Understanding how to manage business travel
To suggest that firms invest a significant amount of time and money in corporate travel is an understatement.
In fact, business travel is usually the second most expensive line item in a company’s budget, trailing only salaries. Given this, it’s clear that businesses must be attentive and deliberate in their management of business visits and travel expenses.
Creating a company travel policy is the first step in this process.
What exactly is it?
These internal documents contain booking criteria and expensing procedures to assist passengers in selecting budget-friendly flights and hotels and receiving reimbursement as promptly as feasible. Travel policies simplify the approval process by communicating consistent flight and hotel booking expectations to travellers.
However, establishing a travel policy is only the first step.
To assist control expenses, give support for business travellers, and book on behalf of busy staff, most firms discover that they require an additional layer of oversight and management.
For this form of corporate travel management, corporations have traditionally used one of two options: corporate travel agents or travel managers.
What is the definition of a business travel agency?
Some businesses have relied on travel agents to assist them manage business travel for years.
These groups provide numerous advantages, including:
Expertise in the industry to assist in obtaining cheap or refundable travel alternatives
Taking advantage of some of the time spent arranging and adjusting trips
Personalized help for corporate travellers on the road However, these advantages are outweighed by some major drawbacks.
Using a corporate travel agency can be costly, and it might take a long time to confirm an online booking, negating most of the time saved by outsourcing in the first place. Furthermore, because these agents are responsible for multiple business accounts at the same time, they may be slow to respond and provide assistance when needed.
Given these compromises, many businesses outsource corporate travel management, hiring an internal professional whose sole responsibility is to administer the company’s business travel programme.
At a set monthly charge, get all the benefits of a travel agency in your wallet.
What are the responsibilities of business travel managers?
Corporate travel managers, like travel agents, can assist your company with logistics, booking on behalf of frequent travellers, negotiating directly with airlines and hotels, and more.
These workers, unlike corporate travel agents, are usually full-time employees of your organisation.
Corporate travel managers may have additional roles (such as office administration or finance), but their major responsibility is to communicate and enforce travel policy, plan travel for leaders, and give support before, during, and after a trip.
Given that these individuals work full-time and are capable of managing millions of dollars in corporate travel, finding the correct corporate travel manager for your company is critical. What should you be on the lookout for? The following are three locations to begin:
- expertise in the field
Pay close attention to the details.
Mindset of collaboration
However, there are some drawbacks to hiring a full-time corporate travel manager, just as there are with corporate travel agents:
They can be costly.
When it comes to negotiating travel and hotel deals, they may not be as effective as agents.
In addition to scheduling and coordinating travel, you must balance other tasks.
Before hiring a full-time corporate travel manager, make sure you need one and that there aren’t any more lightweight, cost-efficient alternatives that could be just as (or even more) effective.