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5 Strategies for Negotiating Airfare Discounts with SAP Concur!

Timothy Shim gives us the low-down on the 5 strategies for negotiating airfare discounts with SAP Concur!


Negotiating Airfare Discounts with SAP Concur!

Whether it’s a short hop to a neighboring city for a client meeting or an international conference halfway around the globe, airfare costs can significantly dent your company’s budget. That’s where systems like SAP Concur step in.

From leveraging data to setting up effective travel policies, we will explore five strategies for negotiating airfare discounts with SAP Concur. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what SAP Concur is and how it functions as a critical part of your corporate travel management toolkit.

5 Minute Read

  • Use SAP Concur’s robust reporting tools to gain insights into your company’s travel patterns and use this information to identify potential areas for negotiation with airlines.
  • Centralize your company’s travel bookings with SAP Concur and present your travel volume data to airlines when negotiating for discounts.
  • Use SAP Concur to plan and book corporate travel in advance, demonstrating your commitment to airlines and leveraging this in your negotiations for better rates.
  • Track airfare fluctuations with SAP Concur and use your active engagement with market trends to secure better deals from airlines.
  • Leverage SAP Concur to manage and track your company’s relationships with airlines, leveraging your loyalty and long-term commitment to negotiate for ongoing discounts.

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5 Strategies for Negotiating Airfare Discounts with SAP Concur!

SAP Concur is a cloud-based solution integrating travel, expense, and invoice management into one unified system. It aims to simplify these processes and provide a seamless, user-friendly experience.

Travel Management with SAP Concur

Concur Travel is a feature within the platform that allows businesses to manage and streamline their corporate travel processes. It offers a comprehensive range of services, including online booking tools, travel management services, and mobile applications.

These services aid companies in reducing costs, enforcing travel policies, and providing travelers with a smooth and efficient experience.

Expense and Invoice Management

Concur Expense and Concur Invoice are additional features to simplify the expense and invoice management processes. Concur Expense lets employees quickly capture and submit expense reports from any location.

That does much to reduce errors and improve compliance. Concur Invoice automates invoice processing, helping businesses manage spending and cash flow more effectively.

SAP Concur’s Impact on Business Operations

By integrating travel, expense, and invoice management, SAP Concur gives businesses visibility and control over their spending. It also offers valuable insights into spending patterns, helping companies make informed decisions and save money.

Whether a business has a small travel team or a large multinational operation, SAP Concur is designed to adapt to unique needs and deliver tangible benefits.

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Strategy #1: Understand Your Travel Data

The first step to effective negotiation is knowing your ground, and in the context of airfare discounts, that means understanding your travel data. SAP Concur shines here, providing businesses comprehensive insights into their travel habits.

Key Data Points to Focus On

First, pay close attention to your company’s frequently traveled routes, preferred airlines, and ticket classes. Focus on asking the right questions to provide the most actionable insights for your business. For example;

  • Which routes are your employees traveling the most?
  • Which airlines are they choosing?
  • Are they booking economy, business, or first-class tickets?

These data points provide a solid foundation for negotiation discussions with airlines.

Analyzing Trends and Patterns

SAP Concur allows you to analyze trends and patterns in your travel data over time. For instance, you may find that your employees travel more frequently during certain times of the year or prefer specific airlines for international flights. These patterns can provide leverage when negotiating airfare discounts.

Translating Data into Negotiation Power

Armed with this data, you can approach airlines with confidence. Showcase your loyalty to specific airlines, emphasize the volume of business you bring, and demonstrate your understanding of your company’s travel needs.

When airlines see that you know your travel patterns and preferences, they’re more likely to consider offering discounts.

Actionable Tips

  • Use SAP Concur’s reporting tools to gain a comprehensive overview of your company’s travel patterns.
  • Analyze the data to identify trends, such as the most frequently traveled routes, the most used airlines, and peak travel periods.
  • Use this information to identify potential areas for negotiation with airlines.

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Strategy #2: Leverage Your Travel Volume

Once you’ve grasped your travel data, it’s time to focus on volume. As with many things in business, higher volumes can often lead to better deals, and air travel is no different.

With SAP Concur, you can aggregate your travel data to demonstrate the volume of your bookings, forming a compelling case for discounts.

Consolidating Travel Bookings

It’s essential to consolidate your company’s travel bookings as much as possible. Instead of allowing your employees to book flights individually, use SAP Concur to centralize your travel bookings.

This simplifies the booking process and allows you to negotiate with airlines as a single, high-volume customer.

Presenting Your Case to Airlines

When you approach airlines with a substantial volume of business, you’re in a much stronger negotiating position. Airlines are always looking for consistent, reliable customers. Showing them that you provide significant business can encourage them to offer you better rates.

The Win-Win Situation

By offering airlines a substantial and steady volume of business, you’re creating a win-win situation. The airline gets a reliable source of revenue, and in return, your company gets more favorable airfare rates. This symbiotic relationship is the heart of effective negotiation.

Leveraging SAP Concur’s Tools

SAP Concur provides the tools necessary to leverage your travel volume effectively. This platform is an essential partner in your negotiation journey, from consolidating bookings to presenting comprehensive reports.

Using SAP Concur to showcase your travel volume, you can confidently negotiate airfare discounts and ensure your company gets the best possible deals.

Actionable Tips

  • Use SAP Concur to centralize all your company’s travel bookings.
  • Make a report showcasing your company’s travel volume.
  • Present this report to airlines when negotiating discounts.

Strategy #3: Utilize Advanced Booking

We’ve all heard the saying, “The early bird gets the worm,” right? In our case, replace “worm” with “discount.” Being an early bird can be a real game-changer when bagging those sweet airfare deals. And here’s where SAP Concur comes in handy, making advanced booking a breeze.

Think about it – when airlines see steady, early bookings, they’re more willing to give us a break with some discounts. Plus, it’s a stress reliever! You get to avoid the last-minute scramble for tickets, and it’s easier to plan your budget when you know the costs upfront.

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How SAP Concur Helps With Advanced Bookings

SAP Concur is like that incredibly organized friend we all wish we had. With its advanced booking feature, planning your corporate travel well in advance is simple. You can book flights, reserve hotels, and even arrange ground transport, all in one place.

The Art of Negotiation with Advanced Booking

But let’s get back to the discounts. Advanced booking can give you a leg up when negotiating with airlines. Showing them that your company is organized and committed to booking in advance can be a persuasive argument for a lower rate.

Creating a Win-Win Situation (Again!)

Just like with travel volume, advanced booking creates a win-win situation. The airlines have the security of early and regular bookings, and you get to bag those tempting discounts. It’s like a beautiful dance, and SAP Concur is your dance partner, guiding you through each step.

So, remember to plan. It’s not just about saving your sanity; it’s about saving dollars. Advanced booking with SAP Concur? That’s a smart move.

Actionable Tips

● Use SAP Concur’s booking tools to plan and book corporate travel well in advance.
● Track the cost savings achieved through advanced booking.
● Highlight your company’s commitment to early booking when negotiating with airlines.

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Strategy #4: Implement Dynamic Pricing

Next up on our list of strategies is dynamic pricing. That might sound like some sort of jargon straight out of a business textbook, but trust me, it’s more complex than it sounds. It’s all about adaptability, flexibility, and being ready to ride the ever-changing airfare prices.

Airfare prices are like a rollercoaster—they go up, down, and make sudden turns. As a savvy business, we must monitor these fluctuations and use them to our advantage. When we know that prices are changing, we can swoop in and grab those discounts when they pop up.

This is where SAP Concur struts its stuff. It allows us to track these price changes and alerts us when prices drop. It’s like having a vigilant guard dog that barks (or, in this case, sends notifications) when a good deal is on the horizon.

Dynamic Pricing and Negotiation

When you’re at the negotiating table with airlines, being able to talk about dynamic pricing can give you an edge. It shows airlines that you’re not only aware of the market trends but you’re also ready to react to them. This can make them more willing to offer special deals and discounts.

Creating Yet Another Win-Win

By now, you’ve probably noticed a pattern—we’re all about creating win-win situations. With dynamic pricing, the airlines get a customer who’s engaged and responsive to the market, and you get to save some of those hard-earned dollars.

So, let’s embrace the rollercoaster of dynamic pricing. We can ride the ups and downs with great discounts with SAP Concur. Remember, being adaptable in business is a virtue; in this case, it can save you money!

Actionable Tips

  • Use SAP Concur’s tracking features to keep an eye on airfare fluctuations.
  • Book immediately to secure the lower rate when you notice a significant price drop.
  • Mention your dynamic pricing strategy during negotiations with airlines to show that you’re an active and engaged customer.

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Strategy #5: Establish Long-Term Partnerships

Last but not least is the power of long-term partnerships. We’re not just talking about fleeting, one-off deals here. No, we’re looking at the big picture—establishing relationships with airlines that can lead to ongoing discounts.

Loyalty goes a long way in business, and air travel is no different. Airlines appreciate customers who stick around. Knowing they can count on your company’s regular patronage gives them stability.

This is where SAP Concur’s ability to track and manage your travel data shines. It helps you keep track of your company’s relationship with each airline and makes it easier to demonstrate your loyalty when negotiating for better rates.

Using Partnerships to Negotiate Discounts

When you’ve established a long-term relationship with an airline, you’re no longer just another customer—you’re a valued partner. This gives you a significant advantage when negotiating airfare discounts.

Airlines are more likely to give better rates to customers who will continue to bring them business.

The Long Game Wins

Establishing long-term partnerships is like playing the long game. Yes, it requires commitment and consistency, but the payoff can be substantial. Airlines get the assurance of your loyalty, and you get the benefit of ongoing discounts. It’s a classic win-win.

Actionable Tips

● Use SAP Concur to track your company’s relationship with each airline.
● Share this data with airlines to demonstrate your loyalty and commitment.
● Leverage your long-term relationship with airlines to negotiate for ongoing discounts.

Final Thoughts: Turning Strategies into Savings with SAP Concur

We’ve certainly covered some ground! From understanding your travel data, leveraging your travel volume, utilizing advanced booking, and implementing dynamic pricing, to establishing long-term partnerships, it’s clear that there are multiple strategies for negotiating airfare discounts.

And guess what? SAP Concur has been our faithful companion, offering us the tools and features to implement these strategies effectively. It’s more than a travel, expense, and invoice management platform.

It’s a powerful ally that helps us navigate the tricky terrain of corporate travel and airfare negotiation.


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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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The SAP Concur Guide To Decluttering Business Travels

As Senior Vice President and General Manager of SAP Concur APJGC, Andy Watson is a veteran business traveller in every sense of the term. He shared with us, his guide on how to declutter business travels!

This is useful, not just for business travellers, but also holiday-goers. The same tips he shares works just as well for anyone flying for pleasure, as they do for those who fly for work!


Business Travels Beyond “Up In The Air”

Everyone who watched George Clooney and Anna Kendrick in the 2009 movie, Up In The Air, will be amazed at how business travellers pack for their business travels.

But there is really more to such business travels than just how business travellers pack their bags for minimum hassle, and maximum efficiency.

There are many other ways to make your business travels more pain-free, even before you set off for the airport!

We will let Andy Watson explain…


Decluttering Your Business Travels

Owners of untidy homes and weary business travellers may not realise that they have much in common until Japanese decluttering expert Marie Kondo came along. She made the connection clear.

Just like it’s possible − with the right method − to transform your chaotic home into a neat abode that sparks joy, it’s possible to turn business travel from pain to pleasure with some technological ingenuity.

Traditionally, before making their trips, business travellers need to:

  • Manually conduct multiple searches for their desired flights and hotels. Bookings are done separately with the need to repeatedly key in personal and booking information.
  • Manually consolidate multiple bookings in one place, often in a paper-based fashion with no capability for changes or real-time prompts and updates.
  • Go through a tedious submission process for internal approval of trip.
  • Diligently safekeep paper receipts collected along the trip.
  • Laboriously go through paper receipts and key in details for claims upon return.

With modern, mobile-based travel and expense technologies, business travellers will be able to declutter all these processes, better organise their trips, and take more effective care of their own safety.

For instance, they could:

  • Use smart apps to book all flights, hotels and rental cars, streamlining travel booking, claims and invoicing management from start to finish.
  • Declutter − organise all their travel plans in one place, including personal arrangements done with their favourite travel service providers like Airbnb and Uber.
  • Receive real-time flight alerts throughout their trip, and very coolly, get notified when a better seat becomes available.
  • Link various frequent flyer accounts and reward programs on one platform, no matter whether they are travelling for business, leisure or both. This integration ability lets travellers save time on bookings and leverage a B2C experience, while staying within the policy needs of their company.

These features are particularly attractive for millennial travellers. And that’s an important demographic for corporates and travel companies to cater to because Asian millennials’ spend on international travel, according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, is expected to increase by 1.6 times to US$340 billion by 2020.

In Singapore itself, Expedia found that 84% of millennials travel at least once a year, higher than baby boomers (73%) and the Generation X (82%).

  • Keep their company in the loop so it can render on-site assistance when the need arises. Modern apps can help firms proactively monitor weather, violence, system disruptions or other risks that may impact their travellers, communicate with them and connect them to expert support.
  • Take pictures of their paper receipts, submit them instantly for claims and forget about safekeeping them. Some apps can automatically create, itemise and categorise charges in expense reports.
  • Use apps to auto-submit hotel, restaurant and transportation e-receipts, or enable these vendors to submit their receipts directly to your corporate expense system. This paperless approach aids environmental preservation. Other sustainable options exist for modern apps – travellers may be able to optimise their routes based on emissions, be encouraged to consider the low carbon option of rail travel, and rent environmentally friendly cars from designated rental firms.

Looking beyond travellers themselves, all these capabilities can tidy up operations for finance managers and make their work a breeze.

The data of employees’ bookings across multiple channels all flow back to the finance team. The team gets more visibility and greater insights, so they can apply policy on direct bookings and better manage compliance and approvals.

With this same data, the finance department could anticipate needs, predict challenges, identify opportunities on the fly, and tackle everything from taxes and compliance risk to mobile phone expenses and fraud. All in all, a company could create a best-in-class experience for its employee travellers while dramatically improving its financial controls and productivity organisation-wide.

Without doubt, technology can free employees of the mundane hindrances of travel, giving them a clear mind to get their business done.

With business travel within Asia growing at twice the pace of the rest of the world, China being the world’s largest business travel market, and India and Indonesia forecast to be the globe’s fastest expanding markets over the next five years (clocking 11.3% and 8.7% respectively in compound annual growth), the time for firms to take action and put some joy into their travel and expense experience is now.


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The 2018 SAP Southeast Asia Intelligent Enterprise Showcase

We were recently invited to the 2018 SAP Southeast Asia Intelligent Enterprise Showcase in Manila. It kicked off with a tour of the famous Tanduay distillery, and culminated in a showcase of SAP software and services in helping major corporations transform their businesses into intelligent enterprises.

Join us for our complete coverage of this major SAP event in Southeast Asia, and learn from these success stories on how to digitally transform your business into an intelligent enterprise!


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JG Summit is one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, and they’re driving their digital transformation into an intelligent enterprise using SAP S/4HANA. SAP software currently support between 30% and 90% of JG Summit’s operations.

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CrowdFarmX Tackles World Hunger With SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud

CrowdFarmX is leveraging SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud to accelerate the on-boarding process for farmers across Southeast Asia. This will help them reach and help up to 10 million farmers over the next 22 years, in an effort to stave off world hunger.

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How SAP Concur Simplifies Travel + Expense Management At Mitsui

Mitsui & Co Asia Pacific is a large multinational company with more than 43,000 employees peppered across 14 Asian and Oceania countries in its 25 offices. To become an intelligent enterprise, they deployed SAP Concur to radically simplify the travel and expense management for their staff!

Read more about How SAP Concur Simplifies Travel + Expense Management At Mitsui!


How SuccessFactors Help Body Shop Indonesia Retain Talent

The Body Shop Indonesia has been using SAP SuccessFactors to digitise their HR and employee processes in their digital transformation into becoming an intelligent enterprise.

SuccessFactors does not only greatly simplify the process, it also offers greater transparency. This has the end result of retaining crucial talent, and reducing their employee churn rate.


How Globe Telecom Is Becoming An Intelligent Enterprise With SAP

Globe Telecom is a leading full-service telecommunications company in the Philippines. They kicked off their digital transformation into becoming an intelligent enterprise with SAP in 2016.

By 2017, their operations were 20% paperless, which accelerated to 50% this year. In the next two years, they plan to be digital for 80% of their operations, with a goal of being fully digital by the year 2020.


The 2018 SAP Customer Forum On Intelligent Enterprise

The SAP intelligent enterprise showcase ended with a roundtable forum of their major Southeast Asian customers. Hosted by Peter Moore, Vice President of Platform & Data Management, SAP SEA, they shared their experiences in transforming their companies into intelligent enterprises.


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How SAP Concur Simplifies Travel + Expense At Mitsui!

Large multinational companies like Mitsui & Co have a big problem managing the travel and expense claims of their many employees.

Find out from Mitsui how they used SAP Concur to simplify that onerous task for their 43,000+ employees!


How SAP Concur Helps Mitsui Manage Travel + Expense Claims

Mitsui & Co Asia Pacific is a large multinational company in its own right. It has more than 43,000 employees peppered across 14 Asian and Oceania countries in its 25 offices. However, one of the stumbling blocks to continued expansion is the way they were managing travel and expense claims.

Their systems were still paper-based, and their staff were spending hours each week completing their travel requests, and making expense claims. They were also wasting time correcting errors. That’s when they look into SAP Concur.

Ikuo Hayashi, General Manager of the Information Systems Department, Planning Division,Mitsui & Co. ASIA PACIFIC who headed their efforts to digitise their operations with SAP Concur shared with us his thoughts on how SAP Concur helped streamline their travel approval and expense claim processes :

“We identified the quick wins and could reduce the time taken to complete travel and expense forms. Plus, it was straightforward to cut approval cycles and lower the cost of transactions. But most importantly, we saw Concur as a platform on which to innovate and create an eco-system.”

He also shared with us some of the quick wins they were able to achieve in a short time with SAP Concur :

  • Up to 50 percent reduction in time to complete expense claims using mobile capabilities.
  • Greater efficiency due to simplified approval processes.
  • Strengthening of regulatory compliance across Asia, despite the complexities of in-country regulations.
  • Reduction in workload IT personnel since Concur is delivered as a cloud service.

Mitsui intends to go beyond just using SAP Concur to streamline a part of their business process. Mr Hayashi and his team have plans to begin mining the data from Concur to help boost the efficiency of employee spend on travel and expenses.

“We will use the data to identify patterns like frequently used hotel chains and see how we can leverage this data to formulate group-wide policies,” he says. 


Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


Recommended Reading

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Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!