Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why Take Your Chances on a Big Jet Plane?

Ok, that's badly paraphrased Led Zeppelin. But I found a juicy little story over at Vinnie Mirchandini's blog about travel, particularly travel related to IT consultants. Vinnie wonders, as do I, why so many companies are still accepting 15 to 20 percent surcharges in their contracts just to fly consultants in to do the work, particularly in metro areas where there is plenty of local talent. Services Safari isn't too happy either.

There's a perfect storm brewing here. First is the skyrocketing price of fuel. Second is the changed culture of the workplace, where even high priced consultants expect to be home for the weekends - Vinnie brutalizes them on this point, tells 'em to get a room. Third, travel is no longer glamorous, in fact, it often stinks, ala JetBlue.

This is just a classic example of managers living in the past, remembering their glory days when they were young, single, jetting around the world on cheap gas and eating three squares a day on the client's dime. Time for a mindshift; cap your T&E at 5 percent, or your clients will do it for you. They just aren't going to pay these fees anymore; the planes, the extra hours for stranded consultants, the UK road tax. It's waste, and it's your problem. Otherwise the market will have you for a tasty snack.

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