One of the essential steps that a company needs to expand is made business trips, and not only the employees but the business heads also travel and play a vital role in the growth of the company. The business travel can be quite a complicated process and requires an efficient system that makes it easier for corporate managers, executive assistants, managers, and employees to move around the country and abroad.
Corporate travel management is a specified business function that includes numerous travel aspects and a comprehensive travel policy, which includes day to day operation of the travel program, negotiation with vendor, airline ticket, hotel reservation, airport transfer, and traveler safety and security. There are many companies where traveling expense is quite huge, and the company desires to find different affordable solutions. The traveling expense is not restricted to airline travel, car rental, and hotel stay but also includes incurred during the travel such as meals, taxi fares, office supplies, and gifts for clients. The management of the traveling costs is usually handled by a corporate travel manager who is closely linked with finance, human resource, and procurement department.
The business travel management can be managed by an organization on its own or outsourced. The travel management within the organization is handled by a corporate travel manager while it is managed by a corporate travel agent or agency when outsourced.
The advancement of technology and growing business traveling needs has given way to travel management companies who have the expertise and software application to efficiently manage the corporate business travel of different organizations. A well-established travel management company (TMC) provides numerous services from an interactive online booking application, program management, executive travel services, reporting functionality, and events support. The travel management companies mostly use the Global Distribution System (GDS) to book flights for business managers and employees. There are consulting teams of a travel management company that provide real-time availability of airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, and ensuring a proper itinerary. Corporate travel management is not just all about bookings but involves financial, safety, and logistical considerations.
The main goal of a TMC is to provide cost savings, maintaining a proper travel policy, and reduce the time, effort, and money used by the client in making all the traveling arrangements. Apart from making flight and hotel reservations, the TMC provides a range of other services such as parking and transfers, chauffeur driven cars, hotel bed request, foreign exchange, insurance, passport and visa procurement, leisure travel, and venue sourcing.
An organization’s complete employee profile is stored, and an individual can easily send travel request according to the travel policy. There are certain TMCs that provide online self-booking tools where an employee from the organization can make their flight and hotel reservations. The TMCs also constantly negotiate with the vendors so that affordable and discounted fares and loyalty programs can be offered to the clients.
The corporate travel management solutions are personalized to help business companies reduce their travel expenses and ensure proper booking needs so the employees can travel well. The travel management makes it easy to track expenses on airline tickets, hotel accommodation, transfers, and car rental. Planning and managing travel is not easy for a company if employees use multiple sources for their air travel, hotel stays, and car rentals. It is quite chaotic, and the company cannot manage several itineraries. There is also a challenge of financial visibility as there is no proper system to analyze and record the total traveling expense. Some of the managers have corporate cards where all the expenses are given through a company account, while many of the employees have to pay out of their pocket and get reimbursement after few months. The travel policy of many corporate organizations is not clearly defined, and employees do not know how to follow their traveling plans. Unfortunately, there is no one solution that fits all corporate organizations when it comes to business travel. A travel strategy that has worked for past five years may not be suitable for the next five years. The factors that a corporate organization must consider for its business travel are
The number of employees it has
The most important factor is the total number of employees an organization has. The number of staff matters as only then a detailed support system can be made and updated.
How often do managers or employees travel
The frequency of business travel also matters, and the personnel who often travel within the organization. In most companies, only a selected few travels and usually due to financial or expansion meetings.
The travel budget of the company
The budget the organization has allocated for business travel determines the volume and frequency of travel.
The time frame for the travel program to be implemented
The organization has two solutions, the first is employing a corporate travel manager, which is a lengthy process, and the second is using a corporate travel software which can be functional within a few hours.
Travel for leisure or business is not cheap these days, and a corporate travel management system is the best way for an organization to streamline its business travel, reduce the extra cost, and integrate new systems to minimize time, effort, and other resources. The latest trends in business travel management include
- The option of choosing convenience over cost. There is a trend of finding convenient and flexible fares instead of the cheapest ones.
- Removing the rule of booking approval to provide best rates on airline tickets and hotel accommodations
- The use of the mobile application to book, track, and manage the complete itinerary