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Global Business Travel Association

Blending travel and procurement focus od Day One at ISM and GBTA Travel & Meetings Summit

Hundreds of procurement and travel professionals convened in New Orleans for the third annual ISM and Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Travel & Meetings Summit 2011. Designed to meet the needs of senior purchasing managers and supply management professionals managing meeting and travel spending, the Summit is being held through April 20 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

The ISM and GBTA Travel & Meeting Summit launched with a full day of programming on Tuesday, April 19.  During the opening general session, “Procurement Transformation,” Lynne McDonnell, vice president, A.T. Kearney Procurement and Analytic Solutions, advised attendees on the procurement performance conundrum and how to remedy it. She discussed four areas to focus on: establishing standards, alignment between internal departments, functional parity and role clarity within an organization. She also introduced the audience to a new term: investimization, which she defined as the need to reinvest in procurement capabilities justified through improved performance management practices. McDonnell concluded the session by saying, “transformation requires investment in procurement.”

McDonnell also moderated the “Executive Viewpoint” panel, comprised of chief procurement officers who discussed the challenges of bridging the gap between travel management and procurement. The panelists debated the role of travel and meetings in delivering business results. Panelist Joe Black, chief procurement officer, Aetna said, “At the end of the day, this is a people business and learning to balance the policies and practices with the human relationships is the art of the job.”

The luncheon keynote, “Gazing into the Crystal Ball: The Short Run Outlook for the Economy,” was presented by Loren Scott, professor emeritus, Louisiana State University. Scott entertained the crowd with a lively discussion about the current U.S. economic condition and what to expect in the next two years as well as oil prices and what factors contribute to their rise and fall. He shared his thoughts on what is hindering employment, the importance of a free trade market and the geo-politics that face the Middle East.

The afternoon kicked off with educational breakout sessions.“Travel by Numbers” covered essential service level agreements and key performance indicators. “From Data to Intelligence” explored leveraging data in support of better decision-making and actionable insight. The afternoon concluded with a Buyers session and an educational breakout session. The Buyers session focused on best practices, emphasizing how to take your travel and procurement program to the next level. The final educational session focused on learning how to effectively leverage transient and group hotel spend.