A managed travel program includes a set of long-established best practices that oversees the way your company purchases travel. Simply put, well managed travel services create a solid balance of convenience, comfort and safety for your business travelers while, at the same time, saves your company money.
Of course, understanding when to establish a managed travel program is not quite so simple for many companies. Naturally, your business travelers will have opinions that differ from those held by procurement professionals, HR and the finance department. Still, while the benefits of shifting to a managed travel program are not always clear, many companies typically align around several core objectives.
The top 5 reasons companies establish a managed travel program include the following:
Improving traveler experience through technology and service
It may surprise you that “cost avoidance” isn’t the number one reason your company should establish a managed travel program. Indeed, the bottom line is usually at the top of every list of reasons a business will make changes. Regardless the reason(s), traveler experience ranks high. Intuitive technology that allows consumers to search and book the best deals is in their everyday lives. So, why shouldn’t business travelers expect the same individualized attention? Seamless integrations and mobile travel experiences that allow you to access your itinerary (and any changes made to it) on the go, as well as the ability to communicate whenever the need strikes is simply something experienced travelers have come to expect.
Gaining visibility into travel costs and travel patterns
Many managed travel programs will automate the travel process from start to finish – the point of reservation to the paying of expenses. This allows travel managers to receive travel spending data which not only offers insight into spend, but the pattern of travel as well. For example, did a traveler decline a cheaper airfare in an effort to avoid a four-hour layover in flyover country? An automated system will allow managers to approve trips before they are booked which means costs can be assessed before it’s too late.
Managing costs and find savings in air, car and hotel
Yes, saving money is still a major incentive behind managed travel services. A travel management company like Egencia will leverage its deep relationships with airlines, hotels and car companies to negotiate special rates and/or preferred services, delivering savings (that, between us, are unavailable from other travel management providers!) It goes without saying that by ensuring the lowest rates are found and booked, businesses can reign in travel costs.
Implementing safe travel practices and reduce risk
The only certainty in travel is the promise of uncertainty. From natural disasters like a hurricane, a volcanic eruption, or a standard winter storm, to terror threats, there is no predicting what can and will impact travel. Whether your employees are in the air or on the ground, you need to know where they are at any given time. Specifically, you need to help manage risks in the midst of potential crisis. A managed travel program will make it easier to track down your employees and communicate with them.
Realizing efficiencies and improving travel program execution
A managed travel program that focuses on traveler satisfaction (outlined in reason number 1) will in turn increase self-service for booking, boost compliance to travel policy, and make life much easier for supporting admins and travel arrangers back on the ground. All in all, managed travel services that know how to service your business will help your company realize efficiencies and improve travel program execution. You won’t believe how you managed before.
Are you interested in switching to a managed travel program? Click here to learn how you can achieve similar success with managed travel services provided by Egencia.