In the ever evolving world of technology, even the most successful businesses must embrace technology to bring customers a service fully optimised for modern life. So, just how can technology be used to help reduce costs and save time on your business travel – and more importantly – does your travel provider offer you a solution that capitalises on technology? Read on to find out more.
WHY DOES TECHNOLOGY MATTER FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL
Let’s be honest, travel managers don’t always have an easy job and it’s never made easier by chief financial officers with a business objective to reduce per-trip travel costs by 20%. To help make this task more manageable, it’s understandable that they’d use anything at their disposal – and this includes working with a travel management company (TMC) and utilising technology.
There are all kinds of technologies that can help reduce business travel cost, but one of the most important is access to a holistic piece of travel management technology that is often incorporated as part of an investment in a TMC, like us.
This kind of technology can span from data-driven tools that help with hotel booking, to assisting with expense management and improving travel policy performance and it needs to work from the moment a person makes an initial request for business travel to the moment they claim back for their expenses (and everything in between). For example, Management Information reports, like those that we create, can show information like the number of trips that are booked in or out of the travel policy, the most frequent travellers and most popular journeys as well as the most popular airlines and hotels for a business.
The reason it saves money on business travel is that it allows for a much more streamlined corporate travel process. It also facilitates cheaper and more effective booking of trains, planes, hotels and more.
Another reason technology can help, specifically for travel managers or anyone else booking business travel, is that it makes management reporting quicker and more effective.
Reporting through dashboards that are customisable, so they are tailored to the specific KPIs a business is focusing on, means reporting on the cost of business travel to C-level executives is much more streamlined. There’s no wasted time having to pull data from multiple sources then having to stitch it all together – it’s right there ready for you.
ONLINE BOOKING TOOLS TO REDUCE BUSINESS TRAVEL COST
Online booking tools can also be a great cost saver when it comes to corporate travel. Again, it’s often dependent on working with a TMC to make the most of this kind of technology.
Online and app-based travel booking platforms empower travel managers, and significantly reduce the time it takes for bookings that should be straightforward. As well as saving time, online booking tools can offer instant price comparison and agent-assisted booking integration. Another real positive of working with a booking tool like ours is that you will always be presented with a total cost. Unlike more widely used tools, such as Skyscanner which will increase in price as you click through, you will quickly see exactly what the cost of a journey will be.
Agent-assisted booking integration simply means that an agent at the TMC you are working with can help you get the best price. This could be through the close supplier relationships they have cultivated over a number of years in the industry.
EXPENSE MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
Expense management software and technology can also play a crucial role in reducing business costs. The reason for this is that it makes it a lot easier to track the cost of expenses per-trip and per-person, but also that all expenses remain compliant with travel policy.
The time spent compiling expense reports is also reduced significantly as the data is captured and can be populated in a reporting dashboard like those mentioned in the point above.
Using this expense data, it is also possible to make suggestions around improving travel policy and travel policy compliance so that the costs of other future trips can be reduced.
WHATS THE BEST WAY TO REDUCE THE COST OF BUSINESS TRAVEL?
Without doubt, the overall best way to reduce the cost of business travel is to work with a travel management company like us. If you have any other concerns around the cost of your business travel, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.
Sustainability is high on the global agenda. Following COP26 we look at how travelling by train instead of flying between European countries can make a sizeable impact on the carbon impact of your business travel.
The Business Travel Association recently commissioned independent consultants, Nina & Pinter, to look at the different relationship models which exist between corporates and TMCs. The result is an insightful paper, the purpose of which is to help support the industry in getting the best from their Travel Management Company RFP process.
We recently caught up with one of our Travel Consultants, Laura Fairburn, to find out what it has been like returning to a completely different landscape that she left 18 months ago and to find out if service times have been affected by the pandemic.