If corporate travel management is part of your daily grind, then you probably receive dozens of emails a week with travel requests, questions about itineraries, issues booking flights, last-minute changes, cancellations, and a whole slew of scheduling complications, especially when it comes to
group booking.Rather than answer a million emails (and risk dropping the ball or missing out on seats because you couldn’t get to the email fast enough), why not move travel management outside of your email inbox altogether?Why not track it—as in, see what trips need to be booked and finalized, which ones are ongoing, which have passed, which team members are traveling and when etc.Turns out, there are better ways to manage business travel than with email. Read on for the 5 steps it takes to improve your travel management process.
- The business traveler wants an itinerary that doesn’t cause unnecessary sleep-loss, a comfortable room with WiFi, and maybe an extra day to explore a new city and turn a business trip into personal travel – a.k.a a “bleisure” trip.
- The office manager needs a travel policy that works, and atravel management solutionthat does not take too much time away from other tasks. They shouldn’t need to open hundreds of tabs or contact loads of travel consultants or agents just to book flights.Here’s a handy template.
- And finally, the finance manager needs instant access to all travel spend to be able to make budget decisions in real-time and optimize cost savings.
- No need to bother the office manager or travel manager for a simple booking procedure
- No need to write complicated emails or fill out forms with multiple itinerary options
- They can choose the itinerary they want and how they would like to travel (car rental, booking on different airlines, using a train etc.)
- They can choose the air travel providers and lodging they want, managing their own hotel bookings and flight tickets
- They can track their frequent flyer programs
- They can get all the benefits of an online booking platform tailored for business travel, while you get to make sure that they plan their trips within your company travel policy.
Ultimately, self-booking allows travelers to save their own time, their administrator’s time, and to get the options they want within the pre-determined travel budget.Use a booking platform that allows travelers to
book within policy automaticallyor to save desired trips that an administrator can then finalize if you need more control. This way, an office manager or travel manager can review, inside the platform, which requested bookings are incomplete. No more email!
- Pricing guidelines based on the city of destination
- Travel insurance requirements
- Guidelines based on traveler group (such as team, office, or country)
- Required level of control (pre-approve all trips, no trips or just ones of a certain price/length)
- The person who is approving each traveler/team (the team lead, project lead, or travel manager?)
Some companies choose not to be strict at all, allowing every employee to book out of policy if they need to, and just let the admin know via notification. Then there are companies, mainly in traditional industries, that prohibit booking outside of policy, and in those cases, they have the admin book it for the traveler just like a travel agent.You want your booking platform to encompass the full spectrum, so you can do what works for your company culture and unique travel needs.The granularity of the travel policy and the flexibility of the approval workflow is super important for a travel program that works, and you need to find the best balance for your company, have the data to improve it and make sure your platform allows it smoothly.It’s smart to regularly assess your travel policy using data picked up by your corporate booking tool, so you know how well your policy is being followed. If too many bookings are being requested outside of policy or if the nature of travel has drastically changed (say, a new office has opened), then you should make changes to both your written and your booking platform-based travel policy.