Key Performance Indicators – what are they and how can you apply them to business travel?

2 min read

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a set of defined measurements on which you can assess how successful your travel management company is at managing your travel spend. KPIs are different to a Service Level Agreement (SLA) as they’re not a measure of the service they provide but a measure of how they are performing in achieving specific goals agreed with the customer.

As every client will have different goals they wish to achieve, KPIs will usually be different for each client. From a single KPI to a list of many, KPIs ensure travel management companies are accountable for helping customers achieve their objectives, they also provide a transparent way of measuring this success.

Examples of KPIs we often see include:

  1. Lowering average hotel rates
  2. Reducing the number of trips booked outside of the contract with the TMC
  3. Increasing online adoption of the self-booking tool
  4. Increasing the number of days travel is booked in advance
  5. Reducing CO2 emissions from travel booked
  6. Reduction in average rail ticket prices

Any KPIs you agree with your TMC should follow the SMART criteria in that it should have a Specific purpose for the customer, it should be Measurable and AchievableRelevant to the particular purpose or goal set by the client and it should be monitored over a period of Time.

When agreeing on KPIs with your Travel Management Company, we recommend having between 5 and 8 KPIs, so it’s easy to assess the data and results. It’s also important to remember that KPIs should not be fixed for an extended period of time, they should be flexible so you can adapt to changes in the industry or within your business. For example, some KPIs may only be relevant for a few months to measure a change in policy or to deal with an industry related trend or challenge.

Setting, measuring and regularly reassessing KPIs will ensure your travel programme remains relevant and produces positive results. Your TMC should work closely with you to ensure this is the case.