Corporate travel management has gone from being an afterthought at many companies to an important strategic initiative, with good travel managers in high demand. The reason is that managing a company’s travel program is often not only time-consuming but difficult due to budget constraints, as well as the number of travelers and other demands.
As a travel manager, the increase in responsibilities means you need to be clever and deliberate about your managing style.
Here are six corporate travel and productivity tips to help you clearly communicate the company’s expectations and keep you on task and under budget!
Updated Corporate Travel Policy
If your corporate travel policies were last updated five, three, even a year ago, they need to be reexamined. The corporate travel world is constantly changing and evolving so you need a policy that can keep up with the latest trends, procedures, technologies, and costs.
Take a fresh look at your policy and ensure the framework is solid. Once it is, you can update and make smaller changes to it as you tackle current details and new dilemmas. Consider benchmarking similar companies to determine if you’re in tune with best practices.
Review the policy often; consider at least twice per year, if not quarterly, depending on the changing travel environment. Taking a few minutes or even a couple of hours now can save you time, hassle, and headaches in the future.
Ensure Policies, Procedures, and Processes are Clear and Well-defined
Keep your travel policy clear, simple, and straightforward. Each section should be separated and easy to jump to so that employees can find the information they are looking for. As the travel manager, you know the questions you get asked most often, so include those in a FAQ section. For quick and easy access, make sure employees can access your travel policy anytime.
Has there ever been a meeting you looked forward to? The answer is probably rarely, and the same goes for your employees. But there are some issues and important discussions that need to take place in a meeting and are communicated best in person. Most employees understand that, but they often have issues when an hour meeting could have been managed in 15 minutes.
Carefully think about what needs to be discussed and decide what the best type of meeting is and where it should take place.
Save Time and Money by Upgrading to a Travel Management Platform
From dealing with an ongoing onslaught of expense reports to booking and then rebooking hotel rooms, the life of a travel manager is often stressful, monotonous, and time-consuming. With your valuable time taken up with these tasks, exhaustion can take root, leading to errors in calculating expenses, reservation changes and staying within budget.
Automated Travel Payments
Manually dealing with bill payments are not only extremely time consuming, but ripe for human error, as well as potential late payments that incur late fees and penalties, costing your company money. The answer to that issue is automated bill payments such as CLC’s online bill pay solution which utilizes Corpay One. Corpay One offers built-in bookkeeping and expense approval in one easy-to-use platform.
Corpay One allows you to scan your invoices, pay bills in a variety of ways including a credit card or check, sync payments in real-time for up-to-date, accurate results, and control spending.
Virtual Per Diem Cards
One of the toughest travel-related questions to answer is how your employees will pay for their travel expenses. Do they use their own credit card and get reimbursed? Do they use a company credit card? The costs – from flights and meals to fuel and incidentals – can add up quickly.
A popular option is giving employees a per diem allowance which allows a certain amount of money to be used to pay for travel expenses. A virtual per diem is a virtual card that travel managers issue to employees which makes paying for expenses easier than ever.
A virtual per diem card has many benefits. Chiefly among them, employers can set not only spending limits but also a spending time frame. The benefit for employees is that once the card is activated, they can begin paying for expenses immediately. A virtual per diem card also allows employers to recapture any unused per diem funds, as well as easily track travel-related expenses with assigned project codes.
Upgrading to a corporate travel management platform like CLC helps reduce those errors, save time, stay within and even under budget, and create a streamlined travel program for both you and your travel employees.
CLC offers simplified lodging management strategies and solutions to help take some of the burdens off of you and ensure a productive and thriving corporate travel program.