Before 2020, large parts of future travel program planning could be carried out by taking the previous year’s activities and using long-term trends to approximate patterns and changes in the market. From this evolutionary baseline, forecasts could be made, sourcing was carried out, and budgets were allocated.
In 2021, travel managers’ jobs have become significantly more complicated. Now, they are faced with a volatile environment of rapidly changing rates as suppliers and buyers strive to understand demand and supply. As a result, rates continue to be extremely volatile and almost impossible to manage.
On top of that, significant inventory challenges exist, including constant changes to air schedules, hotel closures/reopenings and car rental shortages. In addition, new travel patterns are developing, and buying behaviour is changing due to new ‘work from home’ policies, geographic home shifts and customer office visitation policies. All of which make 2022’s optimal program completely different from previous years. This presents a monumental challenge to travel managers.
In response to this challenge, PredictX has released our new Simulation Engine, which allows travel managers to model the impact of many large interrelated changes to their programs.
The Simulation Engine allows travel managers to take their historical program, remove parts of it that they know are no longer valid, project future volumes and merge them with fare and rate data as it happens, allowing them to instantly see where the program is trending to be in the future. The Simulation Engine also updates as markets and travel programs evolve and demand increases or decreases, allowing travel managers and budget decisions to be agile.
The Simulation Engine is also great to use when meeting with stakeholders to review their travel program, including ongoing and projected activity. It facilitates immediate identification of actions that the business leaders and teams can use and drives better actionable, quantifiable and measurable results, so that travel managers can make decisions with confidence.
Beyond this, PredictX has integrated AI models that look at historic as well as forecasted activity, enabling travel managers and planners to explore the future impact of possible policy or sourcing changes to their programs.
Finally, with the expectation that business travel and sustainability will soon work together, we have integrated CO2 emissions calculations, empowering travel managers to factor in the environment as well as financial costs of the return to travel. With this capability, travel managers can advise key stakeholders on the CO2 impact of their planned activities and budgets and help to ensure that the wider corporate sustainability goals are met.
PredictX’s Simulation Engine is the first of many Scenario Models that we will be launching, bringing innovative data science applications to our users and providing insights far beyond the reaches of business intelligence. If you would like to learn more, book a demo with us.