Corporate travel plays a crucial role in helping companies grow, building connections, and exploring new markets. However, it can be tricky and full of challenges. Travel managers often face various obstacles and corporate travel problems that require smart solutions to make trips run smoothly.

In this blog, we will explore eight complex corporate travel problems that companies commonly encounter. Plus, we’ll also look at the best solutions to overcome these challenges.

1. Travel Booking Inefficiencies

Searching for optimal travel options can be time-consuming and frustrating for employees. They may need to visit multiple travel websites, compare prices, and review various itineraries before making a decision. This process not only wastes valuable work hours but also affects productivity.

Solution: To address this problem, companies can implement the following corporate travel solutions.

  • Centralized Travel Management 

Adopting state-of-the-art business travel management software or partnering with a travel management company can provide employees with access to preferred vendors and negotiated rates in one place.

  • Platform That Displays In-policy Options 

When company-preferred options that comply with the policy are separate from out-of-policy options, employees find it easier to make booking decisions.

2. Balancing Cost Control and Employee Satisfaction

Finding the right balance between cost control and employee satisfaction is a tricky task for companies. Managing travel expenses is essential because businesses often have limited budgets. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to cut down on travel costs to optimize spending. 

However, if not handled carefully, these cost-cutting measures may affect the quality of travel. For example, employees may have to stay in less comfortable accommodations or endure longer layovers to save money on flights. Such choices can make employees feel less comfortable during their travels and have a negative impact on their overall travel experience.

Solution: Encourage employees to book travel well in advance, as this often leads to better deals and more options. Early planning allows for flexibility in selecting cost-effective yet comfortable travel options. 

You can also provide employees some flexibility in choosing their travel options within reasonable cost limits. Providing choices can enhance satisfaction while still adhering to budget constraints.

Further, you can negotiate additional perks such as lounges or upgrades with vendors along with the pricing. This can improve the overall experience of employees. 

3. Complex Approval Workflows

Complex travel approval workflows can cause delays. This may hinder employees from attending important meetings on time which may impact business outcomes. Delayed approvals can create stress and uncertainty for employees. This can cause their productivity to decrease.

Solution: Review and simplify the travel approval process to minimize unnecessary steps. You must also ensure that the process is aligned with the urgency of travel needs. 

Further, you can automate approval workflow with the help of travel management software. The software routes travel requests to the appropriate approvers based on pre-defined criteria, such as budget or trip purposes. Automation ensures quicker processing and reduces manual handling.

4. Lack of Policy Compliance

Travel policies are put in place to ensure cost control, compliance, and risk management during business trips. When employees fail to adhere to these policies, it can lead to various challenges. Employees who violate travel policies may book more expensive travel options, leading to increased travel expenses. 

In addition, not making bookings with in-policy vendors can impact supplier relationships, leading to the loss of vendor incentives or preferred rates in the future. Booking out of policy may also cause security issues for the employee.

Solution: Firstly, you must ensure that your travel policy is clear to understand and is communicated properly to all employees. Secondly, you can offer incentives to employees who consistently comply with travel policies. This could include recognition, bonuses, or other benefits, encouraging employees to follow the guidelines.

Lastly, the most efficient method to increase policy compliance is to use automated booking systems. These systems can restrict certain options that are out of policy, ensuring compliance during the booking process.

5. Poor Visibility and Reporting

When businesses lack comprehensive and real-time access to travel data, it hinders their ability to make informed decisions. Without detailed travel data, they may struggle to track and manage their travel budgets effectively. This can lead to overspending and difficulties in aligning travel expenses with overall financial goals. 

Moreover, due to a lack of clear understanding of travel volumes and spending, managers may be unable to secure competitive rates with vendors.

Solution: Implement a travel data management system that consolidates all travel-related information in one place. The system should also offer an advanced analytics dashboard. 

The dashboard shows travel KPIs related to your business trip in easy-to-understand charts and graphs. By looking at the data, you can identify trends, figure out cost-saving areas and improve your overall travel program.

6. Complex Group Travel Logistics

Managing travel logistics for large groups, such as company conferences or team retreats, can be a complex and time-consuming task. The scale of coordination and planning required for these events poses unique challenges that organizations must address to ensure a smooth experience. 

Solution: Consider partnering with a corporate travel management company that specializes in handling large group events. They can offer valuable expertise, negotiate better rates with vendors, and provide support throughout the process. 

These companies can also provide you with tools such as travel management software (TMS). With the help of TMS, you can manage group traveler details, bookings, itineraries, and more, all through a single platform. 

7. Last-Minute Bookings and Cancellations

Being able to make bookings or cancel them quickly is very important for companies when they need to respond to urgent business needs. Sometimes, unexpected situations arise, and having a fast and efficient system in place helps employees travel promptly and smoothly.

Solution: You can equip employees with mobile apps. Mobile apps allow employees to access travel booking services anytime, anywhere. This allows employees to book last-minute trips or modify their tickets even on the go. 

You can also identify and pre-approve travel options for destinations that employees often travel to. Further, negotiate flexible cancellations and changes in bookings policy with preferred vendors. 

Flexible cancellation policies may include provisions for partial or full refunds, depending on the timing of the cancellation. For example, if an employee cancels well in advance, they might be eligible for a full refund, while cancellations made closer to the travel date might incur only a partial refund. These terms allow employees to modify or cancel bookings without incurring hefty penalties.

8. Risk Management

When employees go on business trips, they are exposed to a range of risks that can affect their well-being, business operations. These risks are inherent in the nature of travel. However, you must proactively address them to prevent them from happening or manage them effectively when an incident takes place. 

For instance, traveling to unfamiliar locations with different safety standards can expose employees to risks, such as crime, accidents, or health hazards. They may also face health risks, including exposure to new diseases or foodborne illnesses.

Solution: There are various corporate travel solutions to mitigate corporate travel risks. Some of these include:

  • Travel Risk Assessment: Conduct risk assessments for the cities that employees are traveling to. Also, take into account safety, health, and security factors. In addition, avoid sending employees to high-risk areas when possible.
  • Travel Insurance Coverage: Provide employees with adequate travel insurance coverage after taking into account their needs.
  • Travel Emergency Response Plan: You must have an emergency response plan in place. This should include ways to respond to an emergency quickly and offer support effectively.

Leverage these Corporate Travel Solutions

By implementing these solutions, companies can solve their major corporate travel problems. You can also leverage business travel management software to truly transform your travel program. 

ITILITE is a SaaS-based travel management solution that can solve your major travel hurdles. It allows your employees to make bookings online, manage itineraries and manage travel documents. Additionally, it empowers you to take control of your travel program by automating policy compliance and offering in-depth visibility into travel data. ITILITE also simplifies your approval process and allows you to manage your budget efficiently.

To know more about the benefits, book a demo now.