Business travel is usually an organisation’s second or third largest controllable expense, but it’s also a large factor when it comes to employee safety and well-being, along with employee engagement and retention. Trying to balance all these things can be difficult to do in-house, especially if resource with adequate time and experience isn’t available. Instead of trying to handle everything on top of existing responsibilities, it often makes sense to outsource business travel to a professional travel management company. But how do you know if it’s right for your business? If you’re responsible for business travel within your organisation and any of the following sound familiar, it might be time to partner with a travel management company.
#1 - You don’t know how much your company spends on business travel per year
There are lots of businesses out there who don’t actively manage their business travel expenditure, this often happens as businesses grow. As the number of employees and business trips grow, it gets more complicated to keep on top of everything. But if you don’t know what you’re spending and how you’re spending it, how can you know if you’re spending too much? Monitoring and analysing travel expenditure is essential for realising cost-cutting opportunities and having a proactive travel management company manage this on your behalf will provide measurable financial benefits. Your business travel agency will use this data to show you how your business travel programme is performing and they will make recommendations on changes you could make that will have a positive impact on your company’s bottom line, traveller experience or employee productivity.
#2 - It’s difficult to keep track of business traveller locations
If you need to locate your business travellers instantly, how do you do it? For example, if there is an incident, you’ll want to check if any of your travellers were in the area at the time. If it’s not easy to find this information, a travel management company could provide the solution. A good business travel agency should provide management information that shows who is travelling where and when, they may also provide traveller tracking software that shows you this data in real time. In the absence of a business travel agency, it’s important that you keep your own business travel records so you can locate travellers when you. For more tips on how to support your travelling employees check out this article - Help: We have no idea where our travellers are.
#3 - You struggle to enforce your business travel policy
If you have a corporate travel policy, how do you know it’s being adhered to? If you’re not sure, it could be a sign you need some help keeping your business travel spend under control. Having a business travel policy in place is a great place to start if you want to control what, where and why your employees are booking business travel, but it’s almost pointless if you have no way of checking it’s being adhered to. A travel management company can help you with this by making sure every booking follows the rules. They’ll provide you with reports so you know exactly how compliant your bookings are and they’ll offer guidance too on how the business travel policy can be improved.
#4 - You don’t have accurate data on your business travel activity
It’s not just important to know what you’re spending on business travel, you need to understand it too. Do you know which suppliers you use most frequently or which are your top 10 destinations? Who are your most regular travellers? To keep a check on traveller well-being, you need to know who your real road warriors are, to make sure you’re getting the best value hotel rates, you need to know in which locations your employees spend the most time. A travel management company will provide valuable insight into your business travel activity. Not only will this let you know what you’re spending, with which suppliers and why, it will help you leverage this data to identify opportunities for improvement within your travel programme.
If you’re responsible for business travel on top of other responsibilities, partnering with a good travel management company should simplify your job, reduce the time you spend managing travel and ensure your travel programme is operating as efficiently as possible.