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6 Best Practices for Conducting Travel Program Benchmarking for Business Travelers

Travel Program Benchmarking

Travel program benchmarking is the process of evaluating various aspects of a company’s travel program against industry standards. This process helps organizations assess the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and overall performance of their corporate travel management initiatives. Organizations analyze key aspects like policy compliance, supplier negotiations, technology utilization, traveler satisfaction, and risk management. 

Organizations can identify areas where they may be overspending and implement strategies to reduce costs. It helps assess the effectiveness of their technology in managing travel arrangements, expense reporting, and communication. Travel program benchmarking is a tool for ongoing evaluation and enhancement. Regular assessments provide a strategic approach to optimizing travel programs for better financial outcomes, employee satisfaction, and overall operational effectiveness.

Here are six best practices for conducting travel program benchmarking for business travelers:

1. Define Your Objectives

Clearly define the objectives of your travel program benchmarking initiative. Understand why you are benchmarking your travel program, whether it’s to reduce costs, improve traveler satisfaction, enhance policy compliance, or achieve other specific goals. Clear objectives will guide your travel program benchmarking process and help you focus on relevant metrics.

Conduct a stakeholder analysis to identify the primary drivers behind the benchmarking initiative. Develop a list of specific goals, such as reducing travel costs by a certain percentage, improving traveler satisfaction scores, or enhancing policy compliance.

If the primary objective is to reduce travel costs, the goal might be a 10% reduction in travel expenses per employee over the next fiscal year.

2. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

Determine the key performance indicators that matter most to your organization. Common KPIs for business travel programs include travel expenses per employee, travel policy compliance rates, booking lead times, and traveler satisfaction scores. Choose KPIs that align with your business goals and will provide meaningful insights into the effectiveness of your travel program.

If the objective is to enhance traveler satisfaction, a relevant KPI could be the average satisfaction score from post-trip surveys.

3. Select Appropriate Benchmarks

Choose benchmarks relevant to your industry, company size, and travel patterns. Comparing your travel program to organizations with similar characteristics ensures more accurate and actionable insights. Look for travel program benchmarking data from industry reports, peer organizations, or specialized benchmarking services. 

4. Leverage Technology for Data Collection

Utilizing travel management and expense reporting tools automates the data collection, providing real-time and accurate information about travel expenses, booking patterns, and compliance metrics. Automation can streamline the data collection process, ensuring you have real-time and accurate information about travel expenses, booking patterns, and compliance metrics. 

The use of technology can also facilitate the comparison of your data with industry benchmarks. Implement travel management software and expense reporting tools to streamline data collection. Ensure integration between systems for a seamless flow of information.

5. Consider the Traveler’s Experience

In addition to cost-related metrics, include traveler experience metrics in your travel program benchmarking efforts. This may include traveler satisfaction surveys, feedback on booking processes, and the overall ease of the travel experience. 

A positive traveler experience is crucial for employee satisfaction and can contribute to overall program success. Develop and distribute traveler satisfaction surveys, analyze feedback on booking processes, and consider the overall ease of the travel experience.

You can include questions in traveler surveys about the efficiency of the booking process, the comfort of accommodations, and the convenience of travel arrangements.

6. Regularly Review and Adjust

Benchmarking is an ongoing process, and travel programs can evolve. Regularly review your travel program benchmarking data and adjust your strategies accordingly to maintain travel program efficiency. Keep abreast of industry trends, policy changes, and new technologies impacting your travel program. 

Continuous improvement based on benchmarking insights will help you adapt to changing business needs. If a new industry report reveals emerging best practices in business travel, update your benchmarking criteria and adjust your program accordingly.

Remember to approach benchmarking as a dynamic and iterative process. Regularly reassess your goals and metrics to ensure your travel program aligns with your organization’s objectives. Following these best practices can enhance your travel program efficiency and help you make informed decisions to optimize your business travel program.

Tips for the Best Travel Program Benchmarking

Maintain Data Accuracy and Consistency:

Accuracy and consistency in data collection are crucial. Utilize reliable travel management and expense reporting tools to ensure that the data is up-to-date, comprehensive, and consistent across all relevant metrics.

Consider Industry and Regional Variances:

Take into account industry-specific and regional nuances when selecting benchmarks. Travel patterns, costs, and compliance standards vary significantly between industries and regions, so choose benchmarks that reflect your organization’s unique context.

Include a Diverse Set of Metrics:

Include a diverse set of metrics beyond just cost-related indicators. Incorporate travel KPIs related to traveler satisfaction, booking efficiency, and policy compliance. This provides a comprehensive view of the overall health of the travel program.

Involve Stakeholders:

Include key stakeholders in the benchmarking process. This may involve collaboration between travel managers, finance teams, HR, and business unit leaders. Gathering insights from various perspectives ensures a more holistic evaluation.

Regularly Update Benchmarks:

Industry trends, technologies, and business practices evolve. Regularly update your benchmarks to ensure they remain relevant and reflect current standards. Periodically reassess whether your chosen benchmarks are still appropriate for your organization.

How ITILITLE Improves Your Travel Program Efficiency

ITILITE offers a comprehensive platform that streamlines corporate travel management

The platform helps organizations collect and analyze crucial travel expenses, policy compliance, supplier negotiations, and traveler satisfaction data. It centralizes information for companies to compare their travel program metrics with industry benchmarks. Thereby providing valuable insights into cost-effectiveness, policy adherence, and overall program performance.

ITILITE data analytics tools allow organizations to assess the efficiency of their travel policies and identify improvement areas. It benchmarks negotiated rates and terms with suppliers and helps businesses secure competitive deals. The platform also assists in monitoring technology utilization.

Moreover, this platform facilitates traveler satisfaction surveys and feedback collection. This allows companies to gauge employee contentment during business travel. The platform’s capabilities extend to risk management, ensuring that organizations align with industry best practices to safeguard their travelers’ well-being.

In summary, ITILITE is a comprehensive solution for benchmarking travel programs by consolidating data, providing analytics tools, and offering insights into various facets of corporate travel management. 

Book a quick demo now. 

Discover a simpler way to manage corporate travel

Corporate travel management can be extremely daunting. Getting travelers to stick to budgets while booking travel, monitoring spends or finding support for travelers – there is always something that needs to be done. That’s why we built a solution that makes corporate travel management simpler.

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