How corporate travel management solutions reduce travel costs
Corporate travel management solutions have revolutionized the way businesses approach travel costs. By streamlining the booking process, they have made it easier to reduce expenses while ensuring that employees have access to all the necessary amenities during their trips.
Corporate travel is an essential aspect of business operations that helps them build solid foundations and relationships to grow, promote, and innovate.
Even with widespread recognition of this function’s importance, it remains subject to dated corporate travel management systems that prolong the travel process and make it needlessly expensive.
Unfortunately, this occurrence stems from a common misconception that travel and expense management and its high variable costs are unavoidable. This outdated mindset has led to business travel becoming the second highest expense for most companies, following employee salaries and wages.
This article aims to identify the root causes of why official travel is a significant cost center and what steps you could take to achieve better travel management efficiency while drastically reducing costs.
The challenges faced in corporate travel management
The first step toward addressing this issue is to change old-school mindsets to adopt innovative CTM systems backed by cutting-edge technology.
Newer systems can significantly reduce outdated travel processes and their resource-heavy burden on businesses.
To understand why a better solution in CTM is required immediately, let us first explore the most common travel challenges facing businesses:
Bad corporate travel UX
Most travel booking websites prioritize user experiences when designing their services and UI in the personal travel industry. This UX priority is because they realize the value in simplifying and reimagining their customers’ travel planning and booking experience.
On the other hand, the corporate travel industry goes in the opposite direction by placing UX on the back burner.
This large gap between corporate travel and personal travel user experiences is because enterprises are not focused on simplifying travel or providing good UX for their employees.
Instead, they are satisfied with an inefficient yet functional system that thrives on inflated travel costs costing businesses significant damage to their financials.
Hence, addressing this problem has never been more critical.
Long, drawn-out processes
Imagine you need to book vacation tickets to Bombay. You start by logging on to any reputed travel booking website, selecting the travel location and dates, selecting the aircraft matching your requirement, and finally completing the booking process by entering the checkout and payment information.
Thus the entire process of booking and receiving tickets and relevant documentation through digital channels boils down to four to five simple steps.
Alternatively, take a look at corporate travel, in an instance where you have to travel to the same destination.
In the current state, the traveler must log in to an automated system, fill out a form, and send a formal request to the travel desk. However, we have found that only ten percent of companies today have invested in automated systems.
Most companies require their employees to write a request on the proposed travel and itinerary via email to the travel admin and wait for a response.
Upon reading the email, the admin will have to check for the employee’s entitlement, based on which they will relay the travel requirements to an approved vendor or travel agent.
Following this, the travel agent puts together and emails you a list of travel options and recommendations.
The ball is now back in your court to select a viable travel choice from a limited list of options. Sometimes there are multiple back-and-forth communications with the travel agents before sending the final selection to the travel admin again for approval.
Once the admin approves, the tickets are issued and shared with you.
This excruciatingly drawn-out process could range from hours to, in numerous cases, days or even weeks calling for the need for more ingenious CTM solutions.
Managers are uninformed when they give approvals
In most companies today, travel managers are clueless about the expense details and actual budgetary requirements of the proposed travel requests.
When faced with these requests from travelers or vendors, most travel managers are unaware if the travel budget is proper or if cheaper options are available.
Yet, most of the time, they still go ahead and approve the budget.
It is unrealistic to expect travel managers to do due diligence for every travel aspect and detail.
Instead, a more plausible approach would be to consider more innovative CTM systems that can do the job for them.
Slow invoicing leading to budgeting complications
Another major problem facing corporate travel management is that managers and admins don’t get a copy of the invoice until the end of the month after travel completion. It is often at the end of the credit cycle that the vendor submits the appropriate bills for reconciliation.
Until then, the company remains in the dark about the travel expenditure with no invoice copies available to travel stakeholders.
How does a business manage budgets appropriately if it keeps getting late invoices?
The answer lies in identifying the flaws in post-facto reporting and invoicing. This sort of billing is a significant challenge facing dated CTM solutions that belong in the past.
Travel desk takes care of travel policy
The travel desk often acts as the nodal center and gatekeeper of the company’s travel policy.
They are the supervisory authority with all the documentation and knowledge on the updated travel policies and supervise employee compliance.
While this sounds good on paper, they have little to no way of gauging travel policy compliance with no means to audit.
Businesses have no choice but to place their trust in the instincts of the travel desk, which is not a good practice to follow when there are far superior alternatives.
How Tripeur solves the business travel cost problem
Tripeur has considered and focused on feedback from industry leaders to design its intelligent CTM system to mitigate all the challenges facing corporate travel management.
It serves the unique purpose of revolutionizing how businesses conduct their travel management processes.
Here are some ways we help mitigate your travel management challenges:
Quick, easy-to-use UX (for quicker bookings)
Tripeur’s system ensures a one-stop solution that leaps into effect the second employee travel becomes necessary.
Through our system, planning the trip, acquiring approvals, and executing the ticket purchase occurs in mere minutes.
The manager receives the approval requests directly on their phone, making it easy to provide grants on the go and outside the confines of business hours.
Finally, the booked tickets are instantly sent to you digitally on your choice of channels like WhatsApp or email. And the best part is that the traveler’s boarding passes are sent directly to their phones via WhatsApp a few hours before their flight.
Our system provides the best user experience by simplifying the entire booking experience and delighting our users, offering all their travel solutions directly to their fingertips.
Visibility ensures managers can make informed decisions
Our system provides managers with the functionality of email and WhatsApp approvals accompanied by automated expense reports. This expense summary details whether or not the traveler is maintaining compliance with the company’s travel policy.
Additionally, these reports automatically notify managers if the traveler’s spending was unnecessarily excessive and non-compliant with the travel budget.
Real-time expense tracking (compliance, budgeting, audit trails)
In our system, apart from making a user-friendly experience, we provide employees the visibility to precisely view what they are entitled to, what they are allowed to spend on, and have provided means to act on their requirements instantly.
The system also creates invoices and credit notes in real time, ensuring that transaction tables and MIS logs are constantly up-to-date.
Our system has helped businesses shift from outdated CTM to more robust modern-day processes.
Tripeur is helping usher in a never before seen ease in the corporate travel management process powered by the latest technology.
Tripeur integrates travel policy seamlessly
Tripeur’s system eliminates the burden and responsibility of the travel desk by taking the reigns as the gatekeeper of the travel policy.
The system maintains real-time logs on all travel expenditures and associated approval information.
When an employee exceeds the policy limits, management is instantly sent a notification in real-time of the non-compliance with details on the authority behind the approvals.
We also log the travel policy rollout, making sure we always keep travelers updated on any policy changes. Our systems ensure your business has a complete audit trail with real-time accountability.
To wrap it up…
Forget what you have been led to believe about how corporate travel management and its expenses cannot be changed.
Instead, contact us to learn more about how delightfully simple and cost-efficient it can be for your employees, travel desk, managers, admins, accounting department, and management.