A corporate travel manager oversees their company’s business travel program and facilitates the organization’s relationship with their travel management company.
Through the travel management company partnership, corporate travel managers are able to develop a strategic plan for their travel program, outline and enforce travel policies, oversee and monitor employees’ business travel activity, negotiate vendor relationships and rates, create risk management plans for employee travel safety, align expense and reporting needs, ensure the ROI of the overall travel program, and more.
For organizations with extensive business travel requirements, or who need to facilitate group travel, or that plan conferences, retreats, and other corporate events, a strong relationship between the organization’s corporate travel manager and a travel management company is essential to the success of the corporate travel program.
What Does A Corporate Travel Manager Do?
A day in the life of a corporate travel manager revolves around aligning the needs of their business travelers with the needs of the company. This alignment occurs in myriad ways, although business traveler safety and ROI are often the highest priorities.
Typically, a corporate travel managers tasks involve:
- Building a strategic partnership with a travel management company
- Ensuring traveler safety through risk management plans
- Providing a travel program that serves the needs of their travelers and facilitates well-being
- Budgeting and measuring the ROI of the corporate travel program
- Negotiating rates for air, car rental, and hotel vendor contracts
- Developing travel policies and enforcing compliance
- Overseeing their organization’s booking channels and approval process
- Creating and analyzing reports to understand patterns, find ways to reduce spend, and identify opportunities
- Integrating corporate travel software that saves time and money
- Training employees on their corporate travel program’s policies, processes, and technology
Because business travel safety is among a corporate travel manager’s top priorities, daily tasks may also include awareness of travelers on the road and global security issues. And because generating a positive ROI for a company’s travel program is so important, a corporate travel manager is constantly looking for opportunities to streamline costs and manage efficiencies.
Why Corporate Travel Managers Need a Strong Travel Management Company
Any organization that requires business travel should partner with a corporate travel management company. In addition to the support this relationship provides to the corporate travel manager, travel management companies have the expertise and buying power to:
- Transform Your Corporate Travel Program and Improve Performance
A travel management company not only helps you find the best rates on business travel, but works with your corporate travel manager to understand your organization’s needs, outline goals, develop a travel management plan, and identify key performance indicators that showcase how well your travel program operates, reduces corporate travel spend, and delivers an ROI.
- Save Money on Corporate Travel
By relying on the expertise of a travel management company, corporate travel managers are able to leverage their organization’s buying power to negotiate the best deals with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and other business travel service providers. Additionally, travel management companies help corporate travel managers integrate travel policies with booking options to ensure compliance, monitor the reuse of unused airline tickets, and provide both data and consultative services that ultimately save money.
- Serve Business Travelers 24/7
When employees are business traveling, concerns and needs can arise anytime of the day. This means corporate travel managers need the 24/7 service travel management companies provide. In an emergency, your employees must have a line of communication to solve the issues they may face on the road and around the world.
- Save Time Managing Your Corporate Travel Program
Corporate travel managers wear many hats. They do not have time to research the countless vendors, rates, and reviews to ensure employees are using the best airline for your company, staying in safe lodging, and renting from the car company that aligns with your goals for every trip. But corporate travel management companies have technology, experience, and expertise to automate your program’s processes, find best rates, and assure that employees are safe.
- Keep Business Travelers Safe
A strong risk management plan is essential to keeping travelers safe. Corporate travel managers can implement and execute that plan with support from a travel management company who has the technology and relationships required to maintain awareness of global risks, locate travelers, and communicate alerts. And because your corporate travelers have access to 24/7 business travel support, you can be confident that issues will be resolved no matter where they are in the world.
- Deliver Travel Management Software that Facilitates a Strong Corporate Travel Program
Corporate travel managers need software solutions that facilitate success and make their job easier. By utilizing Christopherson’s integrated business travel technology, corporate travel managers can work more efficiently, access real-time data, and often reduce travel spend.
As for your travelers, road warriors can also easily manage their business travel with Christopherson’s technology. Through convenient booking options, a traveler-centric dashboard, and mobile apps, they can view itineraries, check in for flights and hotels, integrate trip plans, receive alerts, and communicate with your corporate travel agent team.
What Should Corporate Travel Managers Look for in a Travel Management Company?
Corporate travel managers should look for one thing when partnering with a travel management company—proven experience.
A travel management company that has a strong history of client retention will undoubtedly deliver the critical support corporate travel managers need to manage a successful business travel program.
The ideal travel management company will also provide corporate travel managers with:
- An understanding of and responsiveness to your travel program’s unique needs and goals
- Helpful ‘round-the-clock support for travelers
- Consistent, consultative communication
- Supportive, integrated business travel technology
- Easy-to-understand data and reporting options
In researching travel management companies, corporate travel managers should first determine their travel program’s needs, goals, and priorities. Then research and develop a list of potential partners. As you refine that prospect list, you can request demos and presentations, or send an RFI or RFP to help you rank respondents. Ultimately, the best travel management company will be able to prove the value of their partnership and answer the vital question—Why should I choose you?
Christopherson Business Travel—The Leading Corporate Travel Agency
While there are dozens of corporate travel management companies, only one provides the unique intersection of personalized support and digital solutions that can propel your travel program forward. With a client retention rate of 97%, Christopherson Business Travel has proven its value and expertise for more than 60 years.
We provide consultative corporate travel services and business travel technologies that will unlock your travel program’s potential. Our dedicated team is available 24/7, 365 days a year.