Taking control of your travel and related expenses can be quite challenging for travel management and key decision makers in an organization. In today’s post-covid scenario every business is looking at ways to make travel savings. This is especially if you have lots of employees flying to different locations at different times. But there are ways to keep your costs down without compromising on traveler safety or services. With the below strategies implemented in your organization’s travel program, businesses can save money on every trip – and make both their travelers, managers as well as other stakeholders happy. Check out our list of 7 sure ways to control and save on your corporate travel spend.
1. Get More Options to Compare and Save
Require you contracted agents to provide at least 3–5 options for every trip request. Good travel agents and TMCs already offer this in the service level agreements (SLAs). It’s a no-brainer — more options simply equals more saving. This is something online booking tools boast as well. But with experienced travel agents serving you, you get the best set of options to choose from. Unlike booking online booking tools where you need to go back and forth trying various dates and filters, a travel consultant can use his advanced booking tools and vast online, offline inventories and negotiated special rates to provide you the best options in terms of fares as well as service quality. If you’re in doubt they are always available to help you choose the best options.
2. Multiple Agencies for Even More Savings
In this strategy, you will end up getting proposals from the multiple agents that you contract. Once the quotes come in from all the agents, you pick the best and allowing the agent providing that option to confirm the booking and the selected rates with the suppliers that were proposed. If one agent can bring all of those benefits from strategy 1, imagine what multiple agents can provide. Various agencies have their strengths. By having more than one agent compete to provide you the best possible rates they can provide, you can rest assured that there will be savings on every trip booking. You can get the best negotiated rates, travel deals and more that each of those agents shall compete to provide you. There is of course the task of having to coordinate with different agents to collate the options and then getting them to work for you. BizTripz helps you achieve these strategies easily by allowing you to get the various options in a streamlined manner from multiple agents. It further simplifies the tasks of coordination and collation of data through automation, making it easier to leverage multiple agents than working with one in the traditional way,
3. Trip Authorizations to Get Better Control
While having having multiple sources of procurement and streamlining the communication channels with these external parties can help you get the best in terms of options and prices, we need to have internal systems and strategies in place to ensure that the best choices are opted. Trip Authorizations processes or approval workflows help you achieve just that. Start by segregating the employees in to traveler groups based on you corporate travel policy and organizational structure. You can begin assigning approvers or trip authorization groups to each for ensuring travel policy compliance. For example the sales head is assigned to ensure that the sales team are opting the most affordable options when it comes to traveling for work. Where required multiple levels of approvals may be defined to enforce policy compliance and cost control. Automating these trip approval flows with tools like BizTripz can give the management complete control of the travel procurement program. Our studies have shown that, together with the first two strategies, this can get corporate businesses up to 30% in savings.
4. Tracking Usage to Avoid Unwanted Loss
Even while having the complete travel procurement process in place, many companies fail to notice the importance of having to track these trips. This is especially true for businesses with frequent travelers and those having large events or lots of group movements happening. There are always changes in requirement and schedules, not to mention the external factors such as flight cancellations and travel bans that have become common since the pandemic began. Having a streamlined and automated process to check upcoming trips can be greatly helpful in checking wastage due to not rescheduling or cancelling on time, or even acting on them at all. Air tickets and hotel vouchers often become no-refundable post their ‘valid until’ dates, while getting them refunded before expiry by paying just the cancellation or no-show charges can save you almost the entire cost of the service.
5. Being Updated Can Help Save
It’s hard to keep focus in today’s world of information overload. Having access to relevant news and updates can have huge benefits in terms of saving both time and money. Investing in getting relevant and timely updates on trends in the industry as well as travel alerts is another great way to avoid loss. Prepare a crisis management team that is ready to take on unforeseen events as they happen and equip them with right and relevant sources of information. This helps the people managing travel as well as the travelers to better respond to changes and make decisions quickly, helping save on cancellation charges or other penalties. For example, cancelling a flight 24 hours prior saves you the additional ‘no-show’ or ‘go-show’ charges, or cancelling a hotel before the deadline can save you cancellation fee or reduce it to a one-night’s charge,
6. Optimizing Resources with Automation
In today’s world of AI, robots, machine learning and IoT, it’s hard to understand why so many corporates are shy of investing in travel technology, travel being one of the highest annual expenses that – for most businesses – goes way past the allotted budgets. Investing in the right technology and automating work can greatly help optimize the resources. They also allow better capture of data. Studies show that investments in tech can be well worth their already low overhead. For a growing company optimized resources means that people can get more done with the same same amount of time and money, or even less. The impact of new technology on businesses can be understood from the popularity of cloud computing. Businesses gain better agility and responsiveness after they have deployed a cloud computing solution, such as SaaS product like BizTripz.
7. Reports and Analytics: Making Use of Data
With the above systems and strategies in place, you should be able to capture all travel related data including requisitions, spend, providers, destination, routes and other trip details. Having access to all those details can help you understand the your company’s spending habits and travel behavior. Detailed analysis of your data will allow you to see the bigger picture when it come to your business travel and how it can better align with your business interests. Reporting and analytics tools allows you to dig in and focus in on specific areas as well as monitor trends in your business travel program that can allow you to optimize it. Understanding your frequent routes and accommodation trends, for example, can allow you to negotiate discounted corporate rates with airlines and hotel chains. Frequent travelers can be referred to loyalty programs that can get them value added benefits like lounge access or free upgrades.
These strategies are summarized from the many discussions with corporate travel heads and some recent studies we have conducted for some organizations with significant travel requirements. If strategically implemented with other travel management and cost control tips we mentioned in the previous article (How to Better Manage Business Travel to Reduce Costs) can give your business guaranteed savings. As a business travel management tool, BizTripz was created to easily implement and work with these strategies and more. From multiple agents and trip authorizations to tracking unused services, automation and reporting, BizTripz helps you cover you entire travel program. For a free consultation on your travel program and a demo of how BizTripz can help, get in touch with us here.