We interviewed Nora Dauffy, Global Category Manager of Procurement at LafargeHolcim, about her experience and insights in managing business travel. Let’s hear it from her:
Procurement and travel management
1. When it comes to managing travel, what’s your biggest priority?
Com-pli-ance! is certainly the biggest challenge, while making sure that the right level of information is available to and understood by the target audience.
2. What do you love most about the work you do?
- The diversity of the categories I manage, as I am responsible not only for travel and events within the company I work for but also for other service categories—I am never bored!
- The diversity of the people I meet and I work with.
3. What are the main challenges you’ve faced?
I’ve been responsible for travel and events in various companies for more than 10 years now, and compliance has always been the main pain point. In order to address compliance issues, I spend a lot of time and effort to educate influencers, travellers and travel arrangers.
4. What are your secrets to communicating and making sure key decision-makers listen?
I invest a lot of time to issue crystal-clear and straight-to-the-point communications while thinking about the information my audience needs and values. I am putting myself in my audience’s shoes, being pragmatic and fact-based in my approach.
5. How has technology impacted the travel programmes you’ve worked on?
“Technology has certainly allowed travellers and travel arrangers to save time, especially since we can use apps from our smartphones.”Nora Dauffy, Global Category Manager of Procurement, LafargeHolcim
6. What other changes have you noticed during your time in the industry?
From a Procurement point of view, I am happy to get a better granularity in the travel data I receive. It gives me a lot of leverage to negotiate with suppliers and to understand and address the travellers’ behaviours.
7. How do you currently manage your ground travel? How has Uber for Business helped you improve your business travel management?
Ground travel is mostly managed locally by the countries. Implementing global agreements helps drive the implementation of best practices and new ways of travelling at a corporate level.
8. There’s a new generation entering the workforce, and technology and business priorities are constantly evolving. What do you think corporate travel will look like in 10 years?
Considering the challenges we are facing from an environmental point of view, I really hope that companies will further push the use of audio/video conferencing in order to limit travel, as well as to improve the work-life balance of travellers.
I personally try to lead by example and use virtual options as much as possible. I proactively suggest suppliers to consider conferencing instead of visiting me on site, except when absolutely necessary.
9. What’s one story about managing corporate travel during your career that stands out?
I am always happy when I get a traveller to consider alternative ways to travel. Changing habits and mindsets is the most challenging part of my job
10. Finally, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
“Less is more” is my favourite motto in both my professional and private lives—or in other words: “focus”. Over the years I learned that simplicity is way more effective than elaborating too much.
Uber for Business enables companies to manage affordable rides for employees or guests through a central dashboard that keeps track of Uber trips and fares. Features include:
- Account management to enable employee access and monitor trip activity
- Easy expensing and notes
- Custom ride policies
- Customizable trip reports.
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