Archive for the ‘Workforce Travel’ Category
Thursday, August 18th, 2016
When it comes to shipment management for small business trucking, a smartphone is a business owner’s best friend. In addition to providing a means of relaxation and entertainment (Candy Crush, anyone?) smartphone apps are helping small companies change the game and improve efficiency.
From savvy startups to big-name tech giants, companies are looking to reinvent the way small business trucking operates.
Convoy is a start-up from Seattle that aims to create an on-demand shipment management service for truckers. Local truckers will be given a smartphone app in which they can see and accept shipments that can be delivered in one day. This benefits the trucker by allowing for more deliveries per day and immediately connects the drivers with clients who need goods shipped. The smartphone app will have a added security feature in the interface which allows the clients to follow its product in transit, right on the map.
Blackberry, the one-time leader in the smartphone game, has just launched a new product aimed at helping trucking companies track goods in transit. Blackberry Radar is a product for trucking companies that provides tracking and logistic support. This tracking support has many benefits including reducing cost of operations, improving on-time delivery, and preventing theft. The way the tracking software works is that you install a tracking device on the trailer door of your truck, then the radar sends real-time alerts when the vehicle has driven through a defined area. The radar can also send information on the humidity and temperature levels. It also helps the warehouse workers be aware of when a shipment is going to arrive.
Whenever you travel, CLC lodging is here for all your workforce accommodation needs. Find out how you can save an average of 20-40% on advertised costs with your CheckINN card.
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
Retail company professionals know that handling workforce lodging requires knowing the ins and outs of the industry. Staying up to date on technological innovations, consumer trends, and government regulations is a critical measure to good decision making. Thanks to big data, the information required to make yourself an effective retail industry expert is more accessible than ever. Tough decisions become far less daunting when you have statistics available to inform them. With so much data at your fingertips, how do you know when to rely on your intuition and ignore the metrics? Or, should you ever go with a hunch over the results from data analysis?
Fast Company suggests that the answer lies in finding a balance. An article commenting on the future of work lays out the pros and cons of relying solely on big data to inform business decisions. In some cases, the article points out, companies can be too eager to jump on results from data collection and end up rocking the boat. The retailer Target made headlines when it predicted a shopper’s pregnancy through analyzing her purchases over time and used that data to send tailored ads to her house. The problem? The shopper was living with her parents, and her father was not pleased when his daughter received promotions for baby-related goods. It’s safe to say he would have rather heard the news from his daughter, not Target’s marketing department.
The key takeaway from the Fast Company article is that while metrics are sure to keep improving, a good CEO or manager will still need his or her judgment to make the right decisions. Big data is only as effective as the person who uses it, and sometimes, that means going with your gut.
Like you, CLC knows that retail travel requires retail knowledge. Our on-staff industry experts can tailor your lodging solution to fit the needs of your fleet. Learn more about all of your options by getting in touch with CLC today.
Friday, July 8th, 2016
Business travelers looking for custom workforce lodging solutions have more to contend with than just finding the right room at the right price. School’s out, which means families all over North America are hitting the highway in search of a summer getaway. It’s easy for leisure seekers to forget that the roads and hotels serve another purpose: letting you run your business everyday.
According to American Express, 8 in 10 Americans are planning vacations this summer. That means 80% of Americans, or 195.9 million people, are going to be competing with your employees for hotel and road space. Your fleet may run like a well-oiled machine, but even your most seasoned travelers and drivers might be thrown for a loop during this busy season. One reason that business travelers endure more headaches in summer, explains the Chicago Tribune, is the dichotomy of experienced versus inexperienced travelers on the road. You’re rushing to a meeting while the Johnson family is swerving in their minivan, trying to keep the kids from fighting the backseat. And don’t forget fighting for space at the hotel buffet!
Thankfully, there are measures you can take to make summer a more pleasant time for business travelers. Consider dates: the Chicago Tribune suggests that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are a safer bet for avoiding the amateur traveler and his family. If the hotel has a pool, ask for a room far away from it, that way you’ll be guarded from children’s screams and shouts as you prep for that big meeting.
Another great way to avoid travel headaches is by working with workforce lodging specialists. CLC can help you make sure you’re getting the right room at the right hotel. We’ll cut costs and cut the time you spend on workforce lodging solutions. Talk to our expert customer service team to find the right plan for your company. Customizable to location, hotel type, and more. Get in touch with CLC and find out what we can do for you.
Friday, April 29th, 2016
Any smart fleet manager knows that people are a company’s most valuable asset, yet few take time to invest in them. How can you go beyond meeting OSHA-mandated regulations to truly protect your people? Showing your people that you’re invested not only promotes efficiency, but it also encourages staff retention, and best of all, positively impacts your bottom line. Below, we’ll highlight a few guidelines for going above and beyond duty of care.
As the ambassadors of your brand, your drivers are the the first line of defense that your company has to protect its image. Fleet Safety Forum recommends a three-pronged approach to keeping your team in peak form. Before your begin, let your company know you’re engaging complete risk assessment. This lets your employees know you take their safety seriously. A fleet-wide initiative also increases the awareness that employee health is a priority for your company.
The first area to tackle is education. Driver training is the best way to save money and avoid accidents. The cost to educate your drivers is significantly lower than paying higher insurance premiums due to accidents. You’ll also save time that could be lost to employees recovering from road injuries. Next, assess the safety of your fleet vehicles themselves. Taking the time to inspect vans and trucks to be sure that they meet or exceed regulations is key to preventing problems and ensuring successful, profitable journeys.
Finally, take a good look at the routes your employees are driving. Is sensible shift scheduling the rule or the exception among your fleet? Fleet Safety discourages journeys between 2am and 6pm, when driver fatigue is at its peak. Make sure your employees know that they must stop to rest even when they are rushing to meet a deadline. The route itself may be contributing to fatigue if the driver must take congested routes. Weather conditions are also often overlooked, and can put drivers in danger.
Some companies have implemented safe driver competitions, in which employees are rewarded for healthier habits, like losing weight, quitting smoking, and keeping up with routine checkups. One of the best solutions for keeping your drivers healthy is a good night’s sleep. CLC Lodging can save you 20-40% on advertised rates, making it even easier to give your people the rest they need to get the job done right.
Thursday, April 7th, 2016
Every industry expert has a different solution for cutting costs. Some say the latest software is sure to bring your numbers up next quarter; others tout the benefits of continuing education. While each alternative has its merits, one element of cost cutting is true for virtually anything you implement: change is inevitable, and painful for some.
No matter how much money you invest in fancy technology and innovative initiatives, the old adage holds true: You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. So how do you get your employees and every stakeholder in your company in-between to get on board with new cost-saving measures? The secret may lie in how you manage change.
Change management expert Kurt Lewin lays out the basic framework of managing change in three steps: Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze. During the unfreeze phase, it’s your job to educate your employees on why change is necessary. Managers and employees may be resistant at first. Managers will have to move away from comfort zones, and employees may resent the implication that they need to learn something new to continue doing their job. The next step, change, is the most difficult, as this is when team members will learn new skills, develop new values and attitudes, all while being unsure of the path ahead. The pay off happens in the third “refreeze” stage, where new behaviors become permanent.
During each phase of change, you can support the transition through communication and education. If you’re implementing a new reporting technology, make sure your employees know this is going to make their lives easier, rather than letting them feel like they’re being watched. Let your people know you’re investing in them, and you’ll see positive results.
CLC Lodging is here to help you manage reporting and make life easier for your employees.
With customizable reports and detailed billing, managing costs for better change management is simple.
Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
North America’s railroads are the result of incredible human effort and innovation. Crisscrossing our great plains and mountain ranges, freight trains move an estimated $433.2 million or more across 140,000 rail miles in the U.S. alone, according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). It’s no small wonder that the industry has been humming along impressively for centuries. With such historied roots, the railroad lives in the minds of many laymen as an artifact. They see trains as the innovation of the industrial revolution, having nothing in common with today’s top technology, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones.
Given the facts about these two technologies, it’s easy to argue that they don’t have much in common. Freight trains move at a speed of 22.5 miles per hour, while the ScanEagle UAS moves closer to 92 mph, or 80 knots. The first freight train steamed across the tracks in 1827, while commercial drones took their first approved flight less than 2 years ago, in 2014.
Last year, the FAA entered into a partnership with industry leaders to begin using drones to monitor and assess railways, according to Insitu, a company specializing in drone operations. From bridges to tunnels, potential for infrastructure and safety improvements are sky high thanks to the relationship between these old and new technologies. This will allow for a whole new level of quality assurance and, ultimately, better control over daily operations.
While the CheckINN Card doesn’t cover drones at the moment, CLC Lodging can offer better control over your workforce travel spending. With custom reporting and single-check payment, we’re here to take care of your crew while you take care of business. Learn more today.
Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
In the UK, BIM technology is an industry standard. While the US has yet to make it mandatory, a new study suggests that the technology could solve more than one problem. The construction industry’s hiring deficit and resulting labor shortage has been a hot topic for the past several years. The root of the problem has been linked to various factors, including an immigrant downturn and lack of training courses. The National Association of Home Builders’ CEO Jerry Howard called it an epidemic, citing that workers who left the industry after the housing bust still haven’t returned, even those who took on positions in the now-lagging oil business.
According to the chief economist of Associated General Contractors, commercial builders are using technology to bridge the gap and boost efficiency. Construction Dive magazine says that Building Information Modeling offers more than just reduced efficiencies; it’s also enticing to younger workers. BIM incorporates gaming technology which gives a new generation a shot at the satisfaction of “real world” building. Plus, these workers are less hesitant to dive into new software, increasing the likelihood of BIM’s permanent application, and finally contributing to the builder’s overall efficiency.
Partnering with CLC lodging’s logistics specialists is another tech-savvy move that can make your next project more efficient. We offer rooms for your team at rates 20-40% lower than advertised. Find out more at clclodging.com
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Travel is just part of business for many companies. In industries where crews must be sent to the site to carry out their work, choosing to not travel is simply not an option. For many companies there are alternatives, such as online meetings and video conferencing. However, recent studies suggest that even when alternatives to direct travel are available, they may not be the best option.
A recent study by Oxford Economics clearly indicated that business travel directly leads to an increase in both corporate revenue and profits. The study found that every dollar invested in business travel results in $12.50 in added revenues and $3.80 in new profits.
“This shows that companies need to appreciate the effects of certain types of cost cutting,” says Adam Sacks, managing director of Oxford Economics USA. “The research informs us that when a company reduces its travel budget, it loses both revenue and profits, giving competitors a real advantage.”
The study indicates that if a company eliminated its business travel, corporate profits would drop 17 percent in the first year.
With budgets tighter, a greater emphasis is being placed on measuring the impact of meetings. “There is no reason to have a meeting unless you want the audience to do something differently – sell more, learn more, do more,” Beauchine says. “If you can’t measure whether the meeting led to new action, you will be unlikely to get the same budget again.”
Increasing evidence is mounting about the types of situations that are most effectively handled face-to-face. Group processes and outcomes that require coordination, consensus, timing and persuasion of others are better accomplished up close and personal. Some studies have found face-to-face meetings were most effective for negotiating important contracts and understanding and listening to important customers. Anything with new customers, closing sales, and improving the top line is still best done face-to-face.
When the option is available, travel budgets have historically been one of the first things to get cut when companies begin looking at ways to save money. However, with increasing evidence that travel related budget cuts have such a strong impact on the bottom line, many companies are looking for ways to continue traveling while reducing travel costs. Whether travel is mandatory for your company or you simply do not want to risk losing up to 17% in profits, CLC Lodging can help mitigate the cost and consequently some of the pain points associated with business related travel.
Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
When you check out of a hotel, you may see additional line items detailing hotel fees. This is not a new concept that has been implemented by hotels. In fact, hotel fees have always existed but within the last few years it is more common to see the fees separate from the room rate on hotel charge summaries. Separating the extra fees from the room rate allows consumers to customize their stay and choose which amenities they want to use and not be charged for amenities they are not using. One thing you can do to prepare yourself is calling the hotel before the stay. Ask what fees they charge outside of the room rate and tax. Asking questions will prepare you for unexpected charges and help you save money. Learn more about hotel fees below:
- Early check-in and check-out or cancellation fee: You may run into these fees if your lodging plans change at the last minute. As a CLC Lodging customer, when you stay in our network hotels, you can take advantage of 24 hour length of stay and last minute cancellation so you will not experience this fee.
- Minibar items: Most people know that items in the minibar aren’t free, but you may also run into a restocking fee. Ask the front desk before you grab something from the minibar if you want to avoid these potential fees.
- WiFi charges: Many hotels have free WiFi but some have tiered WiFi charges. Check with the hotel on their internet policy to determine if you will be charged to use high speed internet versus basic internet access.
- Gym fee: There may be a fee for the use of their gym. If you are staying with a hotel for an extended period of time, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for a discount on your gym use.
- Baggage holding: Some hotels have a baggage holding fee for each bag you want to leave at the front desk.
As aCLCLodging customer, you are only charged for the room rate, tax, and fee when you hand the front desk yourCLCCheckINN card. Any additional fees or charges must be charged separately. This feature gives business owners an advantage of paying for the room rate and not the extra amenities.
Interested in seeing how your company could benefit from CLCLodging’s hotel management program? Request more information today.
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
According to the Global Business Travel Association in a report released Tuesday, U.S. business travel spending is expected to rise 4.6 percent in 2013 to $266.7 billion. However, the report predicts a 1.1 percent drop in trip volume. That suggests a higher average cost per trip than in 2012, indicating that companies will spend more real dollars on business trips.
While business travel spending slowed through the end of 2012 as companies postponed big spending decisions until after the U.S. presidential election and fiscal cliff debate, but is expected to rebound in 2013. According to the association, group travel will be a major contributor to the increase in spending in 2013 with annual growth around 5.2 percent this year following a 1.3 percent increase in 2012.
“While companies will approach the first half of the year with some caution, pent-up demand to get back on the road should hopefully fuel accelerating growth in business travel spending through the end of 2013,” according to a statement attributed to GBTA executive director Michael McCormick.
Technology will continue to be the traveler’s best friend in 2013, with mobile/WiFi connectivity and a growing range of business travel apps making travel smoother and more productive. Also, while unmanaged travel programs may tempt some companies with a low-control culture, the real risks to employee safety, and cost optimization must be carefully considered.
Getting a handle on business travel in 2013 will have long-term benefits as well since for 2014 the GBTA forecast total U.S. business travel spending to jump 7.3 percent on a 1.7 percent increase in trip volume, also.
“While, many companies will spend more, but travel less this year, many of CLC Lodging’s customers just simply don’t have that option since their business depends on travel,” said Tim Downs, President of CLC Lodging.
Unsure where to start? With savings of 20-40% on hotels nationwide and in Canada, Hotel locater Apps, and other online tools and reporting options, CLC Lodging provides the service and metrics to improve your travel policy and bottom line. Go to www.clclodging.com for more information today.