with a lost luggage clause we don’t participate, note the company and the travel manager/procurement manager and monitor the predicted outcome.
The false assumption and pursuit of a travel risk management product/service wastes valuable company funds and endangers business travellers. The placebo purchase is subsequently not “fit for purpose”. A bit like wearing a baseball cap whilst riding a motorcycle. Sure, it covers your head as desired but it is not a safety protection device as was required. Some companies take years to discover that they have been unnecessarily expending resources and money on time consuming, costly and maligned travel risk management procurement campaigns, when they should have been developing and servicing a safety work system inclusive of travel. Again, once it is discovered, those responsible and those that championed the pursuit [whether intentional or not] are fired. Meanwhile, all business travellers have been exposed to unnecessary travel safety risk, which not only places the individual in harm’s way but exposes the company to legal recourse.
Don’t purchase or run travel procurement campaigns for unnecessary products/services whilst ignoring the actual intent/compliance requirement. Understand the issue, the compliance [not conformity] issues and then craft a campaign that identifies and engages the most appropriate solutions. Don’t pursue sales brochure terminology or be lead by providers towards a specific product/service that coincidently looks and functions precisely like their offering. Single source purchasing or procurement may be necessary, only if precisely what you NEED is what they DELIVER.
Intelligent Travel – Making travel safer…One trip at a time!