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How To Choose The Best Travel Management Software For Your Organization? (+Free Checklist)

Travel Management Software Features

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic affected business travel expenditure all across the globe. However, with things gradually getting back to normal, business travel spending is expected to touch a whopping $1 trillion this year.    

As corporate business travel is getting back on its feet, more and more companies are showing an inclination towards adopting travel management software. The travel management software market is expected to grow 12.1% CAGR in 2021

However, since it’s such an essential part of managing overall corporate travel, it should never be an either/or situation when picking up the right travel management tool.

Let’s see the key aspects to be considered while selecting travel management software for your organization. 

5 Ways to Choose Travel Management Software

A travel management software provider should have an extensive & global inventory of safe hotels and airlines sourced from the Global Distribution System (GDS). The GDS collects, aggregates, and analyzes travel data from multiple vendors. This solves for the employees as they can get a wide range of cost-efficient travel inventory and travel management tools on one platform.

Some other key aspects that you should consider while selecting travel management software are:

1. Determine its Ease of Use

Travel management software should be easy to use so that it offers employees a delightful travel booking experience. To ensure ease of use, look for the following features:

Intuitive UI/UX

The corporate travel booking should have a user-friendly user interface. Employees should find it convenient to see all available flights, approval status, and book travel as per the travel policy- all in one window. They should get to what they need quickly, easily, and without any instruction manual. 

Multiple Platforms

Apart from a desktop for bookings and expense filing, the service provider should offer a mobile app for the travel management software, so it gets easier for you and your employees to track and manage your travel.

The mobile app can help your employees to request travel bookings and check the status of their requests on the go. Moreover, they can file travel expenses in real-time by clicking and uploading pictures of the receipts instead of preserving physical copies until they return to the office.

2. Ensure it has all necessary features

When selecting travel management software, knowing which features matter to you is necessary. Make a list of such features.

Here are some essential features that the best travel management software should have. 

No setup costs and fast setup time

The business travel software you choose should not have any setup costs, and the vendor should be able to set it up within no time. Additionally, the software should not require any over-the-top technological upgradation- It should run smoothly on laptops with basic configuration.

Near-zero downtime

The business travel software you choose should keep the data accessible to employees and be up and running 24/7/365. Moreover, the travel management software service provider should offer prompt technical support in case of any issues with the functioning of the software.

Cloud computing

The travel management software should be totally or partially cloud-based. With cloud computing service, your employees can access the software anytime, anywhere with an internet connection.

Additionally, cloud-based software systems are scalable on demand. Therefore, you can add additional employee data and manage extra travel requests without any added costs.

App Integration

Travel data is required across multiple departments for various purposes. For instance, the finance department needs travel data for complete and timely reimbursement.

Therefore, the business travel software should offer custom integrations or API so you can integrate it with other systems such as ERP, HRMS, accounting solutions, etc. for seamless data sharing.

Ability to configure complex policies

Unclear travel policies can cause hassle while booking and expense filing. If the policy terms are too generalized, the employees might not understand them properly and end up violating the policy unknowingly.

Therefore, the travel management tool should offer the flexibility to configure complex flows for various scenarios so that your employees are aware of the policy limits.

For instance, if an employee is traveling internationally, the software should show expense limits or per diems according to the destination as per your company’s travel policy. 

Ability to customize travel policies

One of the major reasons behind travel policy compliance is that employees are not aware of the changes in the policy and cannot view the guidelines in real-time. Therefore, your travel management software should allow you to reflect the changes you make to your corporate travel policy in no time so that it’s visible whenever an employee books a trip.

For instance, you can change the time taken for approval from 24 hours to 48 hours instantly, failing which the request would automatically get canceled.  

Customizable approval workflows

Unclear travel request approval workflows can cause unnecessary trip delays. Moreover, if the employees don’t know who will approve their travel request, they might send it to the wrong authority. This might lead to the request getting stuck in an endless back and forth, wasting everyone’s time and energy.

Therefore, while choosing a business travel software, ensure it includes customizable complex approval workflows so that the employees know when to take approvals and if there are any exceptions.

3. Ensure it has features to provide enhanced safety

The travel management software you opt for should help you with employee safety procedures, such as –

Safe hotel tagging

Select a travel management software that enables you to tag a hotel safe and compliant according to WHO’s global safety standards. Moreover, the business travel software should also allow blacklisting of hotels that provide sub-standard services or are unsafe for travelers. This way, you can ensure your employees are staying in a safe place every time they travel.

Locating travelers live

The software should have a feature that helps you track where your employee is at any given time – whether on a business trip or commuting to the office. This will help your travel managers to intervene and help your employees in case of any emergencies.

Controlling where it’s safe to go

The software should enable you to block unsafe cities/accommodations from being searched by employees. For instance, with ITILITE Shield, you can lock a city, hotel, or airline that you deem unsafe and protect your employees.

4. Check if it provides 24/7 multi-level support 

Employees might need support at any given point during their journeys. Hence, the travel management software provider you choose should offer support proactively, no matter what time of the day it is.

Also, it is equally critical to ensure that they provide support through easily accessible channels such as chats and calls. In case of emergencies, your employee should be able to reach out to an agent directly instead of chatbots.  

5. Check if it provides advanced reporting & analytics

The travel management software you choose should offer advanced reporting on the T&E process. Choose software that helps you with:

Actionable data-driven insights on saving travel costs

Your travel management software should be able to deliver data-driven insights on the ways you can save travel costs and increase policy compliance. Some software solutions come equipped with a virtual travel consultant that can deliver such insights.

A virtual travel consultant like ITILITE Mastermind can collect and analyze your company’s past travel data and compare it with the industry’s benchmarks to tell you how much you can save. Moreover, it can also give you actionable steps you can take to increase savings.   

Real-time visibility of travel reports

You should get real-time updates on what’s going on in your T&E process. Also, it should allow you to identify patterns and trends to make smarter decisions.

For instance, you should be able to look at the monthly booking cancellations that might be increasing your travel costs. With the help of this data, you can determine whether there were any unnecessary cancellations.

Moreover, you can make changes to your travel policy to incorporate clear guidelines about valid and invalid reasons for cancellation. This can help your employees avoid any unnecessary penalties.

Detailed reporting via a single dashboard

As a travel manager, you should be able to view all the travel-related information in a consolidated manner in one place. The reporting should be:

  • By function
  • By department 
  • By period 
  • Individual employee 

Having all this information on a single platform will make it easier to fetch the data you want whenever required. Therefore, you can make insightful decisions and accomplish your travel goals seamlessly.

Integrated T&E Is The Need Of The Hour

The software you use to book and manage travel can greatly impact your experience as a travel manager and every employee traveling for work. A travel management software platform should enhance the user experience while eliminating errors and reducing expense overheads.

ITILITE is a SaaS-based travel and expense management platform with an easy-to-use interface and a wide range of travel inventory. With ITILITE, you get a lightning-fast booking, seamless expense filing, advanced travel analytics, 24/7 support, and much more.

Want to try ITILITE yourself?

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Travel Management Software Checklist 

Download this checklist to compare the essential features of various travel management software. Choose the one that best fits your needs. You can also use it to assess if your current provider has the key attributes. 

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