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Business travel allows companies to grow their roots in foreign countries and establish cordial connections with customers. Therefore, companies tend to spend a significant amount on business travel. According to a study, the predicted global travel spending in 2022 is more than $1 trillion, with a recorded 37% increase from the last year.
Due to the ever-increasing demand for business travel, companies always look for better solutions for corporate travel management. They need a comprehensive travel management solution that can accommodate the complexities of the travel process and help them attain increased policy compliance, lower travel and expense fraud, and improve business travelers’ experience.
The most optimal method to attain all the abovementioned goals is through a Travel Management Solution. A travel management solution or travel management software is an application that helps you book, track, analyze, and manage your company’s travel process.
Investing in a travel management solution can help you reap many benefits. Here are some of them.
If you make bookings from any online travel agency website, you have to scroll for hours looking for the right choice. Moreover, you may not find flights and hotels on the same website. So, you have to wander from one website to another to meet all of your travel needs.
One of the fundamental advantages of having a travel management solution for your company is travel booking simplification. A travel management solution consolidates airlines and hotels in a single trip option. Therefore, business travelers no longer have to wander from one travel website to another to find the perfect choice. They can get all their requirements fulfilled on a single platform.
A crucial challenge every employee faces during booking is finding policy-compliant options that match their preferences. Moreover, once they have booked, they may need to make some last-minute arrangements that could slip their mind until it’s too late. Therefore, they need a way to customize various steps in the travel process according to their needs. Business travel personalization can help solve all of these problems.
One of the ways you can incorporate personalization into your travel management process is through travel management software. Most modern travel management solutions use advanced techniques like predictive analytics to asses your employees’ preferences according to their booking patterns. They then recommend customized, policy-compliant options according to those preference patterns.
Your employees can choose the best flights and hotels only if they can access all suitable options. However, when they book from third-party websites, they get limited options as those websites don’t have a substantial travel inventory.
Hence, you should consider investing in travel management software. Most contemporary travel management solutions source their travel inventory from a Global Distribution System. Therefore, they have data from multiple suppliers all their users can access easily. Moreover, you don’t have to contact numerous organizations separately, saving time and effort.
Saving travel costs is one of the most important goals of a corporate travel program. Companies consider cost-saving as one of the most critical KPIs when evaluating their travel management process. In order to reduce your company’s business travel expenses, you must encourage your employees to book economical flights and hotels.
However, if you manage business travel with the help of a traditional travel agency, they can’t always get the most cost-efficient flight and hotel booking options. Therefore, you can’t save a significant amount on travel costs.
Investing in travel management software can help you save big bucks on travel bookings. The travel management solution providers have partnerships with major flight and hotel vendors. Therefore, they can offer you the best-negotiated deals, helping you cut down a remarkable portion of your travel costs.
Optimally managing business travel requires travel managers to track and study significant KPIs like per trip expenditure, top employee spend, and department-wise spending. Such travel KPIs help them measure the effectiveness of their business travel program and take corrective actions wherever required. To calculate these KPIs, travel managers must collect and analyze travel data. They can do this using a travel management solution.
Travel management software collates all the travel data from past business trips onto one dashboard. So, travel managers can view all the data without going through multiple documents. Moreover, the customizable dashboard lets them fetch any particular data points they need. Therefore, travel managers can make data-driven decisions and accomplish travel goals.
Business travel requires a series of approvals from managers and executives. However, most companies do not have a clearly defined workflow of who approves which trips. Hence, employees are left wondering who to approach with their travel requests. Additionally, their conundrum expands when they travel internationally because such trips are cost-heavy and require multi-level approvals.
Investing in travel management software means you no longer have to worry about unclear approval workflows. A travel management solution allows you to define multi-lateral workflows according to trip type, duration, employee level, and departments. Moreover, it automates the movement of trip requests among approvers. Therefore, the employees don’t need to worry about delays or the request ending up with the wrong authority.
Business travelers face many situations that require substantial support during their business trips. For example, they might need help with the most convenient routes to the workplace or the nearest healthcare center while traveling internationally. Hence, you must ensure that they have 24/7 business travel support. You can do that with the help of a travel management solution.
A tech-forward travel management solution has built-in customer service chatbots. These AI-based chatbots can provide location-based recommendations and handle minor emergencies. Moreover, the employees can access these chatbots beyond office hours, so they get the support they need whenever required.
Collecting and analyzing travel data is essential for you to enhance the efficiency of your travel management process. However, getting detailed travel data insights is challenging without high-tech software.
If you opt for a tech-forward travel management solution like ITILITE, you can get a virtual travel consultant to meet all your analytics needs. An AI-based virtual travel consultant helps you optimize your travel management process by analyzing historical data, benchmarking according to the industry standards, and recommending travel process optimization avenues. Such recommendations can help you save travel costs and increase policy compliance.
As your company grows, the number of business travelers will also increase. More business travelers will also increase the number of travel requests and expense claims. In this case, if you manage your travel process on a spreadsheet, you will have difficulty accommodating all the additional data and managing all the incoming travel requests.
However, investing in a cloud-based travel management solution can help you efficiently manage the increasing traveler data. Cloud-based software solutions are scalable on demand. Therefore, you can easily incorporate unlimited users’ data and handle all the additional bookings and expense claims.
Sometimes, a business trip might not go as planned, and travelers might need to make last-minute changes to the itinerary. For example, they may need to travel to a new destination or change accommodation. In such cases, they require a software solution that allows them to make hassle-free bookings whenever they want, even if they don’t have access to their office laptop.
A SaaS-based travel management solution can help your employees efficiently deal with last-minute itinerary changes. Such software solutions provide multi-device access that enables your employees to book and file expenses from anywhere, using any device. They just need a web browser, a stable internet connection, and login credentials.
Maximizing travel cost savings is essential to maintaining the company’s bottom-line results. For this, travel managers must ensure that employees choose the most economical travel booking options. An effective concept of encouraging employees to make cost-efficient bookings is through rewards and incentives.
The best travel management software solutions offer an in-built incentivization platform. The platform helps you reward the employees who maximize travel cost savings by giving them a part of the amount saved on flight and hotel bookings. Therefore, employees feel enthusiastic about choosing the most cost-efficient options.
Travel expense fraud is among the toughest to spot despite comprising 11%of the overall occupational fraud. Such scams cause your company an estimated $40,000 loss in a year. Therefore, you need a solution to detect and prevent travel expense fraud early.
You can invest in integrated expense and travel management software with a built-in fraud detection system. The software automatically verifies all the expense claims and flags duplicates, non-compliant expenses, and wrong expense categories, helping you conduct faster travel expense audits and prevent expense fraud.
Travel policy violation is a crucial hurdle travel managers have to encounter while achieving the organization’s travel goals. The primary reason behind such violations is that the travel policy guidelines are highly generalized, and employees find it challenging to understand and implement them. Hence, you need a travel management solution that helps you formulate understandable policy guidelines.
Travel management software lets you create and configure a granular travel policy. Moreover, you can customize the guidelines according to employee level, department, trip type, and duration. Such configurations will help employees understand the terms better and increase travel policy compliance.
Contrary to the popular notion, travel data is not just for travel managers. The finance department needs travel data to predict next term’s travel costs and create a budget. Other than that, the human resource department needs travel data to reimburse employees on time. Therefore, your travel data management solution must facilitate smooth data-sharing across multiple applications like HRMS and ERP.
A state-of-the-art travel management software can facilitate smooth data sharing by integrating with other management systems. Therefore, you no longer need to agonize about updating travel data separately into various applications and the errors that might occur due to manual intervention.
As business travel has resumed after the Covid-19 pandemic, business travelers’ safety has taken center stage in the travel process. The new generation of business travelers wants to take all the necessary precautions before going on a work trip and expects the company to be hypervigilant about their safety during the trip.
Some contemporary travel management software solutions offer live traveler tracking and real-time updates about the destination. Therefore, if your employees get stuck in an emergency while traveling, you can immediately intervene and get them out of there.
While managing the corporate travel process, you must collect, store, and process sensitive information like card numbers, employee IDs, and itinerary details. Any leakages in this data can threaten the overall security of the employees and the company. Therefore, you need to protect the data with a highly secure solution.
A travel management software solution can help you safeguard critical information with cloud security. A cloud-based security solution has complex encryptions, and the web servers are placed in a limited-access data center. Therefore, you can ensure that your employee data is protected from cyber criminals or other threats.
Now that you know the multiple advantages of investing in a travel management solution, it’s time to look at the features you should seek in travel management software to ensure it is the right fit for your organization.
The best travel management software has something to offer to your employees as well as your travel managers. Your employees should get a quick and simplified booking, personalized travel options based on their past preferences, and remarkable customer support. Your travel managers should get advanced travel data analytics to evaluate the performance of the company’s travel program. Additionally, the software should help them ensure employees’ safety with advanced technological features like traveler tracking and real-time trip alerts.
You can get all these features in ITILITE’s travel management solution. With ITILITE, your employees can book flights and hotels in 90 seconds. Moreover, they get customized options from a substantial travel inventory and round-the-clock support during an emergency. ITILITE also offers enhanced policy compliance, advanced analytics, and more.
Try out ITILITE for free to get a first-hand experience of the features.