What is managed travel?
Managed travel is a way for businesses to organize the corporate travel of their employees. It follows a company’s corporate travel policy, which sets cost restrictions and chooses specific hotel chains or airlines.
Companies can manage their business travel via their own HR department or Either way, managing travel is a very useful way to keep control over travel costs, but also to protect employees and strategically plan future travel.
Advantages of managed travel
When travel is managed in accordance with corporate travel policy, both the company and its employees understand the requirements and restrictions of travel. Part of this includes approved hotel chains, airlines and company credit card usage. As a result, businesses can predict expenses of trips and resolve issues in advance, rather than post-trip.
Duty of care
Managed travel, especially with a corporate travel management company, can improve employee health and safety during a trip.
Corporate travel management companies provide a centralized point of contact. This means that whether an employee has issues with accommodation, flights or transfers, they can contact the same trusted customer support agent.
Travel industry expertise
Companies that outsource their business travel to a travel management company (TMC) get travel expertise in return. This includes knowledge about visas, the best times to travel, and much more. All of these aspects free up in-house time and resources. Furthermore, TMCs receive preferential rates for flights and accommodation that significantly reduce overall costs.
Record-keeping and strategic planning
Managed travel feeds analytics back to the business. This means budgetary decisions can be made prior to trips, rather than as a reaction to them. As a result, decision-makers have a much better overview of their travel budget and can streamline it to improve efficiency.
Disadvantages of managed travel
The fact that managed travel restricts options can cause employees to feel like they have little independence. However, with a corporate management tool, they can still book online whenever they need to, within the parameters of their corporate travel policy.
How do I plan managed business travel?
For in-house managed travel, there are guides on the key points, from setting priorities to data-based planning.
On the other hand, most small and medium-sized enterprises and larger corporations contract corporate travel management companies (TMCs) who specialize in the field. Although this incurs an extra cost, the discounted deals, streamlined processes and future savings that TMCs offer far outweigh the initial costs.
Do many companies opt for unmanaged travel?
Small companies and startups that are just beginning to move into the realm of corporate travel sometimes use unmanaged travel. This is usually due to the speed of growth or a lack of experience in business travel. Almost all companies with employees who regularly go on business trips outsource their trip organization to travel management companies once it becomes a significant part of their overall budget.