Unilever’s Yvonne Moya does not sit in procure- ment. As the director of global travel, event and fleet services, she reports directly to Unilever’s CFO. Still, she partners closely with procurement o deliver an effective travel program.
The program looked best-in-class on paper. “We had
ticked all boxes, like in the schoolbook” she said, reciting
a list of procurement best practices: “We had consolidated
the program with the TMC, hotels and airlines. We were
negotiating with all of our suppliers to make sure we had
the best deals.” Yet there remained a lack of traveler en-
gagement with the program that Moya wanted to change.
“We needed to look at [the travel program] within the
evolving consumer environment, not just from a travel per-
spective,” she said. “Unilever is a consumer products compa-
ny. We want to be faster to the market, be tech savvy, person-
alize to the customer. When we looked at the program from
that perspective, we came back with an interesting analysis.”
Moya’s travel management team and procurement coun-
terparts uncovered deficiencies on several fronts. There was
lack of awareness around the travel program, a dense and re-
petitive travel policy and a weak communications strategy.
On the supply side, the service configuration at the travel
management company was outdated, with expensive agen-
cy implants in some of Unilever’s 90 markets. Global travel
manager Kristian Collard pegged hotel leakage at 50 percent,
while global category leader for indirect procurement Philipp
Brunner said expense report analysis showed off-channel ho-
tel bookings often realized savings against negotiated rates.
Even as traveler satisfaction and engagement moti-
vated Moya, Unilever’s zero-based budgeting demanded
savings to justify initiatives. As a result, traveler-friendly
technology solutions also had to be budget friendly, and
innovative procurement strategies would be critical.
Unilever’s Yvonne Moya is driving supply-side strategies to enhance customer
service, traveler engagement &
compliance. First, though, a modernized
communications strategy established a
foundation for success. By Elizabeth West
12 / TRAVEL PROCUREMEN T www.businesstravelnews.com/procurement