Corporate travel management is a challenging task, especially if you’re in charge of different teams and travel budgets.
It's not as simple as booking a flight and hoping for a decent rate. Corporate travel management involves handling many moving parts, and keeping track of all of them can be difficult for many companies.
So, what are the best practices to follow as a corporate travel manager?
Implement a Travel Policy
A corporate travel policy is a document that spells out the rules and regulations that apply to all travellers in the company.
These corporate travel policies are typically written in collaboration by the Finance Manager and the Travel Manager, and they explain many important factors that can affect the company's travel experience and budget.
These are some of the fundamental areas that should be included in establishing and managing travel policies:
- Airline, rail, hotel, and rental car reservations
- The booking procedure and the approved corporate travel company
- Transportation (bus, taxi, etc.)
- On-site spending (meals, entertainment, phone calls)
- Reimbursement process
- Travel risk management
- Security, including the safety of both individuals and work materials
- Travel debriefing
Why Are Travel Policies Important?
A well-written and transparent corporate travel policy can guarantee that everyone in your company follows the same travel requirements.
Corporate travel policies allow companies to limit the costs of business trips while also giving the company some control over the employees' experience and safety.
It doesn’t stop there; in addition to streamlining and simplifying your profess, travel policies also provide the following benefits:
- The travel booking procedures are well-organised, so nobody has to scramble to find the information they need.
- Travellers' reimbursement procedures are streamlined.
- It’s easier to save money when your spending guidelines are clearly outlined for employees.
- It helps prevent fraud in your company.
- Employees are protected by carefully defined safety protocols, and they won’t have to panic in the case of an emergency.
Know Your Budget
Corporate travel is one of the largest business expenses for most companies, especially those that require constant movement.
According to Finder, there were 6.6 million business trips into the UK and 8 million out of the UK in 2018, with the amount steadily increasing since then. This makes corporate travel management a very important task.
One of the most effective strategies for managing corporate travel is knowing your budget. If you know how much money you’re allowed to use for a specific business trip, you can easily plan how much money to allot to each aspect of travel.
A budget will give you a better understanding of how much money you will need and help you create a strategy for how the money will be spent. Once you've established this, you can make adjustments to help you meet your corporate travel objectives.
Finally, you will be able to identify areas where you can improve the spending habits of your company in order to make the most of your corporate travel budget.
Prepare For the Worst-case Scenario
One of the best practices in corporate travel management is to consider any risks and worst-case scenarios. You must consider and identify any potential risks that your travellers might face while on a business trip, especially since travel risk levels are constantly changing due to the pandemic.
Travel risk assessments should be done before each and every trip to cover all potential dangers that an employee might face while on business.
With a solid plan for each eventuality, your company will be able to support your employees if they find themselves in terrible circumstances while travelling. Here are a few of the dangers to be prepared for:
- Infectious diseases and travel sickness
- Lawlessness and crime
- Instability in politics
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Planning for the worst-case scenario entails more than just anticipating dangers to your corporate travellers. It also includes disasters that your travellers may encounter, which may have an impact on their intended purpose of travel and can result in a loss for your company. Here are just a few to consider:
- Missing flights
- Bad weather
- Misplaced company materials and equipment
Although worst-case scenarios may seem rare, you should have a backup plan that covers all possible worst-case events in order to meet your corporate travel objective.
Use Technology To Make Travel Easier
One of the most effective and easiest ways to manage corporate travels is working with a technology-first, reliable and trustworthy travel management company.
It can make your travel program more efficient.
A travel management platform is a tool that can help your business travel program with day-to-day operations such as travel booking and ensuring traveller safety.
A good travel platform can deliver technology to all of the stakeholders in your travel program, including travellers, managers, and finance managers.
Here are the key benefits that you can get with a reliable travel management company:
- Full transparency and cost control
- The ability to view, track, and manage all of your travellers
- Control of travel policy and workflow
- 24/7 travel support
- The ability to track travel spending using real-time data
Locomote, one of the world's top corporate travel management companies, provides the ideal combination of technology and service.
Our travel management platform automates and streamlines corporate travel management.
This allows employees to arrange business travel on a budget, assist managers in approving and reviewing non-compliant travel requests, and provide visibility into budget management and forecasting for the finance team.
Though corporate travel management is challenging, it can be made easier by following best practices and using a dependable travel management provider.
This will lead to safer corporate travels, more financial savings, and an overall better travel experience for the whole company.