4 steps to a successful corporate travel program

18 Mar 2024 · 8
Corporate travel is a vital part of any growing business. Whether your employees are getting on a train once a month or a plane every two weeks, most companies will need business trips to meet with clients, assess products, or attend conferences.
Traditionally, business travel has been considered a hassle due to the time-consuming nature of making travel arrangements—many of which are subject to last-minute change. Travel managers were required to sift through tens of websites to find the best airfare rates and hotels for their budgets. Time restraints left corporate travelers with limited options for their accommodation as coordinators raced to stay on top of their workload. 
Alternatively, companies would use the corporate travel services of a travel agency in tandem and be left at the mercy of their opening hours when facing an emergency. Thankfully, technology has made the process significantly more straightforward.
Regardless of the stage your organization is currently at, implementing a clear corporate travel policy and an efficient business travel program can pay off massively, both in saved revenue and resources. 
Let's jump in and look at five ways a corporate travel program can streamline your business travel program, and four steps to help you initiative a successful travel program today.

What is a corporate travel program and what are the benefits?

Put simply, a corporate travel program is a system set up to meet a company’s travel needs and build a smooth travel experience for all stakeholders involved in a trip. It’s an end-to-end solution designed to handle all aspects of business travel from booking flights to 24/7 support for travelers on the move. 
A corporate travel program tracks travel expenses, reduces travel spend, and centralizes employee booking plans to ensure compliance within company travel policy and a quick approval process. 
Given that business trips often involve booking  services and with multiple providers, it’s a way to streamline information, so that corporate travelers can enjoy a productive, hassle-free trip. 

What are the benefits of a corporate travel program?

1. It saves valuable time when making business travel arrangements

Organizing the travel program for an entire company without taking advantage of the latest technology can be a logistical nightmare. Juggling multiple itineraries, trying to stay compliant with your company's travel policy, and keeping business travelers happy—all at once— is a difficult job. Consolidating the booking process is often the first benefit travel managers' see to their workload, it sees more efficient and less stressful bookings org-wide.
With a , employees can make all arrangements within one easy-to-use online booking tool. Having a centralized booking platform means that employees are empowered to make their own travel plans, while remaining compliant with company travel policy; saving a heap of time by skipping manual approval processes. 

2. It helps keep your business travelers safe

Traveler safety is paramount, and a massive obligation in an employer’s duty of care towards your team. A corporate travel platform like TravelPerk can provide and help you effortlessly track all current itineraries in real-time. If the situation changes, TravelPerk’s customer support team is on hand 24/7, 365 days a year, to assist with any changes and answer any questions. 
of your business trips is undeniably more efficient. However, it's the peace of mind of accessing this information at a click of a button and reacting to unexpected situations faster that is invaluable.

3. Flexibility is critical for corporate travel

Keeping abreast of any changes in travel restrictions will be a lot easier if your itinerary is booked and stored in one place. There’s so much that can affect a business trip: travel strikes, medical emergencies, natural disasters, volatile states, a business travel management program will ensure you’re keeping tabs on everything and amending trips accordingly. 
TravelPerk’s you need to make, no questions asked. Plus, thanks to TravelPerk's Trip Assistant mobile app for and , your corporate travelers can stay on top of any changes to their go-to destinations and travel stress-free—with access to all their itinerary details even when they can't get online.

4. It keeps employees happier and healthier while traveling

Previously travel managers had to sift through a dozen websites or rely on a travel agency to find the best business hotels for their travelers. Time restraints or poor recommendations meant business travelers often ended up with limited accommodation or car rental options: making for unhappy travelers, or travelers potentially putting themselves in vulnerable situations. 
With TravelPerk, you can input your , including travel budgets, in less than two minutes. Employees can then select from a comprehensive travel inventory to find the best fit within your price range; making the process equal parts cost-effective as it is speedy
Using a system that gives employees autonomy over their travel options increases their satisfaction while on the road and ensures they’re not left with slim pickings. They can say goodbye to being stuck at the  airport without a car, or staying in an accommodation they’re not comfortable in. 

5. It helps to track travel expenses and reduce travel spend.

Keeping tabs on the travel costs of an entire team, let alone an organization, can be a laborious task. In attempts to work out the bottom line, you can waste considerable time locating invoices, updating records, and paying accounts. A corporate travel program will fix all of that by pulling everything under one roof. 
With TravelPerk, you reducing the number of payments and the associated admin.Additionally, you can obtain a detailed report of your travel spend at any time. Fully customized, you can break down these reports with many filters, including team, project, date range, or location, for a more detailed insight into travel costs. Plus, if you are VAT registered, TravelPerk can help you with itemized reports, ready to send to the taxman!
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4 Steps to implementing a successful corporate travel management program

Designing a corporate travel program is all very well, but its success ultimately depends on its implementation. With a well-defined strategy and ongoing commitment to improvement, companies can get the most out of their corporate travel program and travel management tools. Here are our top tips for implementing your new business travel program.

1. Establish comprehensive travel policies

Clear and comprehensive travel policies are the key to an effective corporate travel program. These policies should outline guidelines related to booking procedures, business expenses, reimbursement procedures, and compliance requirements. 
Policies should align with company objectives, budget constraints, company credit cards and their compliance regulations. It’s very important to ensure policies are easily accessible and regularly updated to reflect changing business needs and industry standards. 
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2. Choose the right business travel management company (TMC)

Picking a reputable travel management company can help you streamline the booking process, provide access to discounted rates, and offer valuable insights into travel trends and cost-saving opportunities. When you’re choosing a TMC, prioritize factors like industry experience, global reach, tech capabilities, customer service quality and alignment with your company’s culture and objectives. 
A TMC like ticks all the boxes: from opportunities for flexible travel with FlexiPerk, to plenty of popular third-party integration options; it’s designed to make it easier for companies to organize successful business trips. 

3. Communicate your travel policies effectively

Establishing travel policies is one thing—communicating these policies is another. Effective communication is incredibly important for traveler satisfaction and ensuring you launch your corporate travel program successfully. 
Clearly communicate policy guidelines through multiple internal channels, like training sessions, emails, employee handbooks, messaging platforms, and more. It’s also important to emphasize the rationale behind policies and provide examples to illustrate proper implementation. 
Encouraging questions and open dialogue will help foster understanding, buy-in, and empower autonomous bookings. 

4. Measure implementation success and traveler satisfaction

One of the most efficient ways to gauge the effectiveness of a corporate travel program is through feedback. Consistent evaluation will help identify areas for improvement. For example, you might to track metrics like travel expenses and compliance rates, but if you’re not tracking them, you’ll never know if you’re reaching them. 
Whether you choose to collect your feedback through surveys, focus groups or 1-1 interviews, aim to identify common experiences, preferences and pain points for your team members. You can then draw on this quantitative and qualitative data to refine policies, address process issues, and enhance overall program performance. 

Technology can streamline your travel management needs

Business travel can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. See how TravelPerk can support your business in establishing a travel policy, streamlining travel booking, expense management, and so much more, all while providing a smooth user experience for every traveler.
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