Your company or startup can tap into new markets, build customer relationships, and increase sales revenue by investing in business travel. But you can accomplish the desired goals only by streamlining the business travel management process strategically.
While streamlining the multistep business process, you must focus on meeting employee expectations and boosting employee satisfaction. Hence, you must provide business traveler services to each employee traveling for business.
At the same time, you have to increase the ROI of business travel by controlling the average trip costs. Thus, it becomes essential to find opportunities to control costs without impacting business travel efficiency.
You can streamline the business travel management by formulating and implementing multiple strategies. Here are some tried-and-tested ideas for making your strategic business travel management process successful.
8 Ideas to Make Strategic Business Travel Management Succeed
Implement Clear T&E Policies
A well-crafted travel and expense (T&E) policy helps you boost employee experience and save money. Employees can refer to the policy to save money by knowing what travel products to book and what travel expenses they should not incur.
The clarity will help them make business travel arrangements quickly. But you must divide the T&E policy into small sections. Also, the strategy should encourage employees to book business trips early, opt for fully refundable tickets, and leverage the best deals.
However, you must ensure that each employee can access the relevant T&E rules seamlessly before, during, and after the business trip. At the same time, it is also essential to ensure policy compliance by helping them clear doubts.
Speed up Pre-Trip Approvals
Work travelers escalate costs by canceling and rescheduling bookings frequently. Your company can save money when employees start business travel booking only after the appropriate authority approves their business travel request.
However, you must make it easier for employees to send travel approval requests to the appropriate authority by defining a multilevel approval hierarchy. Also, you need to ensure that the approver approves or rejects the travel request as early as possible.
Support Self-Travel Booking
As highlighted by several studies, travel choices these days vary according to the demographic characteristics of work travelers. For instance, employees remain stress-free by booking direct flights instead of connecting flights.
However, millennial employees prefer homestays to hotels at the time while booking business trips. Hence, you must support self-travel booking while streamlining business travel management. The strategy will enable employees to access an extensive travel inventory customized to organizational T& policies.
Employees can book their choice of flights, accommodations, car rentals, and other travel products in a short amount of time. Also, they can save money by booking only in-policy travel products.
Provide Travel Support
Many employees engage in business travel for the first time, while others travel to new destinations regularly. Both frequent and novice business travelers need both information and assistance to engage in business travel confidently.
While strategizing business travel management, you must ensure that each employee can access the required business traveler services seamlessly. The multichannel travel support will make it easier for them to save the time and effort of creating business travel itineraries, book business trips, and managing travel bookings.
Ensure Traveler Safety and Security
Your company must ensure the safety and security of each work traveler by investing in duty-of-care resources. In addition to tracking their real-time locations, each employee must get the required emergency assistance in minutes.
You can provide emergency assistance to work travelers across destinations by partnering with a global health and security risk management firm. Otherwise, you can ensure business traveler safety and security by implementing duty-of-care solutions for business travel.
Help Employees Submit Digital Expense Reports
You can improve employee satisfaction and experience of employees by supporting self-booking and extending booking options. But you should remember that employees experience stress after business trips when your finance team does not reimburse travel expenses quickly.
While streamlining business travel management, you must encourage and help employees to submit digital expense reports instead of paper-based expense reports. Your finance team can review the digital expense reports and reimburse travel expenses without wasting time.
Get Corporate Rates and Discounts
Your company can only curtail costs by creating opportunities for employees to save money on business travel booking. Your business travel management strategy must enable employees to book travel products at less than market rates. You can get corporate rates and discounts by negotiating with travel suppliers directly.
However, leading suppliers offer better rates only to large and multinational companies. You should consider getting travel products at off-market rates using a travel management company. At the same time, you must encourage employees to save money by redeeming loyalty points and using the best deals.
Automate Travel Expense Management
Your organization can only save money by tracking, reviewing, and auditing travel expenses incurred by employees efficiently. Hence, expense management automation must become an essential part of the strategic travel management process.
You should implement travel expense management software that facilitates real-time travel expense tracking. The feature will help your finance team speed up expense reimbursements while detecting policy violations and fraud.
However, it is always important to choose software that helps you analyze T&E data using various parameters and metrics by supporting custom report generation. Also, you must prioritize software that shares actionable insights by analyzing the T&E data using advanced data analytics.
Strategic business travel management helps employees accomplish business travel goals without escalating costs. But you should consider strategies like outsourcing and automation to manage business travel more efficiently.
The business traveler services provided by a third-party company will make it easier for your employees to plan business trips, create business travel itineraries, and make business travel arrangements. Likewise, you can leverage the benefits of automation by implementing integrated travel and expense management software.
Both these options help your company ensure the safety and security of work travelers while ensuring their satisfaction. In addition, each option creates opportunities for you to curtail costs and save money in several ways.