Hidden Travel Savings

The manufacturing industry is a highly dynamic sector that often requires employees to travel for various purposes, such as attending trade shows, visiting clients, overseeing production facilities, or participating in training programs. While travel is essential to business operations, it can also be a significant expense for companies.

Fortunately, manufacturing companies can implement several strategies to find hidden travel savings and reduce costs without compromising the quality of their travel experiences. This blog throws light on the importance of travel in the manufacturing industry and strategies for finding hidden travel savings. 

Importance of Travel in the Manufacturing Sector

Attending industry trade shows and exhibitions is crucial for showcasing new products, networking with potential clients, and staying abreast of the latest market trends and innovations. Sales representatives frequently travel to meet with existing clients, nurture relationships, and secure new business opportunities.

Moreover, manufacturing companies with multiple production facilities or global operations require employees to travel for on-site inspections, quality control audits, and to oversee manufacturing processes. Engineers and technicians may need to visit plants or worksites to troubleshoot issues, provide training, or ensure compliance with safety and operational standards.

Additionally, continuous professional development is essential in the manufacturing sector, necessitating travel for employees to attend training programs, workshops, or conferences to enhance their skills and knowledge. Executives and managers also travel for business meetings, strategic planning sessions, or negotiations with suppliers and partners.

1. Air Travel Expenses Airfare

This is often one of the largest travel expenditures for manufacturing companies, especially those with multiple production facilities or a global presence. Employees may need to travel frequently racking up significant costs for domestic and international flights.

2. Lodging Costs 

When employees travel for extended periods, such as for on-site projects or training programs, hotel accommodations can be a substantial expense. Manufacturing companies may need to arrange for long-term stays, which can be particularly costly if employees are required to be on-site for weeks or months at a time.

3. Ground Transportation Costs 

Rental cars, taxis, rideshares, and other ground transportation modes are necessary for employees to travel between airports, hotels, manufacturing plants, and other destinations. These costs can quickly add up, especially in areas with high traffic or limited public transportation options.

4. Meal and Entertainment 

Expenses Business dinners, client meetings, and other entertainment expenses are often incurred during travel for manufacturing companies. While these costs may be necessary for relationship-building and client retention, they can contribute significantly to overall travel expenses if not carefully managed.

5. Incidental Travel Expenses 

Employees may also incur various incidental expenses during their travels, such as Wi-Fi charges, laundry services, parking fees, and baggage fees. While these costs may seem small individually, they can accumulate substantially over multiple trips or extended stays.

5 Strategies for Hidden Travel Savings

1. Use Travel Management Companies:

Partnering with a reputable travel management company (TMC) can be a game-changer for manufacturing companies looking for hidden travel savings. TMCs leverage their industry expertise and buying power to negotiate favorable rates with airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. They can also provide valuable insights into travel trends, policy implementation, and cost-saving opportunities. Additionally, TMCs can streamline the travel booking process, ensuring compliance with company policies and maximizing savings through preferred vendor relationships.

2. Centralize Travel Booking:

Implementing a centralized travel booking system can help manufacturing companies gain better control over their travel expenses. By centralizing the booking process, companies can ensure that all travel arrangements are made through approved channels and in compliance with established policies. This approach not only promotes cost savings through negotiated rates and preferred vendors but also simplifies expense tracking and reporting. Centralized booking can also facilitate better data analysis, enabling companies to identify areas for improvement and negotiate more favorable travel cost saving deals with suppliers.

3. Leverage Negotiated Rates:

Many manufacturing companies fail to take full advantage of negotiated corporate rates with airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. By leveraging these pre-negotiated discounts, companies can uncover significant hidden travel savings. To maximize the benefits of negotiated rates, companies should provide clear booking instructions and make it easy for employees to find and book preferred vendors. Additionally, regular monitoring and communication of these rates can help ensure that employees are aware of the available discounts and incentivized to utilize them.

4. Encourage Advanced Booking:

Encouraging employees to book travel well in advance, especially for airfare, can lead to substantial savings for manufacturing companies. Last-minute bookings are often significantly more expensive due to limited availability and higher demand. By establishing a company policy that requires bookings to be made 14-21 days in advance, unless exceptional circumstances apply, companies can take advantage of lower fares and rates. Additionally, advanced booking can help companies better plan and manage their travel budgets, reducing the risk of unexpected expenses.

5. Use Non-Traditional Lodging:

Corporate housing, vacation rentals, or extended-stay hotels can provide a more affordable alternative to standard hotels for stays exceeding 5-7 days. These options often offer additional amenities, such as kitchens and laundry facilities, which can further reduce expenses associated with dining out and other incidental costs. By researching and utilizing these alternatives when appropriate, manufacturing companies can optimize their accommodation budgets without compromising employee comfort or productivity.

Bonus Tips to Find Hidden Travel Savings

1. Leverage Travel Rewards Programs:

By consistently booking with the same airlines, hotels, and rental car companies, employees can accumulate points or miles that can be redeemed for future travel. Periodic reviews can identify the most lucrative programs to prioritize. Combining corporate and personal rewards can compound the benefits. 

2. Implement Expense Management Solutions:

Investing in expense management software streamlines the tracking, reporting, and analysis of travel expenses. These solutions automate manual processes, reducing administrative burdens and ensuring accurate data. Detailed reporting provides valuable insights into spending patterns, enabling companies to identify areas for improvement and monitor policy compliance. The data gathered can also strengthen negotiating positions with travel providers, leveraging volume and patterns to secure better rates and discounts.

Get Travel Cost Saving Deals with ITILITE

ITILITE provides corporate travel management solutions that use artificial intelligence and data analytics to secure travel cost saving deals for you. The company’s tools help negotiate better rates by combining and analyzing spending data from many companies. The software also automatically checks that travel bookings follow company policies.

Employees can easily book travel themselves while being guided toward preferred vendors to save money. Additionally, ITILITE AI system continuously looks for hidden travel savings opportunities as travel patterns change over time. If you want to negotiate deals, book a demo.