For the significant majority of business trips, things go perfectly – no flight delays, no issues checking into a pristine hotel in a great location, a rental car where it doesn’t seem certain that its next mile will be its last.
This is all great, but every now and then things do go wrong – and there are plenty of articles out there recounting corporate travel horror stories. These range from long delays in unfamiliar cities in the grips of a snowstorm, being detained at the airport because of incorrect travel documents, suffering food poisoning, losing a passport and leaving luggage in a taxi, to name but a few.
A travel management company (TMC) like us who has expertise in dealing with eventualities just like those listed above. With that in mind we thought we’d write an article sharing some of the most common things we know to go wrong, and what a good TMC can do to fix them.
AIR AND RAIL DELAYS
Delays and cancellations on business trips can be very frustrating and are every travel manager’s worst nightmare. Postponing meetings due to travel delays could be costly for your client, not to mention being a waste of your experts time and travel spend.
Having a flexible Travel Management Company partnership means that in unfortunate times of air and rail delays, we can react to your situation quickly. Our 24/7 team can promptly book your traveller on a train back to the office, cancel the hotel they had booked for the meeting and start a refund enquiry on your behalf. By thinking proactively and putting your travellers first, a good TMC us, can ensure that your travellers don’t waste any further valuable time or money.
LOSING PASSPORT ON A BUSINESS TRIP
Losing a passport any time is bad enough, but to misplace it on a business trip can be devastating. Whether it’s been stolen or you just can’t find it, that doesn’t mean your trip is ruined.
If you’re managing you’re own travel you’ll only have support 9-5 from your office, however a TMC like us has 24/7 support – meaning help is just a single phone call away, not matter what timezone you’re in. In this situation, your TMC can help coordinate with local police and the British Embassy to get your replacement travel documents sorted in a timely manner.
The same goes for falling ill. If you are unfortunate enough to get sick on a business trip then the prospect of finding suitable medical assistance can be quite daunting. Again, this is where an experienced TMC can come into its own. With round the clock support they can quickly help you get the medical attention you need.
OVERPAYING FOR FLIGHTS AND ACCOMMODATION
Navigating your way around travel fares can be complex and frustrating. Prices can seem to fluctuate by the hour and it can feel like every different supplier out there is promising the cheapest deals. What this inevitably means is that it’s easy for a business to end up overpaying for both flights and accommodation.
However, working with a TMC pretty much renders this issue redundant. Account managers, like ours have well established connections with suppliers in the hotel, air and rail industries. They are perfectly placed to get you the very best deals so you never end up overpaying again.
LOSING EXPENSE RECEIPTS
Storing and keeping receipts used to be the bane of any regular business traveller’s life – and this could only be made worse by losing those receipts and the prospect of not being able to claim back any expenses.
Luckily, technology has caught up with this and it’s now easier than ever to track and manage travel expenses. Most TMCs will provide travellers with an app through which they can manage them in real time.
Not only is this great for the traveller, but it makes reporting on the true cost of business travel a lot more efficient. It’s also easier to make sure that any expenses incurred are compliant with any travel policy that is in place.
LACK OF COMPLIANCE WITH TRAVEL POLICY
Maintaining compliance with travel policy is pretty essential for any business that requires its staff to travel regularly. Partnering with a travel management company will give you a much better idea of your overall spend and travel policy compliance. There’s a danger that if you aren’t compliant, travel could cost a lot more than it needs to – and you’d be surprised how often this happens.
TMCs can help with these problems by ensuring that all business travel is compliant from both a spend and mobility perspective. Consolidated invoicing for hotel, rail, air and car hire means it is really easy to make sure travel never costs you more than it needs to.
EVER HAD PROBLEMS WITH YOUR BUSINESS TRAVEL?
If you’ve ever run into any of the problems we’ve listed above, or any other issues with your business travel, now would be a great time to get in touch with us today. We’ve got a huge amount of experience helping businesses make their travel more efficient and we can help your business as well.
McKinsey & Company, the world-renowned management consultancy, often produce brilliant analysis on travel and their latest report on how companies should be planning for the comeback of corporate travel is no exception. Our own head of Gray Dawes Consulting, Aman Pourkarimi, has studied the report (so you don’t have to) and below presents the key learnings along with his own recommendations for UK businesses.
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At the heart of everything we do are our people. We don’t just mean just our employees, but our clients and suppliers too.
At Gray Dawes Group we strive to create an environment which recognises and nurtures a healthy work/life balance – for our staff and clients alike.
By providing our customers with better travel management, they’re able to achieve what they need to by working flexibly, whether in the office, at home or around the globe.