To make the most of your business travel budget, it is crucial to plan to utilize your program for all its worth. To tell travelers to choose the lowest logical air ticket is just not enough. Here are the items that should be considered when planning or evaluating your travel program.
first Travel Policy
A well-written and disseminated travel policy is the basis for a good travel program and I'm consistently surprised that so many companies have such an obsolete and badly thought-out travel policy if they have one. It's not hard to find a well-written policy. One can be found online quite easily. All that remains is that it has been edited to reflect corporate culture and conveyed in the company so everyone understands and agrees to follow it. For this reason, it's a good idea to get everyone to write a copy of travel policy to ensure that it is read, understood and owned by all employees in the company. I suggest that everyone in the company sign a copy of travel policy, whether they travel or not. They may change positions in the company later and be required to travel. A travel policy need not be long or complex. Some of the best travel policies I have ever seen were only a few pages long.
2nd Centralized travel internally and externally
Many companies do not centralize their travel programs and they pay a price for loss of cost reduction and internal efficiency. Many companies that do not centralize travel have a fear of requiring travelers to do something they may not want to do, along with the idea that centralized travel will require recruiting a Travel Manager. Both of these can be legitimate concerns, but they do not have to be in most cases. By requiring travelers to book centrally, you do not necessarily get them to lose flexibility. You can centralize travel while still allowing travelers to book on their own either with a travel agency of your choice or online through a provider with which you have worked with and trust. By assigning a person responsible for supervising travel, you get a single point of contact both internally and externally for travel. If your business uses less than 1 million dollars in air travel, you probably do not need a full time tour operator. In these cases, travel surveillance can be given to the finance department, human resources or even a senior employee. Here is a look at the benefits of centralizing travel.
Centralizing travel with a single agency gives you more important ways. You want a single point of contact for problems while travelers are on your way and you will have a device to go to all your travel needs. This eliminates the problem of consolidating a travel report from multiple sources. By traveling together, you will have significant economies of scale. If you can measure total travel between different divisions or places, you can get more for your money from travel providers. This will allow you to get more software programs from airplanes, which means more free tickets and upgrades, get a higher percentage discount from our preferred airline and get better negotiated rates from hotel and car rentals. Your compliance costs will also decrease as your travel agent often discounts their fees for a higher total voyage.
3rd Blend of online booking and personal service
This is an addition to the previous item that requires centralization of travel with a travel agency. This is important, but you do not have to require travelers to use an online reservation system and you do not require travelers to call the agency directly. By offering travelers the opportunity to do either, you are reaching more goals. You will reduce your acquisition costs as online booking is cheaper with regard to a service fee. By giving travelers the opportunity to give them a sense of control, thus increasing morale and giving a better chance of a high adoption rate. Third, you leave a good practice of using your online booking engine for less complex travel plans, allowing leading employees, frequent travelers and complex travel plans to be booked directly with a travel agent that offers a higher service level and a better overall travel experience wherever it is most justified.
4th See under each stone
While most of the travel programs are about the air budget, there are several other areas that you can explore to find savings. There are a few more obvious areas to see, such as negotiated hotel prices at your favorite hotels or discounts at a reputable supplier. Often your travel agent will already have discount rates through consortium affiliates and agency car contracts. There are also some less common areas that should be investigated. For example, if ground transportation is a concern, most providers will offer discounted rates and a direct billing option. Direct billing agreements with hotels and car rental companies are also a good way to increase efficiency and make the job in the accounting department easier.
5th Utilize Hard Dollar and Soft Dollar Contracts
Most major airlines today offer tough dollar rebates and soft dollar incentives instead of the company's loyalty to their product. If your travel program exceeds 1 million. USD in air expenses, you can secure a discount on the lowest fares for your chosen carrier rather than a market share. For your secondary airlines, or if your volume is less than the minimum required by the airline, you can enter soft dollar programs for free tickets and free upgrades, as well as travel status improvements or flight passports. These programs require a little in the way of volume, but they are not well published so you may have to chase them or ask Baker Travel or your current agency to point you in the right direction.
6th Do not attempt hotel volume
Hotel volume is sometimes overlooked, but it should not be. Negotiated rates can be obtained through your travel agency or directly with the hotel features of your choice. Individual hotels near companies will negotiate discounted rates for you in exchange for a minimum room / night commitment. By using a travel agent you will likely receive discounts of 5% to 50% on thousands of hotels worldwide.
7th Have at least one car rental contract
Car rental contracts are easy to conclude and require a little in the way of commitment from the company. Choose a partner who has airport locations and a reputation for outstanding customer service. You can save 5-10% very easily and can also negotiate frequent tenants membership for all your employees. This will make them more effective and improve morale. You can also come in to correct billing at the same time, which may make your travelers and accountants less stressful.
8 thereof. Understanding Group and Meeting Contracts
Airlines and hotels will discount your prices and prices when you have groups traveling together or meeting at a single destination from multiple locations. These meeting agreements can result in traffic discounts of 2-10%, and if you have enough travelers on a single airline, you may be able to negotiate free tickets to be awarded at the end of the contract. The minimum requirements are usually 10 travelers in the same place at the same time. Some airlines have higher minimum conditions, so be sure to ask before a contract is generated. Hotels will discount their prices in the same way with at least 10 nights. These discounts may range from 10% to a much higher discount depending on the occupancy rate and seasonal deviations.
ninth Use reporting to consistently improve metrics
Well-managed travel programs require constant monitoring and financial controls to be used properly. Insist on timely and custom reports that can be designed to provide you with the information you need most. By receiving regular reporting on travel behavior and the performance of the supplier contract, you will be better able to fulfill contractual obligations, achieve cost reduction goals and see where opportunities for future savings can be.
10th Use all possibilities to improve traveler comfort and efficiency
Finally, a well-managed travel program will take into account the comfort and productivity of their travelers. When travelers are comfortable, they can focus on their key priorities that help drive your business forward. If travelers are happy, they perform at a higher level. Ask if your travel agent can upgrade travelers' status at a preferred airline. Look forward to buying blocks of airport club passes so they can be used strategically under long and complex travel plans. There are many ways to reward travelers for the difficult and often exhausting journey. These kinds of rewards create feelings of loyalty and increased productivity and efficiency.
If you would like to know more about how your company can better utilize your travel program for your bottom line and satisfaction at your executive level, please feel free to contact me. I'm looking forward to pointing you in the right direction.