Businesses invest highly in corporate trips to expand their reach and operations globally. Client meetings, industry conferences, sales calls, trade events, etc. are some of the numerous facets of business trips. While the activity is investment-intensive, corporates have to maintain a significant ROI to justify each trip. Though it may seem a straight cookie-cutter problem, it is not. There are various touchpoints that one must analyze before planning and executing a business trip. Therefore, it becomes imperative for travel managers to find ways on how to increase ROI on business travel. Before exploring the tips on how to increase ROI on corporate trips let us understand the various challenges to optimize travel expenses.
Challenges in boosting ROI
1. Cost Control
One of the major reasons behind the low ROI is the inability to put a cap on the business travel costs. Training of the employee and management of each trip becomes essential to decrease the corporate travel expenses. Additionally, in many cases, travel admins fail to calculate the miscellaneous expenses such as meal allowances, ground transportations and more that further erode the overall ROI of the trip.
2. Compliance Issues
Travel policy defines the rules and regulations that govern the booking and management of corporate trips. It guides the employee while booking and traveling for the corporate objectives. However, un-trained employees can easily go over budget while booking flights and accommodations. Additionally, they may fake the invoices further diluting the corporate travel policy and increasing the overall cost of the trip.
3. ROI Measurement
The travel complexity while booking for multiple trips can affect the measurement of ROI. In absence of a sound system, management and calculation of ROI can become a challenge. Further, without the right goal setting and unmeasurable KPIs, the tools required to calculate ROI proves out to be inadequate.
4. Managing International Travel
For companies dealing with international operations and clients, managing travel expenses can be a daunting task. Travel admins will have to deal with different exchange rates, invoices in different languages, various time zones, complexity with the documentations and much more. Corporates will have to be extra careful while managing and maximizing cross-border ROI.
5. Measuring Intangible Benefits
Though revenue can easily be measured, calculating the intangible revenue and benefits can be a tricky job. These include relationship building, brand exposure, and market insights, that can be challenging to quantify.
Tips to Increase ROI on Business Travel
1. Streamline and Document
The fundamental step to analyze and maximize ROI is to streamline and document each and every stage of the process. Documenting the stages will help travel admins and department managers remove the inefficient and unnecessary steps. A detailed record of each trip expenses and activities can define the ROI on their outcomes and provide cost optimizing and saving opportunities.
2. Integrate and Automate
Manual tracking and calculation of travel expenses can result in minor errors concluding into major traction in ROI measurement. Therefore, automating booking and expense tracking will help in error-free reports. Additionally, automation of time-intensive processes can free up the work hours of travel admins that they can use to focus on devising comprehensive corporate travel processes.
3. Improve Compliance with Travel Policy
Establishing a clear travel policy is a job half done. Travel admins should ensure to communicate the postulates of these policies with employees. The policy should outline the rules and mention the detail of each postulate so as no discrepancy remains. Additionally, admins can use numerous online travel platforms to enforce travel policy on each booking putting a cap on the booking expenses.
4. Increase Productivity and Boost Employee Satisfaction
Employee satisfaction directly translates into increased productivity. Therefore, encouraging employees while on road and incentivizing them for the job well done will result in greater compliance and voluntary enhanced productivity. Travel admins can relax the itinerary of employees on corporate trips and provide them time for exploring the destination after the objective is complete. They should ensure to book comfortable accommodations and travel options so as to indirectly enhance the ROI.
Suggested Read: Top 8 Benefits Of Business Travel For Employees
5. Take Help from the Experts
While considering the impact of business travel on the revenue of the corporate, it is also recommended to take the expert assistance. Corporates can contact travel management companies who have a wealth of experience and industry knowledge that can be leveraged to an organization’s advantage. By collaborating with these companies you will get the best rates on accommodations and flights.
6. Set and Track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Defining clear KPIs is essential to measure the success of your business travel initiatives. KPIs may include factors like the number of new clients acquired during a trip, increased sales, or cost savings achieved. Further, travel admins should collaborate with the department managers so as to devise KPIs for intangible objectives.
In a world where corporate travel is essential for business growth, increasing ROI on business travel is paramount. It’s not just about reducing costs but also about optimizing the benefits gained from each trip. By streamlining processes, automating tasks, enhancing compliance, boosting productivity, and working with experts, you can significantly improve your ROI.
Suggested Read: How And Why To Employ Corporate Travel Agency
Boost Your Corporate Travel ROI FAQs
Why is ROI measurement challenging in the context of business travel?
The complexity of managing multiple trips can make it challenging to measure ROI. Without a sound system for measuring and calculating ROI, it becomes difficult to track the return on investment accurately.
How does managing international travel pose a challenge in terms of ROI optimization?
For companies dealing with international operations and clients, managing travel expenses can be complex due to factors like different exchange rates, invoices in different languages, various time zones, and documentation challenges.
How can documenting each stage of the business travel process help increase ROI?
Streamlining and documenting each stage of the business travel process can help identify and eliminate inefficient and unnecessary steps, leading to cost optimization and savings.
Why is automation of booking and expense tracking important?
Automation reduces the likelihood of errors in tracking and calculating travel expenses, leading to more accurate ROI measurement.