Benson: Rajdev, last time we only had time to finish the discussion on “Rescue” and three variables under “Rebuild”. What are the remaining important elements under “Rebuild”?
Rajdev: They are: data management, expense management & insurance, and team management:
- Data management: Are your current data points adequate? Well, chances are you need to take a deeper look. I for one have learnt during the evaluation stage that a lot of what we used to do has either become redundant or it’s time to rebuild data points. This will require professional help as the current infrastructure may not be adequate and that can have a deep effect on duty of care, passenger tracking and cost lines.
- Expense management & insurance: The travel insurance that we once had is now consigned to the history books, so we need to relook at what’s covered and what not or we will have to learn the hard way. Similarly, with so many digital payment options, it’s always good to do a “must-have” versus “what we have” scenario. You may have to renegotiate based on the newly available options.
- Team management: Now that we have covered most of the aspects, is your team prepared to meet these challenges? What skill sets must they adopt? What new training should they undergo? What are the new acceptable levels of customer service? For this purpose the team is my company and all stakeholders below and above, myself included. The company may now have to relook at ROI on travel for at least the next two years and prioritise employee safety. It's not going to be, or it shouldn’t be, a cost game.
Benson: I see. How about the last R “Return” in your model? Can you elaborate more?
Rajdev: Absolutely. The last R is “Return” and can be well explained with a cricket anology. As a batsman returns to plan and take guard all his previous records are of no use. He needs to focus on the next ball. Whether he will get a century or a duck will depend on his approach to this new game. Are you ready to take a fresh stance? I am sure you will find this template useful. Have I missed out anything? What are your views? I would love to know. It’s time to rewrite and take the lead. Best wishes!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rajdev for sharing his words of wisdom with us. The pandemic is no doubt affecting all of us every day, nevertheless, it gives us a golden opportunity to sit back and review our traditional business model. The inspiring “R” model from Rajdev provides further inspirations for travel managers. “One size does not fit all”, but travel managers can consider mirroring and applying the discussed best practices from Rajdev before ameliorating any travel programme post COVID 😊.