Every business at some point needs to plan business trips, visit clients and partners, and so on.
The process of managing business travel can be quite time-consuming and tedious, as you can imagine.
To manage travel effectively, you need to allocate resources and/or create a designated department within your organization.
The management of this area is crucial for the efficiency, productivity, and continuity of the company.
If this interests you, keep reading. Throughout this article, we will examine the top pillars of successful business travel management.
Let’s get straight to it.
What is business travel management?
Business travel management refers to a company’s system for facilitating business travel. A corporate traveler handles all aspects of a business trip, an event, or any other task that falls under his or her stewardship.
A corporate travel agent’s responsibility is to ensure that the process is handled correctly and in compliance with regulations.
What is the role of a business travel manager?
Depending on the industry and size of the company, a business travel manager may have different responsibilities and tasks. In general, a business travel manager is responsible for:
- Booking trips for travelers.
- Tracking departmental travel expenses so they stay within budget.
- Supporting travelers before, during, or after their trip.
- Managing all travel vendors and tools.
- Negotiating corporate rates on hotels that the company uses frequently.
- Booking group travel.
- Organizing ground transportation, such as rental cars or trains.
- Analyzing travel expenses.
6 top pillars of modern travel management
Controlling costs is one of the first challenges the business travel management sector faces.
Expenses related to business travel must be included within the allotted budget.
In the event of bad management of business travels, a company could suffer financial losses that could threaten its financial stability.
As a result, it is extremely important to invest in training and hiring professional staff members who know how to manage all the business travel processes.
By considering the company’s size, purposes, and travel frequency, you can effectively control costs.
Smaller companies may be able to handle their travel management in-house, for example, by taking advantage of a business travel management program, while larger companies may invest in out-of-house agencies or specific departments dedicated to business travel management.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of business travel management.
Effective business travel management requires effective communication among employees and with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), who is responsible for managing the company’s finances, including financial planning, risk management, record-keeping, and financial reporting.
Constant and prompt communication will ensure that the company and business travel stay within the budget. This way, the company will also be able to acknowledge the benefits that come with the business trips and respect its travel policy.
In addition to working closely with the CFO, employees in charge of business travel management should also collaborate among themselves in order to ensure they take advantage of the most economical and convenient travel offers.
It is therefore imperative that travel managers collaborate so that they have a clear picture of the company’s budget, expenses, and how they can possibly optimize them.
4. Corporate travel culture
The corporate travel culture is one of the most relevant factors to the business travel management process.
If a company has a positive corporate travel culture, that understands the importance of hassle-free, comfortable, and well-organized business travel, then its employees will feel happier.
Happy employees are more productive, thereby ensuring the business trip results in a better return on investment.
Simplicity is another element of successful business travel management. By doing this, you will be able to create a process that meets all the employees’ preferences and needs.
Using a simple and optimal process will ensure that business travel management works correctly at every step and the overall workflow continues uninterrupted.
The majority of these business trips are performed for specific reasons, such as improved productivity and more profit.
Your business trips should probably be eliminated if they don’t produce positive results or are inefficient. By doing this, you will prevent your employees from feeling exhaustion and stress, as well as save your organization money from useless traveling expenses.
How to manage business travel effectively
In order to manage corporate travel more effectively, you can follow some strategies and best practices. Below are a few of the most relevant ones.
1. Consider using a business travel management tool
Handling corporate travel manually can be quite challenging, and it can create confusion among employees and within the organization.
Therefore, there are now many business travel management tools that can handle any aspect of the area with simplicity and efficiency.
For example, some of the best business travel management tools enable you to:
- Track expenses and reports
- Book best travel offer with ease
- Get advantage of efficient customer support
- Ensure travel policy compliance
For example, Services like TravelPerk are built to streamline your corporate travel management.
2. Be able to provide timely and accurate support to travelers
The possibility of trip cancellations, issues, and other implication is always there. The team must be able to assist travelers in this situation and resolve any problems on time, avoiding unnecessary expenses for the company.
In the event you can’t ensure the efficiency of this support service in-house, you should rely on third-party tools or services that can provide effective management instead.
3. Create a travel policy
Essentially, a company’s travel policy outlines how employees should approve, book, and expensive travel for business purposes.
This is crucial for keeping business travel in line with your company’s budget, purposes, and goals.
Ideally, a travel policy should include:
- The booking process and the approved corporate travel company
- Allowable booking costs (hotels, flights, ground transportation, etc.)
- Exemptions or special rules for more expensive routes or cities
- The company’s preferred vendors
- Procedures for reimbursement
- Travel insurance carrier
- Procedures or vendors with a duty of care
If you have a travel policy in place, you can ensure that regardless of whether employees book their own travels, or whether business travel is handled by specific departments of your business or a third party, the costs and procedures are in line with your policies.
4. Maintain a record of all expenditures
Tracking all travel expenses will ensure that you stay within your budget and that your business runs smoothly.
In addition, having reports about business travels will enable you to calculate and clearly measure ROI and other KPIs, to determine whether or not every business trip contributed to productivity or profit.
This will end up identifying and removing these unnecessary trips, which will save the company money.
5. Improve communication and collaboration
Communicating and collaborating effectively are two of the most important pillars for successful business travel management.
Therefore, in order to run it efficiently, you must ensure good communication systems and collaboration among employees, as well as between them and other departments, such as the financial department.
As an example, you could implement the use of tools and software to improve communication, making it faster, more efficient, and improving collaboration.
Benefits of a successful business travel management
Even though managing corporate travel effectively requires effort and a lot of time, there are tremendous advantages that can have a positive impact on your business. Below are a few of the most notable benefits.
Avoid unnecessary costs
The first benefit of having successful business management is the avoidance of unnecessary costs. It is possible that some trips are expensive but do not result in your company gaining any more profit or productivity. These trips are therefore only an expense.
Additionally, some business trips to specific locations can be very expensive when compared with their returns.
By having an effective corporate travel management system, you will be able to identify these unnecessary costs and reduce them immediately.
Employees will be more likely to be pleased if the travel arrangements are handled efficiently, the bookings are correct, and the road trips are comfortable.
As a result, they’ll feel less stressed and under pressure, and their moods will improve.
Therefore, they will be more productive during their trips and once they return to the office.
By optimizing the costs for every business trip, cutting unnecessary expenses, and ensuring employees are comfortable, your company will enjoy a higher ROI.
In this way, you will be able to use the extra profit to increase business productivity or enhance overall efficiency.
Within every organization, business trips are often necessary. In addition to controlling your business finances, handling them effectively will also benefit your employees, making their trip more comfortable, and boosting their morale, which in turn will boost productivity.
In order to optimize your business travel management, you can choose from a variety of strategies based on your business needs and budget.
Following the suggestions in this blog post will surely allow you to stay within your budget and increase the productivity of your company.