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Old Mar 7, 07, 2:42 pm   #1
 
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Consulting Firm's Travel Policies And Perks

Which consulting firms have the best travel policies? By travel policy I mean: (fly first or business class, stay in 4 or 5 star hotels). Feel free to add any other perks that consulting firms give to their consultants.
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Old Mar 7, 07, 3:41 pm   #2
 
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I work for a large firm that may have its "policies," but the best approach is "whatever you can get your client to pay for" within the market in which you operate -- i.e., within reason, price-competitiveness, and prudent business practices. When I am spending my company's money, as opposed to my client's, I am more frugal.
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Old Mar 7, 07, 4:01 pm   #3
 
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I agree with mecabq. A lot just depends on the client. A lot also depends on what type of consulting (Strat consulting firms being biggest spenders overall).

Deloitte has a pretty good travel/expense policy. And of course, PWC, Bain, Boston, EY, and McKinsey as well.

Regards,
Mike
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Old Mar 7, 07, 5:19 pm   #4
 
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Interesting second post...welcome golfguylsu
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Old Mar 7, 07, 5:59 pm   #5
 
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The higher the billing rates, the more generous the travel policy.

What kind of consulting are you talking about? E.g., IT, strategy, etc. Care to name specific firms? I'd wager that many people on FT work at each of the big firms.
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Old Mar 7, 07, 7:08 pm   #6
 
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Thank You For The Welcome

This is one of the most interesting sites on the internet. The members are very helpful.

As far as what firms I thinking of, I'm more interested in the business strategy aspect of consulting work.
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Old Mar 7, 07, 7:46 pm   #7
 
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I agree with the above comments, it is more like 'which firm has the best clients that are willing to pay for travel expenses'.
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Old Mar 7, 07, 7:57 pm   #8
 
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The higher charging firms have better and more consistent travel policies. Within some smaller firms, travel policies can vary from project to project. The bigger and more profitable the project, the less scrutiny there is against travel expenses.

NB: And who might the higher charging firms be? Bain, McKinsey
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Old Mar 7, 07, 9:29 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerwallah View Post
The higher charging firms have better and more consistent travel policies. Within some smaller firms, travel policies can vary from project to project. The bigger and more profitable the project, the less scrutiny there is against travel expenses.

NB: And who might the higher charging firms be? Bain, McKinsey
Yes, the higher charging business/strat firms are usually PWC, Bain & Co, Boston Consulting Group, EY, McKinsey, & Mercer. For IT usually Accenture, BearingPoint, and IBM.

A lot also depends on the length of the project and the industy (of the client) as well.

Regards,
Mike
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Old Mar 8, 07, 2:54 am   #10
 
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smaller firms

I'm the CEO of a smallish consulting firm and we only apply what we get paid by the client. This year I've charged back international first, business and economy flights; 3-4-5+ hotels and pier diems from 0-250+ per day. If travel is 'included' in fees - we try to use discount air & accom.
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Old Mar 8, 07, 6:21 am   #11
 
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I've worked for 2 smaller IT consulting firms (I'm indie now), and I'm a technical consultant (i.e., not sales).

For someone like me, the 2 firms I've been with are also in the "whatever the customer will pay for" camp, but they also lived in mortal fear of having to explain any possibly-questionable expenses to the customer, so they have tended to still be cheapskates and err on the side of "let's not incur that expense just in case the customer might complain". Result: Hampton Inn and Fairfield Inn class hotels...even a Courtyard might be considered extravagant.

As for travel expenses incurred on company time/dime, both firms I was with were worse than their worst customers. "Oh my God, WE have to pay for that??? Uh, maybe you can use the Supershuttle to travel the 40 miles from the airport out here to the suburbs. Oh, and don't worry about dinner after work, you can walk to the 2 nearby restaruants and then just walk back to your motel for the night, right?"

I couldn't make this up.
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Old Mar 8, 07, 7:17 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpeace501 View Post
I agree with mecabq. A lot just depends on the client. A lot also depends on what type of consulting (Strat consulting firms being biggest spenders overall).

Deloitte has a pretty good travel/expense policy. And of course, PWC, Bain, Boston, EY, and McKinsey as well.

Regards,
Mike
I work for one of the above listed firms (but privacy concerns keep me from naming it specifically on a public forum. If you guess it, please don't post it here but feel free to PM me.)

I am not a consultant. But the basic rules are:

1. Stay in a hotel close to where you need to be, typically 4 star hotels, specifically if you don't have a rental car. (I've had to stay in the occasional Ritz-Carlton)

2. Coach class airfare at the lowest fare class, UNLESS you are flying international on a 7 hour + flight, in which case you book business class.

3. Park in a safe, conveniant place at the airport. No need to save the $5 and park at an off-site lot.

4. Take the safest and / or most cost effective travel to your hotel. Like for Chicago, I usually take the train in from MDW UNLESS I land at night, in which case I take a cab. From LGA in NYC, I take a car service.

5. When traveling WITH the client, travel as they do. If they are staying in a two star hotel, you do. If they are flying first class, you fly coach. Unless they state it.

6. Decent meal policy, around $35 a day, unless you are a manager then it is actual cost. I've NEVER had an issue though, and I am not a manager. They recognize that things cost more sometimes.

7. Frequent flyer and hotel points are all mine.

8. Ability to expense snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, newspapers, tips, (all within reason...) We used to get a set amount to cover it all.
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Old Mar 8, 07, 9:11 am   #13
 
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[quote=james318;7364065]I work for one of the above listed firms (but privacy concerns keep me from naming it specifically on a public forum. If you guess it, please don't post it here but feel free to PM me.)

I am not a consultant. But the basic rules are:

...............QUOTE]

That's pretty dead on with my situation as well. We book coach class, but most of us get the free first class upgrades since we fly so much (twice a week). Our per diem's are usually a little better, depending on the location of the project. For example, it's $45 on my current one. We do get rental cars, but we typically stay at a hotel like a Marriott or Hilton Homewood Suites - something along those lines for long-term projects, and a nicer place if the stay is for less than a week or two.

I can guess which company it is that you worked for.... Bet you can't guess mine!..... ha/ha

Regards,
Mike
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Old Mar 8, 07, 10:16 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpeace501 View Post
That's pretty dead on with my situation as well. We book coach class, but most of us get the free first class upgrades since we fly so much (twice a week). Our per diem's are usually a little better, depending on the location of the project. For example, it's $45 on my current one. We do get rental cars, but we typically stay at a hotel like a Marriott or Hilton Homewood Suites - something along those lines for long-term projects, and a nicer place if the stay is for less than a week or two.

I can guess which company it is that you worked for.... Bet you can't guess mine!..... ha/ha

Regards,
Mike
Yeah, I almost always fly first due to status. It's nice travelling with higher ups who don't get the upgrade and you do... Luckily the group I work for recognizes the reasoning and doesn't throw a fit. I've never EVER had to worry when I went over my per diem, though most meals are usually covered by other team members because I am the least senior.

On average, I stay at Westin/W/Sheraton/Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt's. Only when location dictates do I stay at less, as all my trips are short. I don't seek these out, but these are the number one choices listed on our travel booking engine, so I take em!

Hmmm... Wondering if we work at the same place.... Do we?
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Old Mar 8, 07, 10:54 am   #15
 
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Wow, my husband's per diem is $100 a day. He had a per diem of $35 a day back in 1999. He workd for a European comapny though, so maybe this why he gets such a generous per diem.
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