Today’s corporate travel managers are confronted with lots of challenges to what they were a few years ago. The primary challenge of a travel manager is to make any corporate travel a ‘bleisure’ (combination of business and pleasure), positively affecting everything from traveller satisfaction to customer or client relationships.
Let’s have a quick look at some of the roles and responsibilities that entails corporate travel manager. A corporate travel manager has to develop an overall strategic travel policy and programs for corporate travel strictly in line with business objectives; oversee and manage all travel operations and arrangement; forge excellent relationship with vendors and travel agencies/operators; offer advice and recommendations on travel insurance, documents, regulations related to export/import, etc; negotiate service contracts, fee or rates with travel service providers; manage reimbursements and expenses; process ‘Travel & Expense’ or ‘Travel & Entertainment’ Expenses (T&E) reports; help achieve compliance in all facets of travel procedures; encourage continuous improvement of business travel programs; prepare effective employee instruction manuals; help reduce costs through proactive data analysis; set up metrics for measuring travel cost, use, and policy compliance.
If all your travel manager does is simply produce fancy excel sheets with charts and pivots for display every month or quarter, then you should look for TMCs with expertise, knowledge and guidance to optimize your company’s travel. On the contrary, if your travel manager is a seasoned campaigner, he/ she should know what the business goals are (at least, say, for the next three years) assessing and evaluating your travel data to give direction to your travel program and ways to achieve them.
The travel program objectives should serve as a clear roadmap and involve the stakeholders, team and keep everyone accountable. A goal comprising 90% online booking tool usage without a strategic roadmap on how this will be achieved will only go down the tube — there is no use in putting forward a goal of 90% online booking tool usage… without a clear roadmap to how this will be achieved.
A good corporate travel manager, besides mapping travel program objectives with business needs, should find out if there are ancillary services that can support business such as Inclusion of a traveller to procurement (T2P) process – online booking tool linked to EMS, helping finance team with faster reconciliation of travel spend, so that their time can be usefully spent on focus areas, consolidation of incentive and conference spend such that it can be added towards volume, assisting in the introduction of new tech that will foster a sense of compliance and make travel experience of employees much better.
Tripeur can make light work of travel policy compliance, trip approval and reimbursement of travel expenses, making it a powerful tool in a travel manager’s arsenal. If you are a travel manager seeking to enhance traveller satisfaction while keeping costs under control, Tripeur can be your strongest ally!