In the last few years, corporate travel world has faced a lot of changes. Hence, business travel no more just about planning itineraries, booking a trip, and filing expense reimbursements. Today, organizations are focusing more than ever on employee safety, cost savings, better visibility, and experience.
If you are designing a corporate travel systems or process for your company, it is important to know a few things. For instance, you should know what are the different ways to manage business travel. You should also be aware of the best travel management solution for the company. This guide helps you understand precisely that. Read on to know more.
Corporate travel management (CTM) is how companies manage business trips for their employees. It includes booking the flight and hotels, managing approvals from the higher-ups, and reimbursing all expenses while ensuring policy compliance.
The primary goal of corporate travel management is to ensure that business travel is cost-effective and efficient while also ensuring the safety, comfort, and productivity of employees who are traveling for work purposes. This involves implementing travel policies, negotiating with travel suppliers, and using technology tools to manage travel expenses and streamline the travel booking process.
There are many ways companies manage their corporate business travel. Some manage it in-house in partnership with a travel agent or with travel management company. Meanwhile, others let their employees manage it themselves, or onboard a cloud-based integrated business travel platform.
Here is a detailed description of each scenario:
Here, companies have a dedicated travel manager or travel desk working through a travel agency or a travel management company. In absence of a dedicated travel desk, the HR or Admin teams manage the business travel.
Usually, the travel vendors such companies tie-up with, have extensive experience in managing travel and accommodation for business travelers. In most cases, their services include travel booking and support for cancellation & rescheduling. Sometimes, they might even offer negotiated rates for flights and hotel stays. However, due to inadequate software support, employee safety and travel policy compliance are seldom met.
Companies that don’t have a dedicated travel management team or external collaborations opt for the open booking setup. Here, employees use consumer websites or tour operators to book travel and accommodation. They are reimbursed for all the booking and other expenses after the trip.
Managing corporate travel systems like this is time-consuming and cumbersome in the long run. There is very little room to ensure budgeted options, policy compliance, and traveler safety, among other issues.
Moreover, open bookings also hinder travel savings. This is because even if your employees book policy-compliant options from third-party websites, they might not be the most cost-efficient. For instance, even if the company policy allows a $200 hotel room in Los Angeles, you will ideally want the employees to book a $150 room if available. This is impossible without a corporate travel management company that handpicks and suggests the most economical options.
Companies also manage their corporate travel by collaborating with cloud-based integrated travel management platforms. They provide both software and human support for easy corporate travel and expense management. By automating travel and expense management, they simplify various processes for organizations and employees.
Integrated business travel platforms ensure end-to-end travel management, cost savings, and policy compliance. They help enterprises with customized bookings, on-trip support, and reimbursements effectively.
Having an integrated solution onboard helps businesses set up faster, better, safer, and highly cost-efficient business travel processes.
Now that you know about the pros and cons of all ways to manage business travel, it’s time to choose the right one for your organization. And that is to onboard a cloud-based integrated travel management platform with excellent customer support. Here is why:
An integrated corporate travel management company has a huge inventory of flights, trains, cabs, hotels. Hence, it gives you the best option at the lowest price. It also provides curated searches on predefined parameters, ensuring policy compliance. Some of these platforms, like ITILITE, incentivize employees to book cost-effective options.
Moreover, with ITILITE’s AI-powered virtual travel consultant– Mastermind, travel managers can take cost savings to the next level. Mastermind uses advanced techniques like predictive analytics and machine learning to analyze your company’s past travel data. It also conducts industry benchmarking to analyze the competitors’ corporate travel systems. Using the results, it prepares a cost saving action plan best suited to your company’s needs.
Hence, with Mastermind, you can identify and fix cost leakages and amp up your travel cost savings. To get a first hand experience of ITILITE’s virtual travel consultant, click on the button below.
Employee convenience is one of the most crucial parameters of a successful travel management program. Most company travel management software have easy search options and intuitive UX design. This makes travel booking simple for employees. Moreover, if the travel software has an integrated expense solution, it makes the whole T&E experience wonderful for employees and organizations.
Convenience of T&E systems is not just derived from integration but several other factors. Have a look at our T&E corporate travel system health calculator to find out your organization’s current capability with T&E processes and assess the scope for improvement.
Modern travel management software like ITLITE is aided with technology and 24X7 human-powered support. This can help companies with risk management and on-trip support for business travelers and ensure safety in times of crisis.
Integrated T&E platforms have built-in approval flows and policy checks ensuring 100% compliance. Furthermore, equipped with cutting-edge fraud detection, these corporate travel management company help improve the finance team’s productivity and save money for the company.
Travel management systems can help you get a collated view of the entire company’s travel data through customizable dashboards and reports. With all your travel and expense data in one place, finance & business leaders can make informed decisions.
Suggested Read: Top 10 Corporate Travel Management Companies
Selecting the right corporate travel management company is important for a seamless functioning of your company’s travel process. An integrated travel and expense solution, like ITILITE, that combines tech and service is best suited to lower travel spend, save time, ensure traveler safety and increase policy compliance.
Eager to get the best business travel platform onboard? Look no further; schedule a free demo with our product specialist today to simplify your corporate travel in a way employees love.
Subscribe to the Itilite blog and never miss a post!