Travel is generally a big expense for business. It is also an expense that can blow budgets out fast. One of the reasons is most organisations struggle to nail compliance to travel policy. Traditional approaches and solutions are restrictive and staff personal preferences and behaviour come into play.
Many corporate travel policies contain outdated thinking. The marketplace and technology has changed travel in the consumer world. Yet, corporate travel still relies on expensive phone based bookings. It has also failed embrace digital technology which delivers a better traveller experience.
The lack of change in policy protocols has had an impact. Travel operators have altered pricing to take advantage of this. Many businesses continue to operate in a vacuum and are being paying more as a result.
There is no one size fits all solution. By adopting new platforms with a new travel management approach, your business can take a big step ahead.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Preferred hotels offers organisations the option to receive reduced room rates. When a hotel reaches a certain occupancy level, those cheaper rates are no longer offered. Also, take care and consider other travel costs when using preferred hotels. Costs will mount for taxis and transit where the hotel is not located close to intended visits.
Many corporate travel providers still book flights (esp. international) over the phone. This increases booking charges and reduces transparency of the actual fare cost. It is also slow and cumbersome for support staff to organise travel. Worse, it increases the ‘soft’ or indirect cost of business travel.
Mark up on fares
Some travel management providers mark up air fares to make extra margin. Non transparent booking methods such as phone help perpetuate this practice.
Lack of transparency around reporting.
Many traditional booking systems come with poor reporting. Modern travel booking systems give greater detail for reporting to help manage travel budgets.
BETTER BUYING OUTCOME
Business travel can be more seamless for both the traveller and manager. There are some simple things to look for in a travel manager. Choose one who offers:
- Technology that optimises the traveler experience and reduces noise around travel booking and management
- The ability to offer flexibility incorporating your business policy controls
- The ability to use negotiated rates as well as the best rate of the day
- Data and information management to optimise travel spend
- No transaction fees for online bookings
- Online international bookings beyond point to point thus avoiding expensive phone booking fees