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Corporate travel helps companies build and maintain good relationships with their clients. Hence, it is no surprise that it is witnessing a rapid recovery post-pandemic. This year, global business travel spending is predicted to cross the $1 trillion mark and rise by 37%.
On a micro-level, companies are also increasing the frequency of business travel. According to a study, 89% of companies now allow non-essential domestic business travel.
However, while going full throttle on corporate travel, companies’ first concern is travel process optimization. Hence, they are continually looking for ways to optimize their travel process through greater policy compliance, fraud prevention, and better employee experience.
The best way to optimize business travel management is to adopt a company travel software. A company travel management software is a solution designed to help your organization plan, track, and analyze the corporate travel process.
There are multiple benefits to using a company travel software. Let’s look at a few.
Booking flights and hotels using multiple third-party websites can be tedious for employees. They must go through thousands of options before finding the right one. Hence, you need to opt for a solution that makes booking easier.
A company travel software provides flight and hotel options in a combined trip package. Therefore, your employees can book their transportation and accommodation on a single screen. Also, they don’t have to visit multiple websites and scroll through numerous options. Hence, your employees can fulfill all their travel needs with just a few clicks.
Reducing travel costs is essential for every organization. However, you do not necessarily have the most cost-efficient options when you book flights and hotels from traditional or online travel agencies.
Alternatively, modern corporate travel management software uses a Global Distribution System (GDS) for flight, hotel, and car rental inventories. Therefore, you can access the best Low-Cost- Carriers (LLCs) and save travel costs on every booking.
Your employees might find it challenging to find a flight and hotel booking option that is policy compliant and aligns with their comfort and preferences. Additionally, after they have made a booking, they might forget about an upcoming trip until it’s too late for them to make any last-minute preparations.
You can solve all the abovementioned problems by personalizing business travel for your employees. One way to do that is by opting for a company travel software.
A modern corporate travel management software uses behavior analysis to assess your employees’ past preferences. It then recommends policy-compliant customized booking options based on those preferences.
This ensures employee comfort and helps them avoid policy violations. Moreover, company travel software also sends personalized notifications about upcoming trips so that your employees have enough time to prepare.
An unclear approval workflow can cause unnecessary delays in trip approvals. The problem escalates even further in the case of international travel because it requires various approvers. If the request gets sent to the wrong authority, it can get stuck in a to-and-fro motion, wasting everyone’s time and energy.
The company travel software enables companies to define multi-level workflows according to various departments, employee levels, trip destinations, etc. The trip requests move automatically to next-level approval once an official approves them.
Your employees need access to all the suitable options while booking flights and hotels. However, third-party booking websites do not have such extensive travel inventory and provide limited booking options.
The company travel software providers partner with multiple vendors to give you access to a wide range of flights and hotels. So, your employees can get the best-suited options at their fingertips.
Travel managers need to keep track of significant travel KPIs like department-wise average spending per trip, trip incidents, employee satisfaction, policy violations, etc., to take corrective measures and optimize the travel process. For this, they need travel data which they can get using corporate travel management software.
A modern company travel software compiles all the travelers’ data into a single dashboard. Moreover, the customizable dashboards allow traveler managers to fetch the required data points effortlessly. With all this travel data, managers can make insightful decisions to accomplish their travel goals.
Travel data is crucial for businesses to make their travel management process more efficient. In the past, companies used to rely on travel consultants to analyze this data and provide them with critical information.
However, the consultants usually fail to deliver deep insights into travel policy improvement, cost leakages, or reimbursement process refinement due to human limitations.
Moreover, the businesses have to pay an exorbitant fee and devote numerous hours to providing inputs. Despite all this, they do not get satisfactory results as the insights provided heavily depend on the consultant’s quality.
A company travel software can help you solve this problem with a virtual travel consultant. A virtual travel consultant provides practical data-driven recommendations to optimize your travel process. The AI learns from past travel data, collects overall external industry data, and tells the travel managers how much they can save. It also suggests the steps they need to take to maximize savings and reach their T&E goals.
Travel policy violation is a serious issue faced by travel managers. One of the reasons employees violate travel policy is because they are confused by broad and generalized terms and conditions. Moreover, they cannot view the guidelines in real-time while booking.
With state-of-the-art company travel software, you can incorporate all the nitty-gritty of your travel policy. Additionally, you can customize the policy according to departments, employee level, duration and route of the trip, etc. Moreover, your employees can avoid violations by viewing the policy terms in real-time while booking.
Travelers’ safety has taken center stage in conversations about work-related travel, especially post Covid. The new generation of frequent business travelers seek safety first. Hence, you need to look for a technologically advanced travel management solution that can help you ensure business travelers’ safety.
Some new-age company travel software offers a tracking feature to help track your employees’ exact location. This way, you can keep them safe even if they are in unfamiliar destinations.
Often, trip approvals get delayed because the approver is unaware that the employee has made the booking request. And afterward, if the approver approves the request in haste, they may not be able to view the travel policy and allow a few out-of-policy claims. Therefore, you need a real-time solution that can notify the approver when the travel request is placed.
Company travel software provides real-time notifications to notify the approvers about a pending trip request. Additionally, the approver also gets notified when a request is out-policy. Consequently, you can avoid problems like approval delays and out-of-policy approvals.
Your employees need extensive support while traveling internationally. For instance, they might need to know the best routes and public transportation or get stuck in an emergency. Therefore, they need a steady source of support 24/7.
However, if you have used a travel agency for booking, your employees might not get any help beyond booking-related issues.
Moreover, traditional travel agencies have a support and resolution team available only during office hours. Therefore, if your employees need support beyond office hours, they are left to fend for themselves.
You can solve this problem with the help of a company travel software. Most new-age corporate travel software solutions come equipped with AI-enabled customer service chatbots. These chatbots are trained to handle routine emergency questions and provide support beyond office hours.
Other than the chatbots, the solution providers have a team of experts dedicated to providing round-the-clock business travel support. Hence, your employees get the necessary help and enjoy a stress-free business trip.
Seamless and error-free data sharing across multiple platforms like HRMS, accounting, etc., is vital for a business travel process to function correctly.
However, data sharing becomes stringent if you use a spreadsheet-based travel management system. Spreadsheets don’t integrate with third-party software like HRMS or ERP. So, the travel data needs to be entered separately into all the systems.
However, corporate travel management software offers multiple third-party integrations. You can integrate it with all the applications that need travel data, like accounting software, HRMS, etc., and ensure seamless data flow across departments.
Expense reimbursement fraud accounts for 11% of the total workplace fraud. It is also tough to spot. According to a study, an average expense fraud scheme lasts up to 18 months and causes a $40,000 median loss per year. Hence, you need to find a solution that detects and prevents expense fraud in the early stages of expense filing.
A unified company travel and expense software comes with an in-built fraud detector. This feature automatically validates expense reports and detects duplicate expenses, wrong expense categories, out-of-policy expenses, etc. Hence, you can avoid wrongful and inflated reimbursements.
Travel cost reduction is one of the primary travel management goals. To achieve that goal, travel managers need to work hand-in-hand with employees to ensure they make the most cost-effective booking decisions.
One way to do that is to provide rewards for economic booking decisions. Rewarding employees can encourage them to make correct booking decisions and enhance employee satisfaction.
Some modern corporate travel management software solutions offer incentives to employees while booking. Incentivization works as follows:
The employees get many booking options according to the company’s travel policy. They are arranged in descending order from the most expensive to the least. Employees who choose a cost-effective option get a part of the savings as a reward. This business travel incentive feature helps companies save money while rewarding employees.
Managing business travel requires storing and processing critical information like credit card details, employee IDs, transportation and accommodation details, etc. If this data is compromised, the company can suffer huge losses. Hence, you must protect travel data with the best possible data security solution.
You can protect critical employee data with the help of cloud-based company travel software. Cloud-based solutions safeguard the data with stalwart infrastructure and encryptions. The servers are in secure warehouses that no one can access without permission.
Moreover, the data stored on those servers is encrypted, which makes it difficult for cybercriminals to access and understand. Hence, you can be sure that your data is safe.
With the growth in your organization, the number of business travelers will also increase. Hence, you will need a travel management solution capable of handling increased employee data, travel bookings, and expense filing. You need a travel management solution that grows with your organization.
A cloud-based corporate travel management software comes with scalability on demand. Therefore, you can add unlimited users, store all their data and manage all the increased bookings and expense filing effortlessly.
Business travel is responsible for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, it’s high time companies get their carbon footprint under control. The fundamental step towards reducing carbon emissions is to analyze your carbon emissions levels.
With the help of new-age business travel management software like ITILITE, you get a carbon footprint tracker that detects emission levels on every business trip your employees take. With this data, you can make necessary eco-friendly changes in their travel process.
Employees sometimes have to make bookings on the go. They may need to travel to a new destination or change accommodation while on a business trip. Hence, they must have the flexibility to book wherever they deem fit, even if they don’t have access to their office laptop.
A SaaS-based company travel software provides multi-device access so that your employees can make travel bookings, file expenses, or manage itineraries from anywhere at any time. They just need a device, a web browser, and login credentials.
Concierge services are the supplementary services your employees might need during a business trip. Examples include airport lounge facility, vehicle parking, business trip insurance, etc. If you manage the travel process with a traditional agency, you might not get concierge services even upon request.
However, corporate travel management software providers let your employees request concierge services on the booking platform so that they don’t have to put in any extra effort.
Missing out on technological advancements can deprive you of travel process efficiency and cost savings. Therefore, you should invest in a tech-oriented company travel software that regularly updates. Here are a few benefits you can get with technologically advanced corporate travel management software:
These were a few benefits of having a company travel software for your business. It helps you ease the booking process, cut travel costs, increase policy compliance, and detect and prevent expense-related fraud, to name a few.
ITILITE’s SaaS-based travel and expense management solution offers a lightning-quick booking system, vast flight and hotel inventory, travel analytics, 24/7 support, and more. Get a free demo and try out all the features yourself.