As corporate business travel is expanding at an unprecedented rate, managing every trip becomes a mandatory requirement. Travel admins are under immense pressure to justify each trip and the expenses involved as compared to overall ROI. Further, transferring the same communication through various departments is a tough process. Therefore, it becomes crucial to define comprehensive corporate travel management techniques. However, before we delve further it is important to understand what is corporate travel management.
What is corporate travel management?
Corporate travel management is the process of planning, executing, and analyzing business trips. It involves the formulation of trip objectives, creation of travel policy, management of expenses, supplier negotiations, compliance with obligations, provision of travel support, and much more. Let us explore the various aspects of business travel management:
Why is corporate travel management important?
1. Travel Policy Development
Creating a travel policy as per the organization’s requirements and the company’s culture is the primary step to corporate travel management. The best practice in forming a travel policy is setting clear guidelines for travel booking, expense limits, and approval processes. Corporations should ensure to create customized travel policies and communicate the same to the employee cross-departments. There should be room for flexibility and changes as per the employee’s profile and the department involved. Travel admins should keep the language of the policy simple so that every employee can comprehend the terms. They can employ automation to ensure policy compliance.
Suggested Read: Business Travel Policy: Importance, Benefits & Implementation
2. Expense Management
Regular international trips cast a great expense crunch on the management. Therefore, it is critical to employ effective cost-control tactics to fulfill the budgetary requirements. These can include pre-trip approval, cost-efficient bookings, tracking of expenses, negotiating costs with the suppliers, and educating employees among others. Employees should also use expense reporting tools and record each expense in them. The process can be automated with the help of corporate credit cards and integrated payment options. Automated expense recording systems provide visibility into travel spending, aiding in expense management and control. Additionally, corporations should provide easy and clear reimbursement guidelines for out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Vendor Management
Another key aspect of corporate travel management is negotiation with the various vendors. When cost plays such crucial roles finding the most efficient vendor in terms of services and cost becomes unavoidable. Successful negotiations with the inventory suppliers such as flights, hotels, car rentals, etc lead to lowered costs and improved services. Travel admins can enroll in various preferred vendor and loyalty programs. By doing so, they can score discounted prices and regular rewards.
4. Traveler Safety and Duty of Care
Travel risk management is crucial for maintaining a traveler’s safety in a foreign land. When traveling, employees are exposed to several kinds of safety issues including natural calamities, accidents, political disturbances, and numerous others. Therefore, corporations should provide comprehensive coverage against such hazards. It is important to be equipped with the necessary mitigation strategies and safety protocols. They can opt for comprehensive Duty of Car programs that cover employees and also provide support in case of emergencies. Employees should also be educated about any issues making it easy for the response team to act according to the problems.
5. Travel Technology
Streamlining travel booking and management through technology is a wise choice. Automation removes human error and provides better options while booking flights and hotels. Additionally, it reduces the time wasted on finding the right flights and accommodations as per the requirements of the business. Ensuring travel policies are integrated within the booking engine will improve time efficiency. Including artificial intelligence in the whole process will further help in cost savings and real-time monitoring.
Suggested Read: Reasons Why Business Should Use Corporate Travel Technology
6. Data and Analytics
Efficient corporate travel management should leverage data and analytics to make data-driven decisions. The data patterns and travelers’ preferences can provide intel about the spending patterns and cost-saving opportunities. Establishing KPIs in travel management allows organizations to track performance. Key metrics may include cost per trip, compliance rates, and traveler satisfaction scores. Data can provide relevant information and find the percentage of success and ROI of the trip.
7. Global business travel management
Expanding businesses internationally presents unique challenges in terms of travel management. Companies need to navigate cultural differences, legal regulations, and logistical complexities. Effective global travel management is essential for success in international markets. Cultural awareness and etiquette training are crucial for international business travelers. Understanding and respecting local customs and norms helps build positive relationships and avoid cultural misunderstandings. Cross-border taxation and compliance issues can be complex when dealing with international travel. Navigating tax laws, visa requirements, and other regulatory aspects is critical to avoid legal and financial implications when conducting business across borders.
Corporate travel provides a great opportunity to expand the business beyond borders. However, planning and analyzing business can be difficult, knowing what is corporate travel management is important. Therefore, understanding the facets of business travel management is crucial.
What Is Corporate Travel Management FAQs
What is corporate travel management?
Corporate travel management involves all the professional activities included in planning, executing and analyzing business trips for greater profits and business objectives completion.
What are the different facets of corporate travel management?
Travel policy development, expense management, vendor management, global expansion, employee support are some of the various facets of corporate travel management.
Why is travel policy development important in corporate travel management?
It sets clear guidelines for travel booking, expense limits, emergency response, and approval processes. A well-communicated policy helps ensure compliance.
Why is traveler safety and duty of care important in corporate travel management?
Travel risk management is crucial to ensure the safety of employees and provide essential help during emergencies.