How Can a Business Travel Management System Improve Operational Efficiency?

January 12, 2023
business travel management system

For most companies, business travel is integral to running a business as it helps companies build networks, make new business deals, expand their business operations across various places, and many more. 

However, if you have not implemented an efficient travel management system, you might face many bottlenecks, leading to a lot of time and effort being wasted. Moreover, it might also be tough to identify and prevent cost leakages.  

As a business owner, if you want to improve your business travel operations, then a travel management software system will help you do that.

Let us see how a travel management software system improves your operational efficiency:

  1. Simplifies Booking 
  2. Ensures Cost Saving
  3. Provides 24/7/365 Travel Support
  4. Offers Advanced Travel Analytics
  5. Assures Travel Policy Compliance
  6. Improves Traveler Experience
  7. Improves Travel ROI
  8. Allows Third-Party Integrations

1. Simplifies Booking 

Arranging travel and stay can be a hassle for your travel manager. The manager must browse multiple external websites and look through various flight and hotel options before selecting the right one. This process is strenuous and wastes a lot of time he can spend improving the traveler experience. 

A business travel management system helps you streamline bookings by providing all the stay and flight options in a single platform. Also, the system offers an intuitive user interface that allows business travelers to book everything on a single platform without navigating through various websites, thus, saving time. 

2. Ensures Cost Saving 

Reducing travel costs can be difficult for business owners as you must ensure that employees don’t exceed the company’s budget. There may be areas of cost leakages, such as bookings made a few days before a business trip, trips booked above policy, and expensive flight and hotel bookings. This becomes difficult to track the amount spent, especially if many employees travel together simultaneously for various reasons. 

A business travel management system can help you optimize or save travel costs with the assistance of an AI-based travel consultant like ITILITE Mastermind. It compares your travel and expense data with industry standards, gives you practical data-driven insights, and recommends where you could have saved more. This helps you cut down costs and optimize your business travel process.   

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Additionally, some travel management system solutions provide incentives to employees during booking. When employees choose the most cost-effective option from the multiple options available, they get a part of the savings as a reward. This motivates the employees to book wisely. 

3. Provides 24/7/365 Business Travel Support

During business trips, employees must travel to various domestic and international destinations. During such times, they may encounter certain challenges, such as bad hotel services, visa-related issues, transportation facilities, and delayed flights. 

However, due to differences in time zones or issues arising outside office hours, it becomes difficult for travel managers to help employees during such odd hours. If there is no proper system in place to address these issues, employees can find themselves stuck in a very difficult situation.

By investing in a travel management software system, you can solve these problems. The best providers offer you round-the-clock business travel support during times of emergency. Business travelers can contact the support team through multiple platforms, such as chats, calls, and emails, when they are in a difficult situation. 

Hence, this saves a lot of time as your travel managers don’t need to provide support outside working hours.

4. Get Advanced Travel Analytics

Collecting and analyzing travel data is important for most businesses. Often, you need to keep track of travel KPIs, like the average cost per business trip, out-of-policy bookings, Employee Net Promoter Score (ENPS), etc., to help you identify any bottlenecks in your business travel management. 

But, without a proper tool, it is difficult to gather data as the process becomes quite cumbersome. Moreover, keeping track of data through a travel agent or through spreadsheets is neither sustainable nor does it help you get accurate insights on your data. 

Modern travel management systems help you optimize your travel and expense process by providing access to advanced travel analytics on a single platform. It combines all the bookings made by business travelers and other important data, such as policy violations, the total number of cancellations, traveler wellness, etc., on a single dashboard. 

You can also customize the type of reports you want to see, such as the most booked airline company, carbon footprint, and employee wellness. This helps you save a lot of time and money. 

5. Assures Travel Policy Compliance

Another major challenge companies face is making employees comply with travel policies.  Employees often tend to violate travel policies either because they misinterpret the policy updates or because they are unaware. Another main cause is that business travelers cannot view the policies when they book their trips or update their expenses.  

An advanced travel management system helps you with policy compliance. The system is integrated with the company’s travel policies, including all policy exceptions. You can also configure multi-granular policies based on employee level, departments, trip destinations, airlines, etc.

The system allows employees to view travel policies while they book their trips or file expenses, thus ensuring policy compliance.

Also, employees and trip approvers get real-time notifications for any policy violations made. This helps you identify if anyone is making any out-of-policy booking and improves your T&E process. 

6. Improves Traveler Experience

One of the crucial aspects of business travel is the travel experience of employees. However, for a travel manager, it becomes tough when he or she has to keep track of whether their travelers are happy. 

They have to take feedback on each trip and decide whether a flight or a hotel needs to be blacklisted. Moreover, there is no visibility of aspects like how many employees are subjected to taking red-eye flights and staying in sub-par hotels due to restrictions in the travel policy.

With the help of a business travel management system, you get complete visibility of the time employees are boarding their flights. This will allow you to identify if employees are boarding red-eye flights and let you adjust the flight timings accordingly. 

Additionally, you can analyze the most taken flight routes to avoid unnecessary layovers and block any unsafe hotels, which will help improve your employees’ business travel experience

You can also provide your employees with an option where they can book their own business trips. On a single screen, employees get personalized choices as per their choices from a wide range of travel inventory. 

7. Improves Travel ROI

It is no doubt that companies consider business travel as an investment. Companies are trying to maximize their ROI (Return on Investment), but for that, they need complete travel data visibility, know the amount invested and how much they can get back. And for most companies, the data is spread across multiple platforms. This becomes difficult to track as you must collect every data manually. 

A good business travel management system allows employees to enter an estimated outcome of the business trip when they raise travel requests. This will give visibility to the approvers to analyze the ROI of the trip before approval. 

Additionally, an integrated travel and expense management system will display the trip’s complete travel spending and reimbursement data in a single place. These insights will help you plan your next business trip efficiently. 

8. Allows Third-Party Integrations

If your company uses traditional spreadsheets or paper-based methods, integrating the travel data with various systems, such as HR or ERP, becomes very difficult. You need to retrieve the data and upload them to each system manually. And, if you need to modify the data, you must do them manually across all platforms, which is a tedious process. 

A travel management system that is SaaS-based can integrate easily with different applications, thus aiding data coordination. For instance, you don’t have to extract any new data from the HRMS tool. When any new information is updated, the business travel management system automatically updates it across all platforms. This ensures smoother data flow and saves plenty of time. 

Switch To A Business Travel Management System Now

Most companies often struggle with their business travel management process as they find it challenging to manage costs, address policy compliance issues, improve the experience of business travelers, provide support, and many more. Investing in the right travel management system will help you overcome all these challenges. 

ITILITE’s travel management system provides you with lightning-quick booking, round-the-clock business travel support, virtual travel consultant, custom reports, and more.  

Get a free demo of ITILITE to try the features yourself. 

Author : Priyanka Kamath
Priyanka Kamath is a content writer and marketer at ITILITE. She quit her clinical research job to pursue something she loved-content creation! An avid traveler and travel influencer, she loves creating memories and narrating stories through videos and photos. She loves watching thriller movies and is an ardent cricket enthusiast.