Business Travel Policy Essentials
So, how do we go about ensuring that our clients have a travel policy that works both for their business, in keeping costs down, whilst is also seen by travellers as a valuable document not a needless annoyance.
The first thing we do is review any existing travel policy that is in place against GDG benchmarks and industry best practice. Are limits and allowable spends too high, too low or just about right given market developments and price inflation. What are benchmark allowances for meals, extras etc? We will also review levels of mandation; is the policy there as simply a guide for travellers or is it the travel “bible” that must be strictly adhered to? Do you have a preferred supplier programme? again are travellers required to utilise your preferred airlines, hotel chains etc to drive negotiation power or are they free to make decisions based on personal preference?
Once we’ve reviewed your existing policy we will propose areas where we believe that your policy could be changed and, or tightened. Should you decide to implement some or all of our recommendation we would recommend that a small internal group be formed to put the fine touches to your new policy. This group should involve not only purchasing/ finance but also travel bookers and travellers themselves so they feel that they have been part of the policy creation rather than just having it forced onto them; vital to maximise adherence. In our experience it is also vital that a senior member of your management team actively endorses the policy change to reinforce, internally, the important business requirement that it is followed. Importantly, we can operate multiple policies for individual businesses meaning that, for example, different policies can be enforced for different levels of staff.
Once the policy is agreed and written it is important that it is clearly communicated to all relevant personnel within your business and most importantly travel bookers and travellers. Revisions to policy may alter what is allowable to book so it is vital that bookers and travellers are clear regarding the new requirements and allowances. Your business travel policy/s will be built into all our systems (online and offline) which makes sure that any booking placed through us is 100% in line with your businesses requirements.
Where you have a need for line management authorisation for travel or where authorisation is needed should certain thresholds be reached or out of policy bookings be required then we can implement a quick and efficient business travel authorisation system. Our electronic system, that can operate for bookings made either online or through our team, sends an email to a pre-nominated authoriser with details of the trip that requires authorisation. The authoriser can then either accept, reject or accept with alterations the reservation.
A well constructed travel policy is only as good as how well it is policed and mandated. To get the true benefit of your policy we will take full responsibility for ensuring that all bookings places through us are 100% in line with your needs. Other than on very infrequent occasions there should be no need for a traveller to book outside of policy as if they do, this is a sign that the policy is not fit for purpose. As well as mandating your policy, to the level and degree to which you require, we will also provide full reporting as part of our management information suite.
Your travel policy should be viewed as an ever evolving document. Travel, and the cost of, if affected immensely by the wider environment; exchange rates, demand, seasonal fluctuations, tax… With this in mind we keep your policy under constant review to ensure it remains fit for purpose in both the medium and long term. We will formally review your travel policy on at least an annual basis to make sure you remain not only in line with best practice bit also best placed to achieve your travel procurement goals.