There is a significant change in the approach to corporate travel management as companies build simplicity, transparency, and trust by moving away from the time-consuming manual processes involving micromanagement. Being the second highest controllable expense, effective corporate travel management through compliance and control is crucial.
Modern travel management platforms blend the convenience of self-booking with simplified travel policy compliance for a better travel experience and ROI. These travel management tools help companies comply with the duty of care through employee tracking and providing access to emergency support.
The corporate travel guide highlights the process of enabling smooth business travel while tracking travel costs for improving ROI.
Step-by-step process of corporate travel management
Business travelers and office staff spend hours struggling with manual tasks that may seem simple. Creating expense claims, managing approvals, reconciling travel expenses, and tracking travel costs can cost several man-hours, impacting business travel productivity.
Understanding the challenges in corporate travel is a crucial aspect of the business travel guide.
Common challenges of business travel management
1. Handling myriad travel requests
Travel managers must manage multiple travel requests from employees across departments. Handling volumes of travel requests can be daunting without a proper procedure. Employees may send requests through phone calls, emails, or in person resulting in confusion and delay in processing the requests.
Managing approvals is crucial for a smooth workflow. Authorization of travel requests by line managers can be tedious if there is no proper SOP. Reduction of touch points and automation of workflow approvals can expedite approvals of travel requests and itinerary changes.
3. Controlling travel costs
Monitoring travel costs is vital to prevent overshooting the travel budget. The inability to create an inventory of low-cost travel suppliers can severely impact travel costs. Online travel management platforms allow travel managers to build an inventory of preferred travel suppliers.
4. Travel policy compliance
Most organizations struggle with travel policy compliance issues as employees book travel without referring to the policies. Worse still, it is not easy to identify policy deviations for corrective actions. Using SaaS-based travel management solutions enables travel policy integration to improve compliance. The system can flag deviations to prevent out-of-policy bookings.
5. Travel booking
Booking transport and accommodation within policy guidelines is challenging for travel managers and business travelers. An automated travel booking platform enables a self-booking facility to eliminate the burden of travel booking on travel managers. Employees can choose their preferred travel supplier from the inventory without deviating from the policy.
Travel management process
Automating corporate travel management eliminates bottlenecks and simplifies travel management. The corporate travel guide highlights the necessary steps to manage business travel regardless of the organization’s size. Implement an efficient and versatile travel management platform.
Consider these features to ensure that the platform helps you achieve all vital objectives of automation.
1. Facility for self-booking
A business travel tool with a self-booking feature is at the core of business travel management. Ensure that employees get a self-booking facility that works within your company’s travel policy. It should allow the setting up of limits and policy parameters for every employee level.
2. Ability to build and add travel inventory
The corporate travel tool should support building and modifying the inventory of preferred vendors. Employees should have quick access to the preferred travel suppliers while booking corporate travel.
3. Invoice consolidation
The online platform should consolidate all payments into a single invoice for a month.
Corporate travel guide on approval automation
Configure the travel policy into the travel management platform for seamless compliance by setting minimum days for advance bookings, the maximum cost of transportation and accommodation, and flight class for each employee level.
The platform should also support the automation of approvals to streamline the entire booking process. Employees have access through the app while submitting approval requests, and line managers should see pending approval requests within the dashboard.
1. Ensure round-the-clock support
An ideal travel management solution provides 24/7 human support to business travelers through the app or phone. Established travel management platforms provide round-the-clock employee tracking features for duty of care compliance. Employees can travel without hassles because of the reliable support and real-time travel alerts.
2. Build capability for advanced analytics
Travel spend analytics help finance teams, and travel managers get insights to track and monitor travel costs for better ROI. The travel management tool provides travel expense data by departments, employees, travel destinations, and periods for meaningful insights. Corporate travel managers can identify travel trends and opportunities for cost control.
The corporate travel guide highlights the importance of deploying advanced self-booking tools to ensure seamless collaboration between finance and travel management. Eliminating manual tasks and reducing touchpoints ensure better policy compliance and faster approvals. Automation is the ultimate solution to address most travel management challenges. SaaS-based online travel management platforms such as Paxes streamline travel management and facilitate easy booking to enhance the travel experience.
Suggested Read: Business Traveler Meaning And Their Characteristics
Corporate Travel Guide FAQs
What is travel management in an organization?
Travel management facilitates business travel by planning and booking business trips within policy guidelines.
What is business travel?
Business or corporate travel refers to periodic trips by employees or business owners to grow the business network, oversee project work, and expand the client base.
What mistakes should a business traveler avoid?
Deviating from the travel policy, booking travel at the last minute, spending above the travel budget, and submitting incorrect information while booking business travel are common mistakes a business traveler should avoid.
How to ensure travelers
Deploying an online travel management platform for 24/7 online support, real-time emergency alerts, and employee tracking can ensure the safety of business travelers.
Why is travel management significant?
Travel management helps organizations optimize business travel for maximum ROI, besides ensuring employee safety and well-being.