The world of corporate travel is ever-changing. The pandemic certainly brought its own set of unfamiliar problems to navigate. Those challenges included less business travel, fewer resources (think rental car shortage), safety concerns, and for many companies, lower budgets within which to work.
As a travel manager, you must be willing to be flexible and consider fresh solutions to your corporate travel program’s needs. Let us take a closer look at several of those challenges and how a business travel program can help streamline your travel and make it more successful both immediately and in the longer term.
Corporate Travel Program Challenges
Three of the most critical issues faced by travel managers and their programs are safety, compliance, and travel costs.
At no other time have managers and travelers been more aware of their surroundings and safety than now. Companies owe their employees a “Duty of Care,” which means while those employees are traveling on business, the company must do everything in their power to keep their employees safe. Companies should consider safety concerns such as traveling alone, healthcare guidelines by area, and what to do in extreme situations such as natural disasters.
The root of the compliance issue stems from a lack of clarity in company travel policies. The more precise and deliberate you can be when drafting a travel policy, the better chance that employees will understand and adhere to it.
In a world where almost everything is at our fingertips, travelers also want to be able to explore and discover new areas on their business travel. But this can often create compliance issues.
From gas and airfare prices, to the cost of accommodations, meals, and incidentals, typical business travel expenses can be a pricey endeavor. Travel managers are increasingly under pressure to find ways to cut costs and stay within an already tight budget.
How a Business Travel Program Can Help
Managing a business travel program can be overwhelming and frustrating, especially without the proper corporate travel booking tools. That’s where a corporate travel program can be of significant value to your business, helping you operate more efficiently and with fewer costs. Here are six ways a business travel program can work for you.
- Cost Savings
- Travel Program Software and Data Analysis
- Employee Productivity
- Corporate Travel Compliance
Using a travel management company (TMC) such as CLC Lodging allows you to save money in several ways. First, CLC has a wide network of hotel partners with pre-negotiated rates to save companies money.
The reports and statistics generated by a business travel program’s software provide valuable insights into spending habits. Those insights can then be used to shape policy, tighten up spending, and reduce human error.
Another way to increase cost savings is by using a virtual card that allows travelers to simply tap and pay with a card that has a pre-programmed dollar amount and allows companies to capture any unused spend.
Travel Program Software and Data Analysis
As mentioned above, technology can and should be utilized to maximize all aspects of your company’s travel program. Use travel management software for online hotels, flights, and car rental booking and to manage travel costs, measure progress, file reports, and much more.
By utilizing the data, you are able to analyze and manage your company’s plan and goals to be most effective.
Searching for the best travel solutions, from flights to hotel rooms, can consume a large chunk of time for your employees, and prove to be a frustrating endeavor. Within a single platform employees receive access to an expansive, discounted hotel network, allowing them to spend less time booking their travel and increase their productivity.
Corporate Travel Compliance
One of the key issues mentioned earlier is employee compliance with your travel policies. A lack of compliance stems from an unclear travel policy. However, by drafting a clear and precise policy and integrating it with the technologies and software offered by a travel management program, you stand a greater chance of increasing compliance. A good rule of thumb? Make it as easy as possible for your employees to adhere to your policy.
When you think of how to plan a business trip, the first thought should be about the health and safety of your employees. In an unpredictable world, it is vital that you can quickly and easily communicate with your people. Travel management software and platforms allow you to do just that. For example, using CLC’s Traveler Tracker, you can see current reservations where your travelers are staying, and quickly adjust those reservations in case of emergency.
Taking advantage of industry experts with invaluable business travel experience is like having an extra coach on the field. A travel management company and its experts can help negotiate the best rates, identify other cost-saving opportunities, and streamline the entire travel process for both you and your travelers.
To discover more ways a business travel program can help your company reach its goals, join CLC Lodging now for free.