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American Express Business Travel Free Travel Program Assessment

American Express Business Travel is offering companies a free travel program assessment “to help recession-proof travel budgets.” As a business traveler, I’m sure you’re concerned about the economic recession and how it affects your employment. Take it from me, when businesses start losing money, travel is often one of the first things on the chopping block This assessment is designed to identify opportunities for cost savings, possibly saving your job.

Your business need not be a member of American Express Business Travel to receive the assessment, which is available for businesses of all sizes around the globe. I’m sure they’ll offer their services as part of the package, which may or may not be a good deal for you.

According to the press release, [T]he assessment will use a proprietary solution to analyze key performance indicators such as online booking adoption, nonrefundable ticket usage and compliance to preferred vendors and travel policies. In 2007, American Express used the same proprietary methodology to deliver more than $1 billion in travel savings for its North American clients.

A BILLION dollars is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

If you’re interested in receiving an assessment for your business, you can log on to American Express’ corporate travel online community. Requests for a complimentary assessment should be received by January 6, 2009.

American Express is happy to offer you several “solutions” to manage travel costs, including:

X-Ray VisionA dynamic reporting solution allows companies to use new technology to monitor traveler activities in new ways. From class of service traveled to how frequently they use company tools and programs to book trips, the use of non-refundable tickets and advanced purchasing, companies now have a magnified view into traveler behavior. With the collected data, companies have the ability to even go one step further and compare their travel spending to that of other similar companies and peer organizations within their industry.

An Incredible Expanding PolicyA technology solution to help companies manage travel spending beyond air, car and hotel costs. By implementing a single online platform and utilizing preferred vendors with negotiated discounted rates, companies can now manage restaurant spending, packaging and shipping costs, web-conferencing and black car service. These additional business services can account for nearly 50 percent of a company’s travel and entertainment costs and are currently not managed by most companies.

Aim to ReclaimA service that identifies and tracks refundable tickets, allowing travelers to reclaim lost travel dollars by finding and processing unused e-tickets. While today’s environment necessitates that tickets be changed or cancelled at any time in conjunction with business trips with constantly changing itineraries, managing these costs can lead to greater realized savings.

Confirm they ConformTechnology that can automatically confirm an employee has booked within company policy. This solution offsets countless hours spent offering travelers specific guidance for booking travel only to have them book outside company policy.

Calculate Savings RealizedProprietary methodology to measure the effectiveness of the strategies and solutions implemented by a company. This tool is able to calculate the true savings a company has realized over a period of time, and goes hand-in-hand with the Opportunity Forecaster.

Peer PowerFinally, a social online community built for professionals who manage travel for their companies. The site gives members an opportunity to build relationships with their peers from other companies so they can share ideas and best practices about the role of travel management. Additionally, members will have access to a research library, message boards, blogs, live polling and live chats with key members of the industry. Membership to the site is free and can be accessed via