When corporate travel programs are managed effectively, businesses operate with more confidence knowing both their employees and their bottom line are protected. But many of the corporate travel challenges businesses and travel managers face remain constant. For example, current circumstances brought corporate travel policies and compliance back to the top of the list of priorities, showing how the benefits of a managed corporate travel program are even more relevant to your business than before.
In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), more than one third of travel buyers and procurement professionals said they are more reliant now on their travel management company than they were before the pandemic.
When travel programs are managed effectively, businesses operate with confidence, knowing both their employees and their bottom line are protected, even amidst unexpected circumstances. But if unmanaged, corporate travel programs can quickly devolve into a disorganized T&E mess, costing organizations thousands of unnecessary dollars, while also exposing them to costly vulnerabilities.
Pandemic or not, corporate travel management is a major business responsibility that involves multiple stakeholders, not just the corporate travel program manager.
Today, the corporate travel challenges businesses and travel managers most often face could be avoided with consolidated management of the travel program. For example, current circumstances brought corporate travel policies back to the top of the list of priorities as organizations of all sizes look to keep travelers safe, keep the cost of business travel low, and manage expectations.
In this critical time, switching to a managed corporate travel program solves common problems associated with corporate travel and saves money. Perhaps more importantly, making the move to a managed travel program can help ensure employees are prepared and protected when they travel.
What Is a Managed Travel Program?
A managed travel program is a term used to describe the partnership between an organization and a travel management company (TMC).
A TMC’s services include, but are not limited to, providing online booking options as well as expert travel agents to schedule flight, hotel, and car reservations, travel policy creation and integration, unused ticket management, and reporting tools. The best TMCs act as a partner to your business, helping you manage corporate travel through an organized, consolidated, and integrated program.
For example, Christopherson Business Travel provides corporate travel management solutions through industry-leading technology and personalized service. Solutions are customized to the unique needs of each business, whether they need support in developing a travel policy or access to a centralized technology platform for travel management.
The Top 2 Challenges Facing Business Travelers
According to GBTA, only 55% of business travelers are satisfied with their company’s travel policy. This makes compliance a top corporate travel challenge facing organizations.
Modern business travelers often want flexibility and freedom. So whether it’s booking their own travel with non-partner vendors through non-approved sites or wanting the ability to extend a business trip for leisure, corporate travelers will often make their own arrangements if the tools are not in place for compliance. This can quickly create costly challenges for businesses.
Additionally, both business travelers and their companies are increasingly more aware of the safety and security of business travel. A GBTA poll noted 70% of travel buyers and procurement professionals say they’ve elevated duty of care as a higher priority within the company. But business travel duty of care requires more than lip service. It includes knowing where travelers are at any moment of their trip, training on safety procedures, 24/7/365 en route communication options, and more if unexpected emergencies occur.
5 Ways a Managed Corporate Travel Program Can Benefit Your Business
Meeting the needs of business travelers while meeting the goals of your organization can be a tricky balance. To secure that balance, successful organizations turn to TMCs to help manage their corporate travel programs.
Here are five ways a managed corporate travel program can benefit your business.
Experienced Business Travel Experts
Whether it’s through account managers or travel advisors, a managed travel program offers the value of experienced experts who can help you identify opportunities for cost savings, negotiate better rates, and reach the goals you have for your travel program. At Christopherson, our account managers take a consultative approach to evaluating where you are and identifying solutions and strategies to get where you want to be. Our talented travel advisors know the ins and outs of business travel so they can assist your travelers and take advantage of the lowest fares.
Corporate Travel Cost Savings
Many managed travel programs tout cost savings, but the best TMCs show you exactly where you’re saving and how much you’ve saved.
Optimizing your travel budget with the data and reporting tools from Christopherson helps you visualize spending and compare it against industry benchmarks. Our lowest fare searches, vendor negotiations, industry partnerships, and discount programs help your travelers choose cost-effective options.
Travel Management Software
A managed travel program should offer powerful technology to help execute all aspects of your program.
Christopherson’s integrated technology platform gives stakeholders total access to the business travel software, tools, and real-time data they need. From online booking tools, to reporting solutions, to profile management, everything is accessible from a single
dashboard, making managing business travel easier for both corporate travel managers and their business travelers.
Travel Policy Compliance
Organizations need their business travelers to be in compliant when booking travel. By taking a holistic look at your travel program, understanding your travelers needs, including stakeholders in the conversation, and integrating your policy with your technology, you can increase your compliance rates.
At Christopherson, our account managers help you create your sensible travel policies and integrate them with your booking options. At booking, your travelers will have in-policy, cost-effective choices that help them stay compliant, which means you save money and can deliver on your duty of care.
A Proactive Approach to Risk Management
The world is an unpredictable place, which means having the ability to quickly alert and communicate with travelers in potentially unsafe or risky situations is critical to taking a proactive approach to travel risk management.
Christopherson provides the risk management tools organizations need to keep track of their business travelers and assist with safety and security measures.
Ready to Make the Switch to a Managed Travel Program?
With these benefits in mind, if you’re considering switching to a managed travel program, contact the experts at Christopherson today to learn more about our corporate travel management solutions.