Travel management is the strategic management of corporate travel needs. This includes everything from establishing a travel policy, to making bookings and helping to monitor expenses.
The main goal of travel management is to optimise business travel, while minimising any impact on the company. It’s a vital function that should be covered by a dedicated travel manager in large companies, or someone within the administration or finance teams of smaller ones.
The Ins and Outs of Travel Management
In a time when business travel is more common than ever before, it’s becoming even more important to understand the ways in which travel can be cost-effective. Optimising your travel budget isn’t just about reducing the cost of business trips, but also about ensuring that your travellers have the right experience, and that their trip ties in with your corporate strategy.
To achieve this, companies often turn to an external corporate travel management company or use online booking tools and other options. There is also an expense claim system – Plover co can help you learn more about the system. This enables them to keep track of all aspects of their travel arrangements in one place, and helps them manage all trips and bookings in real-time.
A good travel management system can help with all these aspects, including comparing travel rates and making sure that your travellers are booked into hotels or flights that meet your company’s cost thresholds and brand requirements. This can help to reduce the risk of overspend while allowing your managers to focus on more strategic matters.
Another key responsibility of a corporate travel manager is negotiating with hotels, airlines and car rental companies to secure the best possible rates and discounts for their customers. This is something that can be particularly difficult to do on your own, as negotiating with multiple suppliers can take up a large amount of time and energy.
Having a travel management system that plugs into your expense report management system can make this much easier. Not only will this eliminate the need to rekey data between systems, but it will also ensure that the information is accurate and complete. This can save time, effort and money in the long run.
Regardless of the size of your company, travel management has the potential to save you time and money. With a few strategic moves, you can get out of the rut of overspending on travel and make it easier for your team to manage.
For example, you can use a travel booking tool that integrates with an expense report system to streamline data flow and minimize employee time spent on this tedious task. A robust analytics program can also help you identify key trends and optimize your travel budget over time.
Another way to make the most of your time is by using a system that helps you easily customize travel policies for each trip. You can even set approval workflows so that employees can receive approval in a matter of clicks.
One of the most simple ways to save time while traveling is by avoiding rush hour flights. This can be done by choosing afternoon or redeye flights to avoid the busiest times at the airport.
Similarly, you can save money by eating lunch instead of dinner. This can be a great way to save money on meals at hotels and restaurants.
Additionally, you can use coupon sites to get discounts on hotels and airfare. These savings can add up to a significant amount of money, especially if you travel often.
You can even save on transportation by arranging public transport options like taxis and train tickets in advance. This will help you save on a lot of money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Finally, you can also get a head start on your finances by tracking your spending. This will help you understand where your money is going and increase your financial confidence.
The Ins and Outs of Travel Management
The efficient handling of your business travel program can be a huge boon for your company’s bottom line. A good corporate travel management system can streamline trip planning and help your employees adhere to consistent company policies while ensuring you get the best rates and loyalty rewards.
A good system also provides a wide range of benefits, including the ability to negotiate discounted airfare, hotel and transportation rates. It can even provide concierge services for group trips or perks for executive travelers.
Moreover, a good tool will give you access to negotiated rates and discounts from global vendors, saving your company money on the purchase of hotels, flights, car rentals and more. A well-rounded travel management solution can also enable you to optimize your travel costs by using benchmarking reports and optimization dashboards to find the most cost-effective options available for your company.
Efficiency is a crucial factor in any small business, and travel agencies are no exception. Agency owners who make a conscious effort to be as efficient as possible can improve their profitability, productivity and open up space for growth.
For example, a smart travel booking tool can automate trips by sending a notification to your employees as soon as they book out of policy or file an expense, ensuring that they are compliant with your company’s guidelines. This ensures that you can track policy violations and avoid costly trip cancellations in the future.
A smart tool also allows you to tag and label your trips by cost center, project or project team. This can make it easier for your finance team to identify which areas of the business are overspending on travel. They can then design analytical strategies to reduce unnecessary travel expenditures.
Flexibility is a key component in the success of any travel management company. It can allow for a variety of changes in travel arrangements that may be necessary due to time constraints, weather conditions or other factors. It can also provide a level of safety for your travellers.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, travelers were increasingly demanding a degree of flexibility in their travel plans. This is especially true for business travelers who are often forced to change their schedules on short notice.
This has led to many tour operators re-evaluating their cancellation policies and offering flexible options for bookings as well. This is particularly true in light of the uncertainty around the health risks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A study from Google found that 57% of travelers expect to have the ability to make changes to their bookings, whether it be for a hotel, flight or another service. In addition to allowing travelers to change their trip arrangements, flexible booking policies can ensure that they don’t have to pay extra for the inconvenience.
In addition, flexible booking policies can help travel managers bolster their reputations and increase loyalty with travellers. These types of travel policies provide a high degree of personalisation, reassurance and empathy, which can be a major factor in rebuilding client confidence.
In order to be successful with this type of travel policy, corporates must be prepared to champion transparency and bring direct bookings into the fold. Currently, only 80 per cent of travel programmes are able to capture these bookings, which is a significant gap that needs to be addressed.
Travel Managers and travel spend managers need to have access to comprehensive, real-time data so they can make informed decisions that benefit their company’s bottom line. This means generating reports that are relevant and insightful, analyzing spending trends to spot areas of leakage and design analytical strategies that cut unnecessary costs, all while keeping the needs of travelers in mind.
A good travel management system can help streamline the process and free up time for travel managers to focus on higher-value activities that can have a big impact on their company’s bottom line. It should be built on trust, transparency and simplicity so that it can meet the needs of travelers and other travel staff while helping to reduce unnecessary trips.
Another way a good travel management system can save admin teams time is by automating trip approvals. This means that a user’s dashboard automatically displays all the trips waiting for them to approve, so they don’t have to look through their email for each one.
For a finance team, this can also mean ensuring that travel expenses are correctly charged to the correct cost centers. This can save the finance team a lot of time when it comes to generating accurate expense reports, which can then be used to track costs and identify areas for budget optimization.
Using tags and labels is another way a travel management system can help finance teams. This will give them a way to filter through travel expenses, so they can see which trips are worth the investment and which aren’t.
A good travel management system can also save agencies money on booking fees and other expenses. It can do this by using its buying power to negotiate lower rates with hotels and other suppliers, as well as by leveraging hotel chains’ discounts on room rates across different accounts. This is especially true for agencies that have large numbers of rooms booked in different regions.