The business travel industry always seems to experience considerable disruption. World events, politics, the latest technology innovations and many other factors all have a knock-on effect on how companies manage their business travel requirements.
All companies at some point will need to review their travel spend in this ever-changing climate. Here we have a few handy tips to help you reduce costs whilst still maintaining quality with the help of a travel management company.
#1 Implementation of an Online booking tool
For companies wishing to reduce their corporate travel spend, whether it be on rail journeys, air, hotels or a combination of all, using an Online Booking Tool can help drive savings with reduced service fees teamed with visual guilt/nudge theory.
All users will have access to the same content and deal available on the internet, meaning savings can be achieved through visual guilt. You can set the parameters of spend, but bookers are usually likely to choose the lowest costing option when they see a range of fares and options available to them on the screen in one place. You will save money quickly and easily by paying a lower service fee than you would for booking over the telephone. A good Travel Management Company, will provide an experienced account manager gaining access to corporate rates and discounts, ensuring you find the best deal within every search.
What's more is that you will still receive the back-up support of your business travel agency as well as the 24-hour assistance (should your TMC offer the service).
#2 Corporate Reward Schemes/Negotiated Rates
Completely free to join, corporate reward schemes give your business reward points for the flights you book that are redeemable against air ticket costs and upgrades, or in some cases other travel products such as hotels, lounge access or car rental.
If you use a travel management company, your account manager will be able to advise you which schemes your organisation should enrol in. You’ll receive a membership number which your business travel agency will add to your company profile so that it’s automatically added to all bookings. This means you’ll collect points without having to do a thing.
Most good travel management companies will manage the redemption of reward points for you as part of their business travel services and account management programme. Savings achieved should be tracked and measured through management information reports so you have complete visibility of the value delivered.
An Account Manager will look to work with relevant suppliers who can add value and savings to a travel programme, rather than diluting a travel programme with lots of unnecessary corporate agreements that result in dissatisfied suppliers due to unused agreements,which then do not maximise any threshold target volumes of where a business actually travels to or stays. By using relevant suppliers, this will ensure more time is spent on the suppliers who are the most strategically important and add the most value and savings opportunities.
#3 Booking in Advance
It is best practice if and when you can, to book your business travel requirements as far in advance as possible, in order to secure the lowest prices possible. Remember to explore your options, try to see if you can get the cost of the trip down by using different airlines or by flying indirect, as this can dramatically reduce the cost too. Availability on a flight determines the price, which means you could find a much cheaper flight on the same airline, just at a slightly different time. A good Travel Management Company will advise on the best options for you giving you the best price available as well as a number of options/ alternatives available. You can rest assured you are getting the best value for the company, whilst eliminating unnecessary overspending.
#4 Measuring Travel Policy Compliance
This may already be in place, or you may have to create one for the first time – but a comprehensive business travel policy is essential to effectively booking corporate travel for your company.
The key to any good business travel policy is for everyone to be aware and working off the same page. Making sure they are fully aware of what they can and can’t book from the start, reduces the instances of out of policy spending by Rogue Travellers.
To ensure your travel policy continues to meet your objectives, you need to let it evolve when it needs to. Your travel management company should be able to provide reports on travel policy compliance and exceptions along with reasons why, but you also need to be open to the opinions of your travellers too.
Don't have a Travel Policy and need help creating one? Here we have a FREE guide to making your own.
Do you have any tips or suggestions on maintaining quality whilst watching your corporate travel costs? if so we would love to hear from you, just comment in the box below…