Q&A: Sue-Ann Tredoux, Sanlam travel manager and GBTA board member

Sue-Ann Tredoux is the travel manager at Sanlam and has also just been elected to the GBTA Southern Africa board for the second time. Travel & Meetings Buyer caught up with her to discuss some of her daily challenges and her hopes for GBTA’s future.

Q: As this is your second consecutive year serving on the GBTA board – what draws you to the association and how have you benefited from it in the past?

A: I find great value in the networking opportunities as well as relevant issues that are selected for debate and discussions.

Q: How do you plan to draw on some of your experience as a travel manager in this role?

A: Due to my residing in Cape Town, I am not really hands-on with all the arrangements and workshops being held but again, by comparing everyday situations and new trends in the marketplace being discussed at events it helps me a lot in planning forward and addressing issues.

Q: What are some of the challenges you’re hoping to tackle?

A: Nothing specific – just keeping up to date with constant changes in the industry and managing that is a challenge in itself. Hand-in-hand with that goes keeping travellers happy and content within the company rules and compliance.

Q: How long have you been travel manager at Sanlam and what does your role entail?

A: I don’t want to give my age away, but since 1989. I am still figuring out my role. It involves anything and everything to do with travel: daily operations, payments, system management, updates, changes, constant training and education of users/bookers.

Q: What is your approach when it comes to travel policy and how do you communicate it to your travellers?

A: We try to keep to compliance and monitor traveller and booker behaviour constantly, but also not everything is set in stone. We accommodate travellers depending on motivation for non-compliance, but also look at alternatives for their requests. We run a variety of non-compliance reports and communicate this. Luckily, since we have implemented TravelIT, we can monitor non-compliance on every booking and rectify issues before travel.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement in your career so far?

A: This is a difficult question. There is not a specific achievement, but in summary it must be how everything has changed and evolved over the years within the travel space. That I could be a part of those changes within my company has been a great privilege. I have gained the trust of people and throughout always tried to keep their best interests at heart. At the end of every day, I feel that I have achieved something, even if it’s just by assisting someone with an issue. I guess with so many years in travel, and because I am truly passionate about what I do, I look at my journey as a complete book and not just one page.

Q: If you have the power to change one thing about the way corporate travel works, what would it be?

A: If you’re referring to a ‘power’ – then I’m allowed to use a magic genie – that budgets don’t exist (and compliance in a way) and that the main purpose of company travel is to get the business done by any means, with happy travellers and employees. But I guess having this power might be to my own detriment as it would leave me unemployed!

Q: How do you relax when not at work?

A: I love entertaining, spending time with family and friends and also watching movies.

Q: Do you travel much for work – and which is your favourite destination?

A: I do quite a few domestic trips a year and my favourite destination must be Turkey.

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