Managing corporate travel can be challenging, especially if you’re responsible for different teams and budgets. It is not just about booking flights and hoping for the best. There are a lot of factors to consider, and it can take time for companies to keep track of them all.
According to a recent report, 68% of businesses with less than a billion dollars in revenue anticipate an increase in their travel budgets over the next year. Smaller companies have the most corporate travel requirements.
In this context, you should know the key components and practices to follow as a corporate looking to improve your business travel management.
So, let us get started!
How Does Business Travel Management Work?
A travel solution helps companies handle their business travel management goals.
These days, many business travel management tools are available that can integrate with your legacy systems.
The objective is to manage, control, and coordinate travel activities and expenses for your employees. Travel management software can automate or streamline this work. This practice frees up employees for more practical work.
A travel management company manages all aspects of business travel management. Besides educating employees on how to handle travel in a shorter duration. It might consist of elements like:
- Individual or self-booking as per the policy guidelines
- Booking with a hotel or airline
- Group booking
- Support with travel
- MICE management
- Developing travel regulations
- Reducing travel spending
- Organizing and tagging travel expenditure
The Key Components of Business Travel
When it comes to business travel management, there are a few different ways to go about it.
- Booking Platforms: Businesses may use a booking site where employees can self-book their flights, hotels, car rentals, and train trips. They can use an online booking tool or a company-specific tool. Either way, they need to provide receipts for reimbursement.
- Travel management company(TMC): Many businesses use a TMC for all their travel management services and, in some cases, travel expense management.
- Travel Agent: Companies could also use a traditional travel agent to help arrange flights, hotels, and other services.
The best way to plan business travel is to make all bookings from one platform. Such travel management companies use apps and desktops, so it is a great way to book on the go. Additionally, they notify you of your travel bookings and guide you with cancellations and amendments.
Having features that allow you to choose the seats and accommodations in your business travel can elevate employee morale and raise comfort levels. The best part, you can access the plan from anywhere, making travel management more convenient.
Streamline Company Travel Policy
A concise company travel policy ensures that the guidelines on bookings, expenditure, expense reporting, and tracking will clearly define the rules.
Without a travel policy, employees will do as they please, which can lead to overspending the travel expense budget. This carelessness can result in chaos, increased expenses, and delayed approvals. It can even lead to discrepancies in expense reporting.
Here are some factors to remember when creating an effective travel policy:
- Easy access.
- Simple to understand.
- Clear dos and don’ts.
Managing travel expenses is a big part of running a business. When a traveler books through a travel management company for a work trip, they must make payments and send out invoices. They could do this with a company card or make their payments and claim them later. Either way, your company will have a lot of paperwork and documents to fill out.
Having travel management software with expense management tools creates a simple process. That is why it is critical to have a good expense management tool.
A travel and expense management tool can help you keep track of every payment your employees make on their work trips and will even assign expenses to your team so you can feel responsible and keep the budget in check.
After you have a travel policy in place and the rules for the approval process set up, other aspects get streamlined. Then, it is up to technology and automation to do the rest. With the right travel management software, employees can book appointments while following company regulations.
Cost Control and Budgeting
Knowing your budget is a great way to plan your corporate travel. You should know how much you’re allowed to spend and how much you should allocate to each part of your trip. Once you know your budget, you can start making changes to help you reach your corporate travel goals.
Cost control is about ensuring your travel expenses are low and getting good deals from suppliers. In other words, look at your travel info for ways to save money, track travel costs, and ensure travel policy follows the rules.
Duty Of Care: Safety
It’s a company’s moral and legal duty to look out for the safety and security of its employees. This safety component includes setting up travel risk management plans, ensuring access to travel help, and having a contingency plan in case something goes wrong.
Having dedicated support 24/7 that can answer any question you have while your employees are out and about is something you can’t ignore. A support team can help you with reservations, changes, expenses, and filing claims. They can make all the difference so your employees have a great experience when they book an online business trip.
It is critical to use a travel service that can help anytime. If your business travel management does not have support, your employees may face an urgent situation like an accident, health issue, or flight delay and get stranded in a strange place, helpless.
24/7 support may be the solution to ensure your employees have help.
Business travel management can be complex, but if you emulate these practices and use a reliable travel management company, business travel can become streamlined. It can create safer corporate trips, money saved, and a better travel experience for everyone in the company.
These tools help you plan, book, and manage your work trips. But how do you make it all work? That’s where ITILITE comes in. It is a one-stop shop that combines all the aspects mentioned here to give you a personalized, organized travel experience. As more is needed, it has easy integrations to make your activities policy compliant, with customized tools and 24/7 customer support.