Corporate travel contributes significantly to business growth and the company’s operational costs. Therefore, companies explore ways to facilitate a satisfying traveling experience for employees without impacting the costs’ bottom line. Corporate travel managers and TMCs should also ensure employee safety by implementing travel risk management. A corporate travel program aims to improve an employee’s traveling experience and productivity to achieve business goals without affecting employee safety and cost efficiency.
Types of corporate travel programs
The corporate travel program ensures smooth implementation of the company’s travel policy. It improves compliance by simplifying multiple aspects of business travel. These include creating itineraries, booking travel and accommodation with the best prices, travel expense reporting, and reimbursement. Corporate travel management company employees use two types of corporate travel programs.
1. Unmanaged travel program
In an unmanaged travel program, employees process all business-related activities like booking transportation and accommodation after getting approvals.
The type of corporate travel program is likely to result in cost escalation if there is no inventory of preferred service providers, like travel agents or chains of hotels. Approvals may cause delays resulting in lost business opportunities or unsatisfied clients.
In-house travel managers may not have extensive access to cheaper options to book travel and accommodations. Besides, there is no instant access to travel-spend data for tracking the budget.
2. Managed travel program
More organizations are opting for the managed travel program by outsourcing corporate travel management to a Travel Management Company (TMC). It helps employees save considerable time as the Travel Management Company looks after bookings and all aspects of business travel, including approvals, expense reporting, and budget tracking.
Corporate travel managers can leverage a travel management platform having the facility of a mobile app, enabling employees to book travel and accommodation. Employees receive notifications about bookings and other aspects of their business trips for a timely action.
Corporate travel managers integrate a company’s travel policy into the platform for better control. Managed travel programs improve employee satisfaction, ensuring compliance with the company’s travel policy.
Features of the corporate travel program
The corporate travel program aims to ensure compliance with the organization’s travel policy across all stakeholders who need to undertake business trips. Efficient travel management spans a broad spectrum of activities to facilitate smooth business travel, cost efficiency, and safety of employees from departure till return to the headquarters.
- Booking transportation and accommodation
- Offer round-the-clock support to employees on business trips
- Instant support to help employees in emergencies
- Creating a vast inventory of travel and hotel vendors
- Negotiating cheaper rates for travel and hotel stay
- Managing local transport like airport transfers
- Using analytics like travel data to prepare travel spend reports
- Identifying deviations from travel policy for corrective actions
With an effective travel program in place, your employees can focus on their business trips instead of struggling with travel and accommodation booking apps.
Benefits of the corporate travel program
Corporate travel managers have to walk a tightrope while ensuring employee satisfaction and achieving organizational goals of cost efficiency. Adopting travel management solutions and having a dynamic platform to integrate travel policies helps travel managers balance their crucial objectives. A managed corporate travel program assures several benefits, like:
1. Ensuring employee satisfaction
Enabling employees with the freedom to book their travel and accommodation is vital to ensuring trust and satisfaction. Employees can choose a suitable option from an exhaustive inventory of vendors and complete the booking within a few moments. Using a dedicated travel management platform with app support boosts corporate travel programs’ effectiveness as tech-savvy employees love to use smartphone apps.
2. Round-the-clock access to travel spend and analytics
A corporate travel program without access to travel spend data is like driving a vehicle blindfolded. A managed corporate travel program with the support of a TMC equipped with SaaS base apps provides seamless access to diverse data, including bookings and all aspects of corporate travel-spend. It improves the decision-making process by studying the trends for better cost control.
3. 24X7 support
Corporate travel program offers round-the-clock support to employees through alerts about travel and accommodation status. The travel updates and advisories specific to itineraries help employees take necessary precautions. The SaaS-based platform of Paxes incorporates a chat feature within the app to allow employees to get support of TMCs at each step of the business trip.
4. Safety of employees
No employer can afford to neglect a crucial aspect of business trips, employee safety. The moral and legal obligation for employee safety is what we know as the duty of care. Keeping track of traveling employees is the essential benefit of managing a corporate travel program.
Must-haves for a perfect corporate travel program
A managed corporate travel program can help corporate travel managers achieve crucial attributes of an ideal travel policy, such as:
- Providing autonomy to employees to book pre-approved travel and accommodation options for building trust
- The clarity for employees to know their spending authority and finance team to get insights into travel spend
- Total compliance with the business travel policy of the company by integrating it into the
- SaaS-based travel management platform
- Great TMC improves productivity and employee satisfaction while streamlining the corporate travel program.
Ensuring the following features of the corporate travel program is essential for its success.
Access to data about travel-spend, bookings, expense reports, and trends.
- One-stop resource for booking, changing, or canceling travel plans, chat support, notifications, expense reporting.
- Real-time employee tracking to fulfill a duty of care through risk management
Ease of integrating and changing travel policies into the platform
- Access to an extensive inventory of vendors
- Connected to regional LCCs, and SOTO ticketing providers
SaaS-based travel management solutions used by TMCs like Paxes streamlines the corporate travel program, saving valuable time for employees for greater productivity. Blending a custom travel policy with an app-based travel management platform ensures budget utilization within the limits of travel policy.
Suggested Read: Why Should Organizations Opt For Corporate Tour Packages
Managing corporate travel is highly essential to establish the best course of action while employees need to make a trip. A well defined corporate program can efficiently help in cost cutting and ensuring duty of care for every employee.
Corporate Travel Program FAQs
What are corporate travel programs?
Corporate travel programs are programs designated toward business travel in organizations. TMCs and corporations design corporate travel programs to ease the process and make business travel efficient for employees.
What are the characteristics of a corporate travel program?
A corporate travel program must include ease of booking for accommodation and travel, access to a good inventory of travel products, support services for any queries, corporate offers and deals, and a good expense control feature for budgeting travel expenses efficiently.
What are the advantages of a corporate travel program?
A good corporate program helps in smart and efficient planning of business travel as it helps in saving costs, analyzing activity and expenditure, getting support, and increasing employee satisfaction in the organization.
What contributes to a great corporate travel program?
A great corporate travel program includes easy access to travel products, a smooth transaction of approvals, and finances, along with good connectivity to access the program wherever the employee wants to travel for business.