20 Features To Look Out In The Best Corporate Travel Management Software

May 13, 2022
best corporate travel management software

Companies are always looking to optimize their business travel management process. This has led to the increased adoption of travel management software worldwide with the market forecasted to grow by $2.85 bn. by 2024. Business travel management software automates the entire travel management process, saving time for travel managers and revenue for the company. 

However, nowadays, there are various travel management solutions in the market. This makes you wonder which is the best corporate travel management software.

So, to help you pick the right travel software, we have compiled a checklist of state-of-the-art features.

These are:

  1. Personalized Booking
  2. Extensive Travel Inventory
  3. Interactive UI
  4. Audit and Fraud Detection
  5. Travel Analytics
  6. Third-party Integrations
  7. Approval Workflows
  8. Granular Policies
  9. Real-time Notifications
  10. Multi-device Access
  11. Virtual Travel Consultant
  12. Technical Support
  13. Gamified Travel
  14. Data Security
  15. Pricing Plans
  16. Employee Safety
  17. On-demand Scalability
  18. Easy Setup
  19. Payment Options
  20. Carbon Emissions

1. Personalized Booking

While booking a flight, the employees often struggle to find their preferred travel options. They have to go through an ocean of flights and hotels displayed on the booking screen to find the desired result. Hence, you need a solution that can save their time by suggesting only relevant booking options. 

The best corporate travel management software solutions in the market offer you an AI-enabled booking mechanism, where business travelers get personalized booking options.

The relevancy of the customized recommendations depends on many factors. A few factors are travel policy, traveler history, and departure date/time, among others.

2. Extensive Travel Inventory

When your employees are booking flights or hotels, you need them to have all the right travel options at their fingertips. However, some employee travel management software providers offer only limited travel options, which may not be suitable according to employees’ needs.

However, the best modern travel management software partners with major vendors to offer you a wide range of inventory, including LCCs (Low-Cost Carriers). This ensures that your employees get affordable options, which saves money and prevents policy violations. 

3. Interactive UI

One of the primary objectives of travel managers is to offer employees a convenient booking experience.

Hence, you must look for corporate travel management software that the employees find easy to use. The user-interface should be simple and interactive. Moreover, there should be real-time visibility of travel policy on the booking window so employees can book without fuss. 

Some travel management software providers also offer a free demo so you can have a hands-on experience before choosing it. 

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4. Audit and Fraud Detection

Travel expense frauds cause a significant financial loss to your company. However, controlling expense frauds manually can be tough, be it duplicate receipts, overstated expenses, or inflated amounts.

Hence, you should choose a unified travel and expense management software that offers the Audit & Fraud Detection feature. This feature automatically validates the expense reports and identifies duplicate expenses, out-of-policy expenses, expenses in the wrong category, and more.  

5. Travel Analytics

The travel managers need to measure important travel KPIs such as employee satisfaction and policy violations. Tracking these analytics helps them identify bottlenecks in the corporate travel management process. 

In order to facilitate effective travel data analysis, you must opt for corporate travel management software that offers advanced travel analytics. The software must also offer an intuitive dashboard for the travel managers and finance department to access travel data in real-time. Moreover, the employee travel management tool should also offer custom reporting for different departments based on their requirements. 

6. Third-party Integrations

The travel management process can function only by efficient and error-free data sharing between different departments, be it HR or finance. 

Hence, you should opt for a corporate travel management software that offers multiple third-party integrations. The software should be able to integrate with applications, such as HRMS or accounting software. This ensures automatic data flow among different business functions and breaks down silos.    

7. Approval Workflows

One of the primary reasons for the delay in trip approval is unclear approver workflows. The approval delays escalate especially in the case of international travel as it involves multiple approvers.

Hence, you should prefer a business travel management software that implements multi-tier approval workflows. Such software can define the workflow according to the departments, price range, and type of travel, among others. 

8. Granular Policies

One of the major issues for travel managers is the lack of travel policy compliance. Policy violations mostly happen because various employee travel management software tools in the market offer highly generalized travel policy configurations. This leads to confusion among the employees.

However, with a competent travel management software solution, you can customize travel policies to the most granular level. Moreover, the travel policy can be configured on the basis of employee level, department, vendors, cabin class, hotel ratings, geographies, and more. This granular configuration enhances employees’ policy understanding and improves compliance.

9. Real-time Notifications

Sometimes after the employee has booking approval request, it gets delayed from the approver’s end because they are oblivious of the request.

Hence, business travel management software should be enabled with real-time notifications to notify approvers of travel requests via diverse platforms, such as SMS, email, etc. Moreover, the corporate travel management software should also alert the approver if the booking violates the travel policy.   

10. Multi-device Access

An employee must have the flexibility to book travel tickets and file expenses whenever they see fit. Therefore, you should look for a travel management solution that offers flexibility in business travel booking and expense filing.

Choose a SaaS-based travel management software that gives employees access to travel booking, itinerary, and request status from anywhere at any time. The employees just need to pick up any device and access their account through a web browser.

11. Virtual Travel Consultant

Analyzing the current travel management process of your organization empowers you to optimize it further. So, you should look for a modern corporate travel management software solution that can analyze the travel data to help optimize you travel process.

Look for a business travel management software that comes with a virtual travel consultant. The virtual consultant analyzes past bookings, employee behavior, budget spending, etc., to offer AI-based actionable recommendations. You can also set targets as per the industry benchmarks to measure your progress. 

12. Technical Support

Technical support is vital when deciding on a corporate travel management software solution. This is because you would not want to waste your time on a minor technical issue because your travel management software vendor takes a long time to respond.

Hence, before investing in a travel management software solution, ensure that the vendor offers 24/7 support across multiple platforms, such as chat, email, or call. Moreover, the support team should be well-trained to resolve any issue regarding the product, booking, integrations, invoicing, etc. 

13. Gamified Travel

Rewarding employees encourage them to make cost-effective business travel decisions. As a bonus, rewards also enhance employee satisfaction and improve your brand reputation. But how can you implement incentivization into your travel management process? The answer is- by investing in an advanced company travel software solution.

Some new-age business travel management software solutions like ITILITE offer incentives to employees at the time of booking.

Let’s see how the incentive program works – 

  • Employees get a list of travel options to book their travel according to the travel policy.
  • From the given options, you can choose either the most expensive one or other travel options.
  •  If an employee chooses a cost-effective travel option, he or she gets a part of the revenue saved as a reward. 

The travel incentive program helps save the company money while presenting lucrative rewards to employees.

Recommended case study: Capillary delights employees through gamified business travel

14. Data Security

Corporate travel management involves the processing of critical data, be it the payment information, employee personal data, or vendor invoices. If the data gets compromised, it can prove fatal to the company.

Choose a travel management software provider that ensures complete data security. To ensure stalwart security, you should look for certifications such as ISO 27001, PCI DSS, GDPR, etc. Moreover, you must prefer cloud-based software solution that stores data in secure data centers with enterprise-grade security. 

15. Pricing Plans

As business travel is dynamic, you can’t calculate exactly how many business trips will be taken by your business travelers annually. In such cases, you might end-up loosing huge amounts of money as some vendors charge you on an annual basis. So, even if there are no bookings in a month, you are paying them anyways.

Hence, you must check the pricing structure of the business travel management software you choose. Look for a travel management software provider that charges you per trip. So, you pay only when you book a ticket and not a penny more. 

16. Employee Safety 

Employee safety during business travel has always been a cause of concern for companies, more so in the pandemic. Hence, it comes as a sigh of relief when your corporate travel management software helps you keep your employees safe while they travel for work.

Opt for a business travel management software solution that offers the employee tracking feature. With this feature, every employee can be pinpointed to their exact location. This helps companies ensure that their employees are safe in an unfamiliar destination. 

17. On-demand Scalability

The business travel process keeps on growing with new employees joining the business traveler list every day. 

A business travel management software should be scalable according to your travel process requirements. Prefer a cloud-based travel management software solution that offers the addition of an unlimited number of users and data storage.  

18. Easy Setup

Some business travel management software solutions are complex and take significant time and effort for setup and installation. 

Therefore, you must carefully choose a travel management software like ITILITE that is easy to set up and install. Moreover, the software vendor should offer its assistance and provide training to your employees when they need one.

19. Payment Options

Paying for your travel booking can be delayed sometimes due to problems with your preferred payment method. 

To avoid such delays, the business travel management software you choose should offer diverse payment options, such as credit, wallet, etc., so you can make payments without a fuss.

20. Carbon Emissions

Business travel results in 2% of the total greenhouse emissions worldwide. Hence, every company nowadays is taking proactive decisions to reduce their carbon footprint and lessen their GHG emissions. However, you first need to analyze the emissions first before taking any steps to reduce the footprint. So, you must select a corporate travel management software solution that helps you ensure sustainable business travel.

Some travel management software tools come with a carbon footprint tracking feature that measures the emissions after every business trip. This enables you to make eco-friendly decisions for the company.

Choose Corporate Travel Management Software Wisely. 

These were some of the key features that make a travel management software solution best in class. However, selecting the right solution also depends on your current business travel process, budget considerations, and future travel requirements. Hence, you must analyze your business travel process first before making a decision.

ITILITE is a SaaS-based travel and expense management software with a lightning-quick booking system, extensive travel inventory, virtual travel consultant, 24/7 support, and more. Get the free demo of ITILITE to get a hands-on experience of all the advanced features before you decide. 

Author : Sharad Acharya
Sharad Acharya is a content specialist at ITILITE. With over a decade of experience in content marketing, Sharad has gained expertise in writing for niches like business travel, expense, AI, and Cloud. An avid reader, Sharad likes to read fiction in his free time.