The role of a corporate travel buyer

19 Jul 2021 · 6
Take a moment to consider how much time and energy you use up when you organize your own leisure travel or vacation. Think about how much screen time is spent digging for the best flight and hotel deals, agonizing over car rental cancellation policies, and if it’s really worth paying for extras like breakfast and airport pick-ups.
Now imagine doing this for dozens of people every day. That is the role of the corporate travel buyer!

What is a corporate travel buyer?

A corporate travel buyer is a dedicated travel agent or manager that works directly for an company to organize travel bookings, manage risk, liaise with travel companies, and more.
A corporate travel buyer generally has a background in the travel industry and knows their way around the back-end systems and protocols that drive it. They must be ninjas at numbers to balance travel budgets and adhere to company travel policies, often from different departments, while still aiming to achieve optimum comfort, functionality, and flexibility for the traveler. 
They will know how to create a corporate travel program and stay on the cutting edge of new developments in global business travel.

Core responsibilities of a corporate travel buyer

A corporate travel buyer has many responsibilities and keeps a lot of plates spinning, especially for large organizations. So what exactly can a corporate travel buyer do for your team?

Travel Policy Development and Implementation

Corporate travel buyers create, maintain, and update travel policies to align with company goals and traveler needs. is an excellent way to ensure that all of your employees have equal travel benefits and requirements, and helps to standardize and reduce bottom line expenses. 
In addition, having a set policy can streamline processes and procurement, making things more efficient for your employees and for your travel buyer. 
Generally, a corporate travel policy includes requirements, specifications, or processes for: 
  • travel booking procedures
  • expense reimbursement guidelines 
  • approval processes 
  • booking and expenses limits 
  • travel safety policies 
  • preferred providers or vendors 
A good corporate travel buyer can not only create this policy, but ensure that employees are well aware of it and keep your corporate travel compliant with the agreed-upon policies. They can also implement a , that integrates with your company travel policy to make booking and managing compliant business trips even easier.

Vendor Negotiation and Relationship Management

Corporate travel buyers should also provide a go-between for your company to manage relationships with travel vendors, such as airlines, hotels and car rental services. 
Creating a beneficial partnership agreement with major hotel groups and other vendors is key to the success of a company’s travel program. These partnerships can allow your company to secure the best rates and services. 
For example, when it comes to hotels, hotels want a regular, agreed-upon number of bookings per year. Having this kind of an agreement with a hotel brand can net you major savings and ensure that your employees always have a consistent travel experience. The more traffic you can direct their way, the better leverage you have to negotiate benefits and perks like room upgrades, cost savings, and more. 
The same goes for other travel vendors like car rentals, airlines, and more. A travel buyer can create, maintain and negotiate these relationships to provide the most stability and benefit for your organization. 
Even better: companies like TravelPerk allow you to benefit from their negotiated rates and ongoing relationships with vendors to get the best deals, without all the front-end leg work. As a result, your travel buyers can focus on other relevant tasks, like budget management and travel policies.

Budget Management and Cost Savings

Of course, a big responsibility of the corporate travel buyer is to manage the company’s travel budget and secure cost savings for the organization. 
One of the biggest ways to manage budgets and cost savings is to create and implement a corporate travel policy, as discussed above. With set policies in place, it becomes a lot easier to manage and standardize spend. In addition, managing and negotiating relationships and partnerships with preferred providers can net significant discounts and cost savings over time. 
In addition, travel buyers should consider using a travel management platform to secure even more discounts. For example, working with can net your business significant savings on every booking, by providing specialized discounts that can’t be found elsewhere. In addition, you can and get 80% of the cost back for canceled trips.

Risk Management and Traveler Safety

Finally, corporate travel buyers can help manage risk and traveler safety for your business, playing a valuable role in ensuring that your employees stay safe and accounted for on all their business travel. 
This has only become more important in a post-pandemic world, where employees often have to navigate health requirements for travel as well as safety on the go. A corporate travel manager can collect and communicate requirements as well as manage risk assessment policies and emergency response planning. 
This is yet another area where a great travel management platform can assist your corporate travel buyer. 
For example, features help your corporate travel buyer manage safety and risk easily. With TravelPerk, you get pre-trip reporting to help you manage and control for any risks, employee tracking during their trip, 24/7 support, travel alerts, and major emergency response management to ensure your employees are protected at all times.

The impact of technology on corporate travel buying

Today’s technology and corporate travel management software is transforming the role of the business travel buyer. Rather than relying completely on manual processes and a single person or team, you have the support and power of a sophisticated platform to streamline, standarize, and manage all processes. 
For example, TravelPerk’s travel management software supports corporate travel buyers with all the key responsibilities of their role, including procurement, booking, itinerary creation, risk management, and more. 
With TravelPerk, corporate travel buyers can: 
  • Maintain and achieve full travel policy compliance with automated travel policies and in-app approval system
  • Save time by providing employee booking tools that ensure compliance 
  • Manage travel spend and simplify financial reporting and reimbursements
  • Save up to 30% on your business travel with negotiated rates
  • Streamline itineraries and invoices by booking entire trips through a single platform 
  • Free, 7-star, 24/7 Customer Care support 
  • Carbon offsetting options to increase sustainability
  • Comprehensive and up-to-date travel alerts for peace of mind
  • Extensive reporting capabilities and expense dashboards
Using business travel management platforms can not only streamline your processes and save your team time, but can also save your organization money when booking corporate travel and reduce risk. 

Save time and money with travel management software

An effective travel management software solution can support your corporate travel buyer and ensure policy compliance, cost savings, and support risk management. The right software will be cost-effective and hassle-free, making it easier than ever to plan, manage, and execute essential business travel. 
today to see how our team can help you optimize your business travel program, and provide exclusive cost savings for your upcoming trips.
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