If business travel is a component of your everyday routine, then you likely receive lots of messages per week.
These include trip requests, queries about travel dates, problems booking tickets, last-minute modifications, and canceled flights. You might also face a slew of planning complications, particularly when it concerns group booking.
Is there an alternative to responding to a thousand emails and risking missing the mark or losing out on tickets since you couldn’t respond quickly enough?
Well, why not start moving business travel management out of your email inbox entirely?
Why not monitor it?
Check what tours need to be accommodated and finalized, which are currently in progress, which have already passed, which members of the team are traveling and when, and so on.
There are superior ways of managing business travel than mailbox, it turns out. Continue reading to learn the five steps to simplifying your business travel process.
6 tips to simplify and streamline your business travel process
Here’s a rundown of the six best ways to execute your business travel processes with ease.
1. Determine administrative, management, and travel priorities
Business travel counts among the most complicated expenses for any company. Also every trip has its own set of goals and objectives, and each participant has their own set of priorities.
A business traveler desires a schedule that does not lead to unwanted sleep loss, and a relaxed space with Internet access. Perhaps, it could also include an additional day to discover a new place and transform a work trip into part business and part leisure.
An office manager requires an effective plan as well as a travel management platform that does not detract from other activities. To book a flight, they shouldn’t have to open numerous tabs or contact a slew of transportation specialists or agents.
At last, a finance manager requires easy accessibility to all business travel expenditures in order to make real-time financial decisions and boost cost savings.
Such priorities and considerations are unquestionable. Additional considerations may be necessary based on how your business conducts travel. When making adjustments to your company’s business travel process, begin by thoroughly identifying each of these variables.
2. Use a SaaS travel management software
A SaaS travel management software assists you in managing your business trips from beginning to end. It enables the organization to simplify budgeting and planning management.
You could schedule your travel dates, reserve the best airlines, guest houses, or rentals, as well as change any booking if your situation changes.
Furthermore, having all in sequence makes it simple to monitor all expenditures before, throughout, and after a journey. This allows for more efficient reimbursement administration.
A travel management software puts you in command of tickets, expense management, remunerations, and travel software compliance requirements.
One of these travel management platforms is TripActions. It is recognized for its inventive reservation and management tech, advanced automation abilities, and excellent customer service.
That being said, TripActions may not be for everyone. But there are plenty of alternatives. Some companies may find the TripActions cost to be too high, while others may find the configuration and onboarding to be too difficult.
Is there a better deal available elsewhere?
This brief guide on alternative to TripActions, takes you through five other options, with side-by-side comparisons.
3. Make use of a self-booking interface
Taking good care of your frequent fliers is critical to the success of your travel management programme. If your team is dissatisfied, the process isn’t working.
Travelers adore the option to make bookings by themselves, particularly without requiring to repeatedly check the company policies. Why? There are several reasons for this:
- For a simplified booking procedure, there is no need to ask the area manager or travel manager.
- There is no need to send complex emails and fill out paperwork with numerous itinerary choices.
- They can choose their own itinerary and mode of transportation (car rentals, booking on various airlines, commuting with a train etc.)
- They can select their own air transport providers and lodging, as well as manage their own hotel reservations and plane tickets.
- They can monitor the status of their frequent flier programmes.
- They can take full advantage of an internet booking platform designed primarily for business journeys, while you can ensure that their trips adhere to your firm’s travel policy.
Finally, self-booking enables members to save their hours, their supervisor’s time, and get the choices they want while staying within their travel budget.
Should you need more authority, use a booking interface that enables people to book inside the policy instantaneously or save preferred trips which a supervisor can then confirm.
An administrative assistant or travel supervisor can then review which required bookings are still incomplete within the platform. Email is no longer necessary.
4. Simplify your regulatory frameworks and approvals procedures
Of course, if you use a business travel booking system, one of the key features you’ll need is to be able to tailor the plan and approvals to match the manner your company travels. Here are a few variables to consider and adjust as needed:
- Pricing standards based on the destination city
- Requirements for travel insurance
- Traveler group-specific guidelines (like teams, office, or countries)
- Control level required (pre-approve all journeys, no trips, or only those of a particular price or length)
- The person in charge of authorizing each traveler or team (the group leader, project leader, or travel manager)
Some businesses would rather not be stringent at all, enabling each executive to reserve out of regulations if necessary and simply notify the admin via notice.
And there are businesses, mostly in traditional sectors, that explicitly forbid booking beyond the guidelines. They have an account manager who books that for the traveler, much like a tour operator.
You would like to have your booking system to cover the entire spectrum so that you are able to do what works best for your corporate culture and specific travel requirements.
The modularity of the organization’s policies and the versatility of the approval task flows are critical for a successful travel programme.
You must select the optimal harmony for your corporation while also having the information to enhance it.
It’s a good idea to evaluate your travel policy on a regular basis using data from your business booking platform, so you understand how well your plan is being implemented.
It can happen that several bookings are asked outside of guidelines, or the essence of travel has significantly changed. Then, you must revise both your published and reservation platform-based transportation policies.
5. Assist travelers in obtaining direct assistance
As both a travel or office manager, you have unquestionably got calls and emails after hours from commuters who are having problems on their journey. It could be misplaced affirmation numbers, the incorrect venue… anything.
Being in charge of each of these inbound support issues does not make travel management any easier for you or the commuters.
They may be hesitant to approach you and thus not receive the assistance they require. Also, they may be disappointed when you do not respond on a Saturday evening.
Giving business travelers easy accessibility to a travel customer service team is an excellent solution.
Working with a tour operator is one solution that many businesses use, but it does not permit for self-booking procedures and customer experiences that commuters prefer.
Rather, they must speak with a separate intermediary to book. It is better to outsource travel assistance without sacrificing self-booking. For each trip, use a reservation system that contains quality 24/7 customer service.
Regrettably, the overwhelming bulk of prestige company booking techniques, tour operators, as well as travel management businesses all provide subpar outsourced customer care.
Settle for a platform which has made investments in coaching in-house support reps to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
6. Optimize your travel spending
Now, since business travel really is a complicated expense, administrators and managers are frequently unaware of its current costs.
A CFO or finance manager may understand the precise travel costs 3 to 6 months beforehand, but what about today? Very difficult!
However, not recognizing the present situation is not a good thing. The financial department is unable to make rapid financial decisions and is constantly playing catch-up, attempting to reduce expenses after the fact.
Any travel agency might very well submit to you monthly updates, but without the capacity to gain access and evaluate spend immediately, the financial department is often in the shadows.
Having instant access to travel could assist the finance division track expenditures. It could also aid with reimbursement processes. This can enable them to generate accurate and relevant expense claims that they could then utilize to lay the groundwork for future travel budgets.
Of course, monthly or quarterly travel reviews are still necessary. Finance and operational processes will want to assess the impact and value of individual trips as well as the programme as a whole.
The ability to make informed financial decisions isn’t limited to having immediate visibility. Granular data is also important.
Any travel spend KPI becomes impossible to manage unless it can be broken down by task, team, office, and so on.
Next time your company plans traveling processes for business, use our suggestions for streamlining travel arrangements to enjoy some R&R (or at the very least peace of mind).
How else do you maintain business travel so that it is stress-free and simple? We’d look forward to hearing your suggestions for reducing travel stress!