Director, Global Travel
PAST Meier has been with Honeywell for the past five years, and works under procurement. He credits Kari Kesler, his former global manager of meeting solutions and now senior director, SMM program management + solutions, at Carlson Wagonlit (and a Changemakers advisory board member) for driving the program before he got there. “When I arrived, we were already getting ready to hire StarCite, and by the end of the year had chosen BCD as our outsource provider.”
CRED An important distinction in Honeywell’s program is that it offered options to existing meeting planners in the company. If the event qualifies, it had to be registered and approved, he says, “but as far as the actual meeting planning, you could have it done for you or not. So we didn’t step on toes of people who plan meetings for a living.
SUCCESS STORIES “A couple of years ago, when the economy went south and everyone was in cost-cutting mode, the CPO came us saying he might have to cut the SMMP (at that time, we were trying to fund it through commissions). That made us go back to all the businesses, show them what we’d done for them, and explain that if we were cut, all of that would go away. Almost every single business lined up to provide funding for us.”
It gets even better. Going into 2010, the company asked all businesses to hold their expenses to 2009 levels, “but we knew from all the meetings that were forecasted that our expenses were going to be at least 30 to 40 percent higher,” he says. “So we went back to all the business units and, once again, they increased their funding.”
KUDOS At the company’s procurement leadership meeting, Meier got the chance to showcase the meetings program as a best practice. “The CPO said that our program was the epitome of what we would want from any program in procurement.”
LOOKING AHEAD Meier is passing over the management of Honeywell’s program to a team member in Europe, where they are just rolling out meeting registration to one of the businesses there. As they take the program global, he hopes to connect with peers from similar-sized companies who have global programs through a networking group he belongs to.
ADVICE “Always ask yourself how you are providing value for the businesses. We always show them the reporting and the controls, and say, ‘Here is everything we do for you.’ And that’s what has saved us.” —Barbara Scofidio