What is travel management?
Travel management is the structure that a company has in place to oversee and facilitate business travel. This includes the processes of planning a trip for booking and paying for everything necessary, and the approvals and documents needed to ensure compliance.
Business travel is an important component in the running of modern multi-national companies. Advancements in technology such as virtual meetings and digital transfer of documents are a big plus for today’s travel market, but many businesses rely on meeting clients face-to-face and global networking.
Why your business needs travel management?
Globally, corporate travel is on the rise, and for many companies a mobile workforce is still a major investment. A corporate Travel Management agent will focus on enhancing cost saving alongside improved reporting to provide future efficiency. They are also responsible for ensuring that employees travel safely, and that all relevant travel policies are complied with.
Arranging a business trip can take considerable time, with the burden often placed on the finance department, or the individual themselves. Typically, when business travel is not managed, employees book their own travel independently using personal payment cards. For a company that has a very mobile workforce, the workload and costs involved can soon become overwhelming. A corporate travel manager can overcome many of these issues.
3 EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION
A corporate travel manager can also increase employee satisfaction. With one less time-consuming administrative job to add to their list, your employee has more productive time to work on core business. Additional arrangements for the employee can include: obtaining visas and necessary paperwork, booking immunisations, arranging travel insurance, booking restaurants and conference/meeting facilities etc. These extra concerns can often take hours to organise and streamline. A corporate travel manager will be the go-to person for ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
Corporate travel policies are important because they allow businesses to control the costs of sending employees on work trips, and they allow businesses to have some control over the employee’s travel experience and safety. A typical travel policy will cover items such as what vendors employees should use, how they should book travel, what costs are covered on a company card, and how reimbursement works.
We have all heard horror stories of leisure holiday disasters, and unfortunately, without careful planning the same thing can happen with business trips. Cancelled flights or overbooked hotels can severely hamper your employee’s travel itinerary. A business which requires their employees to travel has a duty of care to ensure they are safe while travelling, and a corporate travel manager can make this possible. They will research and ensure all travel arrangements are safe for the employee, as well as being on hand to organise alternative travel arrangements should a crisis occur.
A corporate travel manager will control the money spent on getting employees to and from their destination in the most economic way possible. However, they understand an employee should be comfortable when they travel, so it’s not necessarily about booking the cheapest flights or accommodation arrangements. But they are able to negotiate the best rates with the travel supplier as they are offering bulk bookings. A good travel manager can provide travel savings that far exceed their salary. It certainly pays to have someone looking out for the bottom line.
So, if travel plays an important part in the running of your business, it may well be worth considering having a corporate travel management agent. Someone in this role can organise and manage all the travel arrangements and control expenses incurred by you and your team.
What does a corporate travel management agent do?
Outsourced travel managers work within your program to improve processes, deploy new products and services, manage compliance, develop vendor relationships, as well as increase traveler satisfaction. Corporate travel management agent can also develop and execute a travel strategy, manage the entire program, lead Traveler Engagement campaigns and serve as the internal point of contact for travelers.
The bottom line is that the role of an corporate travel management agent varies according to the company’s needs. There’s no one size fits all approach. Instead, it’s about making sure the travel program that meets the company’s unique needs and delivers on organizational goals.
When is outsourcing the way to go?
While it is not magic bullet for every organization, there are several situations where outsourcing the management of your business travel program could make sense.
For example, when you need to benefit from industry expertise, but don’t have in-house talent with a travel background – or the bandwidth to manage a program – outsourcing could be the solution. A travel manager who is not a subject matter expert may not have the breadth of experience they need to keep pace in this fast-evolving market.