Your firm can use corporate travel to accelerate customer acquisition and revenue generation. Also, you can increase the number of business trips by increasing corporate travel spending. But you will need to streamline corporate travel management to make each business trip successful.
While streamlining corporate travel management, you must focus on helping employees accomplish business travel goals. At the same time, you have to explore ways to reduce the average cost of business trips. Your organization can streamline the complex process using a corporate travel management company.
The company will boost business travel experience and safety by providing various travel management services. At the same time, the tech solutions offered by the company will help you automate key steps in the process, like business travel booking and travel expense management.
But your firm can increase the ROI of business travel consistently only by partnering with the right travel management companies. Hence, you must compare and shortlist travel management companies using multiple selection criteria.
9 Selection Criteria to Find and Use the Right Corporate Travel Management Company
1. Travel Inventory
Travel choices and preferences of work travelers vary according to their demographic characteristics. Millennial employees make the most of business trips by experiencing the local culture. Hence, they prefer homestays and other unconventional accommodations to hotels.
However, older employees still stay in hotels to enjoy many facilities and amenities. Likewise, employees prefer direct flights to connecting flights to reduce stress and carbon footprints. Hence, you must ensure that the travel management company enables each employee to access an extensive and diverse travel inventory.
2. Corporate Booking Tool
You can use the company to centralize business travel booking. The centralization will make the company choose and book business travel products for your employees. But you can boost the business travel experience by enabling employees to book their choice of business travel products effortlessly.
Hence, consider a company that automates business travel booking. The company must provide self-booking tools your employees can use to book business trips in minutes. Also, you need to ensure that the tool allows employees to book their preferred travel products without violating preset travel policies.
3. Travel Risk Management
You must help your employees manage a variety of business travel risks. Employees need both information and assistance to manage travel risks. They need real-time information to manage common travel risks like flight delays. They need real-time support to manage unexpected travel risks like data security, natural disasters, and civil unrest.
Your firm should partner with a travel management company that helps employees manage expected and unanticipated travel risks. In addition to delivering real-time information, the company must offer 24/7 support and emergency assistance to each employee, regardless of his location.
4. Duty of Care
Your firm must ensure the safety and security of work travelers by investing in duty-of-care resources. It becomes easier for you to meet this legal and moral obligation when the travel management company provides a comprehensive duty of care solution.
You should opt for a company that keeps work travelers safe by tracking their real-time location and delivering up-to-date travel information. However, you should prioritize companies that optimize employee safety by partnering with international health and security risk management firms.
5. Tech Solutions
Automation is one of the hottest trends in corporate travel management. Some travel management companies provide tech solutions that automate specific activities like business travel booking and travel expense management. But leading companies facilitate end-to-end process automation by providing feature-rich travel management software.
Also, they optimize the software using Industry 4.0 technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics. Hence, the tech solutions they provide differentiate travel management companies from each other. You should use a company that helps you automate corporate travel management fully.
6. Data Management and Security
The travel management company will simplify travel expense management by submitting consolidated and digitized expense reports. The digital data will help your finance team track, review, and audit multiple employees’ travel expenses.
But the company will deal with various sensitive and financial data of employees. Hence, you should check how the company safeguards sensitive employee data. Opting for a travel management company that uses advanced data encryption technologies and implements robust security firewalls is always important.
7. Cost Reduction Strategies
Each travel management company helps your employees save money on business travel booking. They help your employees book flights, hotels, and car rentals at lower than market rates by getting negotiated rates and discounts.
Also, they reduce average trip costs by booking fully-flexible flight tickets and choosing hotels that offer value-added services like complimentary breakfast and free WiFi. Hence, you should check how each shortlisted company helps you reduce the average business trip costs.
8. Expertise and Reputation
Some travel management companies have built a reputation by providing services and solutions to firms in specific sectors. At the same time, many companies manage business travel programs for clients in various sectors.
You can boost corporate travel management by choosing a company that has experience and expertise in providing companies in your sector. But you must prioritize companies that customize services and solutions according to your firm’s precise needs and policies.
9. Transaction Fees
You can control costs by outsourcing corporate travel management. But your firm has to incur ongoing charges to work with a travel management company. Most travel management companies require customers to pay transaction fees. Hence, the cost of working with a company varies according to the number of transactions and payments.
You can reduce costs by comparing transaction fees charged by individual companies. But you must conduct a cost-benefit analysis to minimize the average trip cost without impacting employee experience and safety.
You can use the right corporate travel management company to make business travel bookings and help your employees accomplish business travel goals. But you should remember that travel management services and solutions provided by individual companies vary.
Hence, you must choose a company that meets your firm’s long-term and short-term travel needs. Also, you should prioritize companies that facilitate end-to-end process automation by providing unified travel and expense management software.
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