Elements of a strong corporate travel program


To maximize your corporate travel budget, it is critical to plan to reduce the value of your program. It is not enough to ask travelers to choose the lowest reasonable airfare. The elements here should be considered when planning or evaluating your travel program.

1. Travel policy

A well-written and well-publicized travel policy is the basis of any good travel program, and I have consistently wondered if so many corporations have such an old and badly thought out travel policy if they have one, it is not difficult to find a well-written policy. Available online quite easily. What remains is that it is edited to reflect the corporate culture, and spread throughout the organization so that everyone agrees to understand it and agrees to follow it. For this reason, everyone signing the copy of the travel policy should ensure that it is read, understood and owned by all company employees. I recommend that everyone at the company sign the copy of the travel policy, whether they travel or not. They may later change positions at the company and may need to travel. Travel policy should not be long or complicated. Some of the best travel policies I’ve seen were just a few pages long.

2. Central travel internally and externally

Many companies do not centralize their travel program and they offer a price in terms of cost reduction opportunities and loss of internal efficiency. There is a risk that travelers may not need to do anything with the idea that they will need to hire a travel manager to centralize the travel of many organizations that do not centralize travel. Both of these can be legitimate concerns but in most cases they don’t have to be. By requiring travelers to book centrally, you are not necessarily forcing them to lose their flexibility. You can centralize travel by allowing travelers, including a travel agency of your choice, or online providers to make online bookings, with whom you have partnered and are confident. By entrusting someone with the responsibility of supervising travel you are communicating single points internally and externally for travel problems. If your company spends less than িয়ন 1 million on air travel, you probably won’t need a full-time travel manager. In this case, the finance of the travel department can be given to the department, human resources, and even an executive level assistant. Take a look here at the benefits of focusing on travel.

When you focus on traveling with a single company, you gain in several important ways. You will have one-stop contact for problems while passengers are on the road and you will have an entity to go with all your travel needs. This eliminates the problem of integrating travel reports from multiple sources. By bringing travel together, you need to gain significantly from the scale economy. If you can measure total travel between different categories or locations, you can get more for your money from travel providers. This will help you get more out of the airline’s soft dollar programs, which means more free tickets and upgrades, higher percentage discounts from our preferred airlines and better negotiation rates from your hotel and car deals. Your supplementary costs will be reduced as well, as your travel agency often discounts their fees for a higher overall amount of travel.

3. A combination of online booking and personal service

This is an addition to the previous element, which calls for centralization of travel with a travel agency. This is important, but to do this, you will not need travelers to use any online booking system and you will not need travelers to call the agency directly. You’re achieving a number of goals by providing travelers with the option to do both. You will reduce your reimbursement costs as the online booking service is as low as the fee. With the option of travelers you are giving them a sense of control, which in turn increases morale and stands a better chance of a higher acceptance rate. Third, you leave the best practice of using your online booking engine for less complex itineraries and allowing senior executives, frequent travelers and complex itineraries to book directly with travel agents that can offer a higher level of service and a more holistic travel experience. warranted.

4. Look at the bottom of each stone

Although most travel programs revolve around sky budgets, there are many other areas that can be explored to find savings. There are a few more obvious areas such as the hotel rates discussed in the hotels of your choice, or the car rental discount with the optimal supplier. Often your travel agency will already have a discount rate through consortia related and agency car contracts. There are also some less common areas that should be investigated. For example, if ground transportation is a concern, most suppliers will offer discount rates and direct billing options. Direct billing with hotel and car rental agencies is a great way to increase efficiency and make the work of the accounting department easier.

5. Lifting hard dollar and soft dollar contracts

Most major airlines today offer soft dollar incentives as well as hard dollar discounts in exchange for company loyalty to their product. If your travel program costs more than 1 million in airfare, you can secure the lowest fare discount of your preferred carrier in exchange for a market share commitment. For your secondary carrier, or if your volume is less than the minimum required by the airline, you can enter software dollar programs for free tickets and free upgrades, as well as increase passenger status or pass airport clubs. These programs require very little in the way of volume, but they are not well publicized so you may have to search for them or ask Baker Travel or your current agency to point you in the right direction.

6. Do not neglect the amount of hotel

Hotel volume is sometimes overlooked but it should not be. Rates can be negotiated through your travel agency or directly with the hotel features of your choice. Individual hotels near corporate locations will negotiate discount rates for you in exchange for a minimum room / night promise. Using any travel agency, you will get 5% to 50% discount on thousands of hotels worldwide.

7. There is an agreement to rent at least one car

Rental car deals are easy to enter and require very little on the way to commitment from the corporation. Choose a partner who has a reputation for airport location and great customer service. You can easily save 5-10% and negotiate for hourly rental membership for all your employees. This will make them more efficient and boost their morale. You can also enter into direct billing agreements at the same time which can create much less stress on the work of your travelers and accounting staff.

8. Understand group and meeting agreements

Airlines and hotels will discount your fares and rates when you travel together from multiple sources or meet at a single destination. These meeting deals can bring you an airfare discount of 2-10% and if you have enough passengers on a single airline, you may be able to negotiate a free ticket after the contract expires. The minimum requirement is that 10 travelers go to the same place at the same time. Some airlines have the highest amount so be sure to ask before the deal is generated. Hotels will similarly discount their rates with a minimum of 10 room nights. These discounts can range from 10% to much higher depending on the trend rate and the change in the discount rate.

9. Use reports to improve metrics consistently

The benefits of well-managed travel programs require constant monitoring and financial control. Emphasize timely and customized reports that can be designed to bring you the information you need most. By getting regular reports on travelers’ behavior and supplier contract performance, you can better position yourself to meet contract obligations, achieve cost reduction goals, and see where future savings opportunities may lie.

10. Use all means to increase the comfort and efficiency of travelers

Until the end, any well-managed travel program will consider the comfort and productivity of their travelers. When travelers feel comfortable, they can focus on their core priorities that help move your business forward. If travelers are happy, they perform at a high level. Ask if your travel agency can upgrade the status of travelers on the preferred airline. Consider buying airport club pass blocks so they can be used strategically during long and complex trips. There are many ways to reward travelers for the difficult and often tedious task of traveling. These national awards enhance feelings of loyalty and productivity and efficiency.

If you would like to learn more about how your organization can better benefit from their travel program for the benefit of the bottom line and the satisfaction of your executive level, feel free to contact me and I am happy to point you in the right direction.